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The Ethics of Looking And The "Harmless" Peeping Tom

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    It’s often said that cinema,
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    by it's very nature, is voyeuristic,
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    because film offers the audience a window
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    into the hidden lives of others.
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    Watching people’s stories on the big
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    and small screen can indeed be
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    fascinating and exhilarating.
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    But the act of looking can also feel
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    uncomfortable, invasive, even violating.
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    Underpinning these uncomfortable moments
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    we can find some alarming messages
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    about the role of consent.
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    To explain, let’s start here
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    in the normal bedroom of a normal boy
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    doing normal boy stuff.
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    Normal stuff
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    like spying on the girl next door.
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    Popular culture is filled
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    with scenes like this one
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    Scenes in which one character,
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    usually a man
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    spies on another character,
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    usually a woman
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    without that person’s knowledge or consent
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    To be clear, we're talking about secret
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    surveillance of a person
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    while they're alone
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    in various states of undress
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    or engaged in sexual activity.
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    This is invasive looking
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    that violates a person's
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    reasonable expectation of privacy.
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    In a staggering number of movies
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    and tv shows, this type of spying
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    isn't done by the villain.
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    It is instead perpetrated
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    by "nice guy" characters.
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    "Slow down, baby"
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    These are straight men, who are otherwise
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    presented as decent.
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    Or, at the very least,
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    mostly harmless.
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    "Hey! Hey!"
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    This media patern is so prevasive,
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    I thought it needed a name.
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    "He's a peeping Tom!"
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    So I call it "The harmless peeping Tom".
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    "You know, it occurs to me,
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    that you can see right into Donna's house
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    from my driveway."
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    "You don't say"
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    (off-screen laughter)
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    All of the boys on "That 70s Show"
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    for instance, casually participate
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    in spying behavior.
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    "No, Anette! Not the robe!"
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    (off-screen laughter)
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    "Quick, somebody yell
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    'pillow fight' in a girl voice"
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    But the character of Fez
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    is the quintessential example
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    of a harmless peeping Tom.
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    (off-screen laughter)
    - "Oh my god, Fez!"
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    "Nice honkers!"
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    (off-screen laughter)
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    "Get out of here!"
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    "Fez?"
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    There's a years long running gag
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    about how he's always spying on women.
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    Often hiding in their bedroom closets.
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    "Oh my god, did you see anything?"
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    "Not much, you should really
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    think about a nightlight."
Title:
The Ethics of Looking And The "Harmless" Peeping Tom
Description:

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Video Language:
English
Duration:
28:00

English subtitles

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