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Festivals 2014

Festival Free Love Is Being Turned Into Non-Consensual Porn by Reddit Masturbators

Yes there's a sub-reddit called "Festival Sluts"

af Noisey Staff og sam wolfson
09 oktober 2014, 3:09pm

If the past few weeks have taught us anything, it’s that porn has become weaponised and will be forever. 4Chan are using porn, whether real or imaginary, to attack and threaten women for crimes as heinous as asking not to be treated as sex objects. When Emma Watson gave a speech to the UN inviting men to join the feminist cause, they threatened a leak of nude photos in retaliation. When Jennifer Lawrence said that those who looked at the original leak of nude photos of her should be ashamed, 4Chan “retaliated” by uploading the pictures to her Wikipedia page. This, of course, is nothing new. A generation of young people are growing up to believe that when a girl dumps you, it’s ok to send naked photos of them to everyone you know.

So, perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised there’s a sub-Reddit called Festival Sluts, in which photos (some of which have clearly been taken without consent) are uploaded for the fap-happy pleasure of the internet's most prolific tuggers. The board, which began in 2012, now has 30,000 subscribers.

There are posts like “Perfect Titties - Download 2014” which shows a gif of someone (who could easily be under 18) taking their shirt off while on someone’s shoulders. In another photo, “Rolling and Horny at Electric Daisy Carnival” a girl on someone’s shoulder, flashing a tit, is shot secretly and unflatteringly from underneath. There’s photos of girls naked mud wrestling at Secret Garden party, a topless girl at the front row of a Major Lazer show. There are, it goes without saying, no photographs of men.

In some of these pictures these women look like they’re proudly displaying their bodies. Others are sneaky, non-consensual shots taken from a distance. It shouldn’t matter, you can bet that however the pictures came about, none of these women wanted their photo on a messageboard called “Festival Sluts” to be poured over by horny, anonymous internet users.

There are all the obvious issues here; this peculiarly modern belief that there is an inalienable right to share images of women’s bodies. But there’s also something specific. Festivals, however corporate they’ve become, still tend to at least try to emulate some ideals of free love and escapism that was born out of the original rock festival movement: whether that be the Burning Man ideals of self-reliance and decommodification or just getting out of your mind in a mudbath in Reading. Implicit in that is the idea that you should be able to have a three-day hedonist escape, which may well include striding round in your pants, without any foul repercussions. Just because you’re alright with strangers in that moment seeing your body in a desexualised context, doesn’t mean you want it to live on the internet forever. These posters, most of whom you can bet have never been to a festival in their lives, are ruining them for everyone else.

You will not be surprised to learn that the people dedicated to posting pictures of women, also aren’t their biggest fans. Each picture has a run of comments which serve only to further humiliate the women in the photos. One picture of a girl wearing blue heart nipple tassels is titled simply: “Holy Jesus those are a nice set... but her face…” On a picture of a topless girl at Burning Man festival - surely the embodiment of a technology-free space where you can be relaxed about your body - someone has commented: “Would so stick my dick in her sandy vag.” On another, where a girl is just trying to take a shower at a festival, and clearly cannot see that she is being photographed, someone has commented “So what are we looking at ? Amateur porn stars turned Jugglets? or Juggelets turned amateur porn stars? Or just attention whores with daddy issues?”

I understand there is a line to be trod here. A few years ago I posted that photo of a girl appearing to give head at T In The Park before later deleting it. In the moment, I was only thinking about what seemed like a funny picture, forgetting that it actually happened. There are times when all of us forget that just because something is on the internet, doesn’t mean it should be.

Pornography has been weaponised, and there’s no going back from that, but this is a frontier we can fight on. Music festivals have campaigned against campsite fires, non-biodegradable tent pegs, and drug taking. It’s time they rubbed out these pervs too.

For obvious reasons we haven’t linked to the Festival Sluts sub-reddit.

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