Friday, 14 August 2009

Steve Crow's philanthropy gets rejected

Steve Crow, pornographer and Boobs on Bikes organiser, has had his offer of a donation to the NZ Breast Cancer Foundation rejected. Magnanimously, Steve had offered the Foundation $5000 if he could get 100 ladies to take their tops off at the next BoB parade, and another $2,500 if 100 blokes would do the same. He didn't think to tell the Breast Cancer Foundation what he was up to; and when they found out and rejected his offer he publicly attacked them, implying they don't care enough about the women served by the Foundation. Cheers, Steve.

The rights and wrongs of porn have already been debated on THM. My chief concern with Boobs on Bikes is not to do with porn per se, but the fact that crowding a public place with topless women means that those women who don't like it can't escape.

Porn aside, there's another serious issue here: Crow has tried very cynically to buy legitemacy for his business ventures using the plight of women with cancer as a vehicle. And his public attack on the Breast Cancer Foundation shows just how deep his concern for these women runs.

Commenters on Stuff (in keeping with their proud redneck tradition) seem to agree with Steve, telling the Foundation to get off it's high horse. I find this really objectionable. I doubt very much that the Foundation have rejected Steve's donation lightly. My guess would be that they've weighed up the issues very carefully, and have concluded that they'd do more harm to the dignity and comfort of the women they support by accepting Steve's cash. I'm sure that, just like women in the general population, those with breast cancer feel divided on the issue of porn, and some will find it confronting, offensive or upsetting. When someone's got cancer, it's not a good time to have an argument about false consciousness and sexual repression with them.

Steve seems unperturbed by the rejection, though - he says he's going to donate to a UN organisation for halting genital mutilation instead. The horrific exploitation of female children will now buy Steve the street cred he feels he needs.


A Nonny Moose said...

As I said in my comment in the thread (I can't let red-neckedness stand in this country) - I wonder how comfortable they'd all be with a "Dicks on Parade" drive for prostate cancer. Whip it out to protect your wang, boys!

No? Didn't think so.

Anna said...

Good on ya, Moose! I pledge to donate $5,000 to the Breast Cancer Foundation for every 100 rednecks who agree to shut the hell up.

Anonymous said...

I believe that someone who genuinely wants to donate to a charity does so without seeking publicity for themselves. It's about supporting the charity, not furthering your own interests. Steve Crow's motives seem obvious to me, and I'm sure to many other people.

ms poinsettia said...

And the irony of giving money to help the victims of genital mutilation, when the depiction of women in his industry has fostered the rise of self-inflicted genital mutilation amongst Western women.

A Nonny Moose said...

Poinsettia - that's something that needs to be pointed out to people in the comments supporting "consenting adults watching a DVD in the privacy of their own home". So many people are completely oblivious to the effect, and spectrum, of porn.

I think my original comment didn't make it up because I said "dick" and "wang" in it. Oh the irony, considering titties, boobs etc are accepted vernacular. (I even saw "bittie" make it up in a comment on the breast feeding article earlier this week!)

Every dick is sacred.

spikybombshell said...

This parade encourages violence against women and makes a comment that women are little more than their bodies.

My mother had breast cancer and her treatment cost our family over 50,000. A measley 7500 is nothing more than a token donation to try and make Mr Crow feel better about objectifying women.

Anna said...

Another horrible irony about Crow's wanting to donate towards stopping genital mutilation is that many of the girls and women who may benefit are Muslim. The idea of channeling porn profits in their direction seems incredibly insensitive.

Brett Dale said...

The left uses the word redneck like the right uses the word liberal.

Tidge said...

I guess that really depends on which definition of 'liberal' you subscribe to, Brett.

And if lambasting a charity which helps women who have to undergo necessary surgical mutilations of their breasts for refusing a 'conditional donation' from someone who participates in an industry which undermines many women's confidence in their bodies and quite likely contributes to making women who have had to have mastectomies feel even crappier about their breastlessness/scars isn't redneck, then I don't know what is.

Anonymous said...

SO when a publications readers leave feedback that you disagree with, it's redneck. So Stuff is redneck, like talkback radio, Kiwiblog, Whale Oil,, Trade Me...

Yeah right!

I support Steve Crows donation as would any family who has experienced the tragedy of cancer. My mother died this year of it and the Breast Cancer Foundation were always asking for more money in donations. Every cent matters if we are to fight this terrible disease.

Men and Women don't like the look of penises - so a parade on them wouldn't make any difference. But a few thousand bucks for the cause makes a world of difference.

Remember, Steve has given BCNZ use of a stand to promote themselves at the Sexpo - where CONSENTING adults go and explore their sexuality (and fetishes) in a safe environment. I say yes you may disagree with him but when BCNZ accept money from groups promoting excessive alcohol consumption then it is a bit hypocritical.

A Nonny Moose said...

Anyone thinking Steve found us?

"Men and Women don't like the look of penises." Really? Have you asked everyone in existence? You're still reinforcing that "womens sexuality looks good, so sell it. Men's sexuality is private" with that sort of comment.

A parade of penises would make all the difference - men's outrage against it (and ensuing ban) would totally highlight the hypocrisy that women's body parts are up for sale, while men's parts are out of bounds.

Ahh yes, "consenting adults". Porn 101 for legitimizing some of the fcuked up stuff out there. "Consenting adults" watch kiddy porn? "Consenting adults" watch rape porn?

libertyscott said...

"crowding a public place with topless women means that those women who don't like it can't escape"

Crowding any public place with people whose appearance that some people don't like (students, unionists, sports fans, musicians, burkha wearing women, christians, neo-Nazis) raises the same issue. Tragedy of the commons means people either put up with the diversity of humanity, or move on. I don't like people who have appalling body odour.

Notwithstanding that I find Steve Crow rather tasteless and odious, if he isn't initiating force against anyone, then he has every right to do it. Just as those who oppose him have every right to protest against as long as neither obstructs or does violence against the other.

Anna said...

That shows the superficiality of blunt rights-based thinking, Liberty. A crowd of sports fans doesn't in an of itself harm anyone (unless the sports fans are misbehaving). A crowd of neo-nazis sends a clear message of threat to Jews, people of colour, gays and disabled people that they are unwelcome in society, and may be targets of violence. There's a big difference in how these two phenomena affect the quality of life of other people - lumping musicians and racists together under the heading 'personal preference' is a bit glib. A blunt rights-based analysis can't cope with ethical complexity, so pretends it's not happening.

The better question to ask from a rights-based perspective is surely whether the right of Steve Crow to express himself (ie promote his business) is worth the harm it does to the women who are made to feel stink about themselves, their sexuality and their bodies by public endorsement of porn - and the example of women who've had masectomies is a very good one here.

Hugh said...

Anna, you appear to be arguing that neo-nazis shouldn't be allowed to hold rallies in public. Is this your position? Or are you simply rejecting the equivalence that Scott is trying to draw?

I wouldn't really be so eager to pour cold water on 'rights-based' theories - your theory seems to rely on the concept of rights just as much as Scott's does, it's just that yours gives higher priority to the rights of a different group of people.

Anna said...

No, I don't have a problem with rights-based theories - I just think there are blunt ones and more nuanced ones. The ones that take private property and derived rights as the be-all-and-end-all tend to be at the blunt end of the spectrum - they have trouble coming to terms with less tangible aspects of human dignity, like the right not to be made to feel inferior because of homophobia. I don't think rights need necessarily be limited to individuals, either.