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The Boston T Has a Perv

August 3, 2010

I’ve written before about taking picture of people on the subway and legal rights to photograph. This is new, and awful.

This disgusting fat fucking piece of shit took a picture of a woman’s cleavage as she leaned over to pick up her things before alighting the Green Line Trolley.

When she spied the man who had apparently photographed her bustline admiring his photo, she took out her own camera and took his picture, which she later provided police along with the tip that she had seen him taking photos up the skirt of another woman
The so-called “upskirt” photos of the other woman, who never came forward, are a legal no-brainer. Most law experts agree they are an outright invasion of a woman’s privacy. But photographing the other woman’s “open cleavage,” as police characterized it, was more murky.
“This is such a gray area,” said Peter Elikann, a criminal defense attorney and board member of the Massachusetts Bar Association.
But not for the Suffolk District Attorney’s Office, whose prosecutors Transit Police consulted before putting out the wanted poster for the guy.

Consider this another form of wanted poster. The Boston Herald article continues:

“The bottom line is that taking a picture of a person on the MBTA without their consent may be rude, but it’s not a crime,” said DA spokesman Jake Wark. “But taking a picture of a woman who leans over and inadvertently exposes part of her chest is in our mind a crime. Under Massachusetts law, this is black and white.”
That 2009 law makes it illegal to secretly take pictures of body parts commonly thought as private and covered by clothing. “A person has a reasonable expectation of privacy beneath his or her own clothing,” Wark said.

There are naysayers who disagree with this limit of a reasonable expectation of privacy on public transportation, but they’re men. They’re much less likely to be able to relate to the sense of violation, because this violation is incredibly unlikely to happen to them in the first place. They don’t have what are thought of as sexual organs up top; ballsacks are not universally attractive and usually covered by pants. And women don’t do shit like this, not even this ugly fat fucking piece of shit’s female equivalent would have some sort of gall that it requires.

But Wendy Murphy, an ex-prosecutor and New England Law/Boston professor, argues that women need to be protected from such exploitation.
“It’s about individual freedom and ownership,” she said. “Just because you have the ability of looking at my breasts, doesn’t mean they are yours to photograph, distribute, sell or exploit. There’s a line.”

Way I see it, the line leads straight from my foot in some dudes junk. You’re already hurrying to get your things and get off the train. What’s he going to do? File charges against you? Yeah. “See, officers, this woman kicked me in the nuts after I took a picture of her tits. I don’t have one of her face, no, but check this one out!”
That’ll win.
And please, if you see behavior like this, like this woman already had before the dude took her picture, do something, say something, cause a scene. It only takes one person, and it’s the right fucking thing to do. Only you can prevent forest fires.

16 Comments leave one →
  1. voce ragionevole permalink
    August 4, 2010 11:39 am

    You know what would “protect” a woman from this kind of “exploitation”?

    A t-shirt. Or a buttoned-up blouse.

    • CCTgirl permalink*
      August 5, 2010 12:35 am

      Us women have the right to wear whatever we want, just like men do. It’s unfair to place blame on the victim because you have no idea what the circumstances are. And just because a woman may wear something with a lower cut because it makes her feel good about herself doesn’t mean that anyone has the right to photograph her so he can jerk off to it later.

      I hope they find the scum bag.

    • That's MARTA! permalink
      August 5, 2010 7:53 pm

      This is an argument that rape-apologists use. She was asking for it because she wasn’t wearing your dipshit-approved uniform?
      We don’t know what the woman was wearing. Besides, the clothing options you approve of don’t always offer ‘protection’ from pervs. There’s nothing we can do about that, aside from using excess fashion tape, but there are things men like this can do to NOT take pictures of strangers.

  2. voce ragionevole permalink
    August 5, 2010 10:04 am

    No blame was placed in the first comment… just a simple solution, which neither of you refuted. Does name calling (“scum bag,” “dipshit”) make you feel right? Or is it an admission that the logic here doesn’t stand?

    The article says “bustline” and “exposed part of her chest.” Those words don’t apply to a non-V t-shirt or a buttoned-up blouse. If a man wears short running shorts and his scrote hangs out, he doesn’t have the right to get mad if that attracts attention. Well, he can, but he’s a fool.

    Here’s a protip: I’ve heard that men don’t need to photographs things to jack off to them later.

    • CCTgirl permalink*
      August 5, 2010 12:02 pm

      I make no apologies for use of the term scumbag. In fact, let’s take a look at the definition, which is a term used to describe someone found offensive. So substitute offensive if you will, but if the shoe fits….
      As to your initial point, you do imply blame by commenting that this could have been avoided if the woman wore something more conservative. I happen to be a lady of a rather generous bust myself and there is little I can do to conceal that fact aside from baggy sweatshirts, which suck in August. Am I to assume, based on your statement, that they only way I can be treated with respect and dignity in public is to be miserable?

    • That's MARTA! permalink
      August 5, 2010 2:05 pm

      Actually, I did refute your clothing options when I said :

      “Besides, the clothing options you approve of don’t always offer ‘protection’ from pervs. There’s nothing we can do about that, aside from using excess fashion tape…”

      To which you said:

      “Those words don’t apply to a non-V t-shirt or a buttoned-up blouse.”

      Which is simply not true in most cases. Many women’s button shirts don’t button up to the neck like men’s, and the button plackets often gap, which is why I mentioned fashion tape. As for V and other necklines, the only surefire protection against boobage is a turtleneck. Even a crewneck shirt can show upper chest and, if leaning over, show cleavage.

      A dude who goes out with sack a-swingin’ may be a fool, but a woman who goes out in frumpy sweatshirts (as CCT Girl suggested) or more conservative, or too-large clothing is judged as slovenly, unkempt or unprofessional. We can’t win.

      And… And… Nor do women need to take pictures of things in order to jack off to them later! And teerust me, it happens with chicks. But, I don’t even need to do that, cuz I’ve got a husband at home to do that, and converse with too! Because he’s a human. This woman is a human, and no matter what she’s wearing, or what any of those women on the train were wearing, they don’t deserve to be treated that way.

      And the fact that this dude had taken pictures of multiple people is pretty much proof that it’s an issue of his, and not women’s dress code. So yeah, blame assigned.

  3. voce ragionevole permalink
    August 5, 2010 2:57 pm

    It is your win-loss mentality that makes it an assignment of blame. I offered a solution. You dislike that solution because you believe it is somehow oppressive to you. It sounds like, on the contrary, it is the fellows that cannot win with the likes of the two of you!

    A standard t-shirt, properly sized, can cover even the most ample bosom. Many a blouse is professional and also buttons enough to not show the breasts. Your sweatshirt and frumpiness arguments are moot. Once again, you just want it both ways.

    I’ve never commented about the act of taking pics. But a reasonable feminist argument would be that it is empowering to take control of the situation before there IS a situation, rather than to offer a blanket insistence that this situation is completely beyond a woman’s control. Of course, it’s not.

    • That's MARTA! permalink
      August 5, 2010 4:53 pm

      Dude, no matter what any woman wears, this guy loses, because he’s a loser.

      I don’t believe your solution is oppressive, it’s just unrealistic. Clothing mishaps happen in many a blouse, even the one’s you keep naming. It’s true, it happens. The sweatshirt and frumpiness arguments are not moot, they’re perfectly good realistic points based on experience.

      This is least of all about feminism. But you know, I can relate to this woman, because I am one. I know how it is to shop and dress and be judged as a woman. Bringing up differences in gender is bound to happen in a situation like this, and I could go on about “oh the patriarchy” or some bullshit, but that doesn’t apply, and I don’t really support that line of thought. For every douche who takes pictures of women’s junk on the train, there are tons of dudes who would just as well give the guy a beatdown.

      The situation is beyond someone’s control when they aren’t the one responsible for the negative action. So yes, it is beyond a woman’s control when someone takes pictures of her.
      It is fully within the man’s control to oh, I dunno, not take upskirt and tit pictures of a stranger. Like you said, they don’t need pictures anyway. And there are professionals who are down with that. This applies to both genders in theory, but not in this situation, because it’s a man who made the action.

      Really, the act of taking a picture of this nature is not even about the skin or the genitalia, it’s about the transgression. That’s a pretty bad thing to do to a stranger. I could go on about how there are safe, consensual ways to explore this type of transgression, but I’d rather link to Savage Love.

  4. voce ragionevole permalink
    August 5, 2010 5:35 pm

    Somehow men, and indeed many women, even large-chested ones, manage to wear clothing that doesn’t expose their chests or genitals every day. Your experience is just that: yours. I manage to wear t-shirts regularly without my tits being exposed in any way.

    Feel free to be obtuse and define “negative action” as you see fit. Again, I accused no one of negativity, nor did I promote anyone’s actions as positive. But insofar as negative actions are being defined, insisting on a double standard that you, in reality, are in total control of would certainly qualify. So I guess the woman in question, by your definition, would be engaging in a “negative action.” It’s very convenient to insist that the beginning of the time line is when this guy takes the pic. It appears from the story that stuff happened before that moment. Furthermore, the upskirt pic, at least from the above blog entry, is sheer hearsay, proffered by a woman who feels that she needs to exact vengeance against this guy for his perceived transgressions against her. No one else in the article asserts that this guy did that, nor is such a picture found to exist, so far anyways.

    I’ve had plenty of pics taken of me against my will. I am by no means asserting that that’s a great thing. Just trying to provide a voice of reason and again, to point out that there are indeed simple effective ways to prevent this type of event from happening under most reasonable circumstances.

    That way, guys can just imagine ladies naked while riding the subway…

    …but it sounds like you might endorse the thinkpol taking a guy back to Room 101 for thinking such thoughts. : )

    • That's MARTA! permalink
      August 5, 2010 7:46 pm

      No, you’re right, you didn’t define negative action, but I will: this guy made it. You can call that obtuse, however it’s pretty obtuse to act like what he did wasn’t negative, to act as though you don’t know what I’m talking about.

      The woman controls what she wears, yes. A man should also control how they react to what a woman wears. It’s not thought that’s a problem, it’s the action. No matter which way you slice it, it’s up to the dude to behave.

      And uh, it’s illegal to do what he did. At least where he did it.

      The upskirt pictures may be hearsay, I’ll give you that. However, the pictures don’t exist to public knowledge because they haven’t found the guy. (Not that I think they ever really will.)

      And while my experiences are “Just that: mine,” I can also apply that to you and your experience. At the same time, both are bullshit because more than one person can experience the same thing. So it’s not just my experience, nor just my perception. It happens both ways to many.

  5. That's MARTA! permalink
    August 5, 2010 6:44 pm

    UPDATE: Comment reply-chain edited for clarity. (But not for removals of Francis.)

  6. CCTgirl permalink*
    August 5, 2010 11:39 pm

    No, no man or anyone for that matter would “win” with me if they were to take unwarranted pictures of me. I feel that I am justified in having the expectation to go out in public decently clothed (mini skirts, platform heels, and teeny tiny shirts aside) and not be violated by a stranger taking pictures of me. And that’s what it is, a violation.

    It’s my body and I have the right to do with it what I will, but no one else does.

    When you suggest that the “solution” to a pervert is to change one’s own life and dress in defense of such action you’re also saying we shouldn’t let kids out of the house to protect them from molesters. It’s placing the blame on the victim.

    Why don’t we just get rid of cameras, camera phones, web cams, and the like.

  7. women = kids permalink
    August 6, 2010 10:33 am

    CCT Girl makes the point perfectly.

    Women are as defenseless as little children, both mentally and physically.

    • CCTgirl permalink*
      August 6, 2010 2:41 pm


      Let me clarify. It’s the same as never leaving your house to prevent yourself from being mugged, or assaulted by opinionated women?

      What satisfaction do you get from trolling? Does it bother you that intelligent women would stand up for our own rights? That we refuse to be the calm, quiet girls of the early 20th that don’t show our ankles? Or worse yet, that we refuse to darn burkas? Or that your comments are so idiotic you won’t even man up to put your real name or email address?

  8. women = kids permalink
    August 6, 2010 6:02 pm

    What are you getting so upset, emotional, and patently irrational about?

    I was AGREEING with you!

  9. Jack permalink
    June 6, 2011 7:17 pm

    This reminds me of the gang of creepy taking pictures of women and teenagers in Boston. There is a disgusting guy like this one hanging out at the end of Bromfield daily. He photographs females, aiming for the ones wearing revealing clothing especially. He fittingly leans on the garbage bin. These guys exploit females. Don’t defend them and fault the females.

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