Georgina Guedes

JugCam changes the way we view the snappers

2012-01-06 08:47

The magnifying glass of life hovers over all of us; its proximity sometimes bringing into harsh focus things that change ever so slightly how we see our loved ones.

If we’re lucky, this will never be more than a subtle shift – catching your partner out in a white lie or seeing your best friend agreeing with someone’s distasteful opinions when you know (or think you know) that she feels differently. But sometimes, the new knowledge can be a game-changer. It can erode the fundamental building blocks of how you perceive the other person.

Perception is a two-way channel – it’s transmitted and received with a combination of real and imagined characteristics and actions. So, in the case of the boyfriend telling a white lie – which may not be a big deal in itself – if the girlfriend has had a previous relationship in which she was cheated on, she might find that even that small dishonesty is enough to change the faith she has in the new man in her life.

Enough amateur philosophising. The point I’m making in a roundabout fashion is that there are things that people do that have the potential to irretrievably change how others view them. One such thing, for me, would be the participation in JugCam by any male that I cared about who was over the age of 14.

JugCam is the new controversy that has blown up around the girls at the cricket. You know the ones – they’re young and gorgeous and they go to the events in their bikinis, ostensibly to soak up a bit of summer sun while checking out the action, and occasionally to grab their ten seconds of glory as their radiant good looks are broadcast to the rest of the cricketing audience.

What’s been happening is that the amateur broadcasters of the Twittersphere have been taking phone snapshots of these girls and posting them to Twitter under the hashtag #JugCam. For the complete Twitter luddites, this means that anyone can search for #JugCam to view all the cricket babes that have been snapped. As the name implies, the focus is predominantly on the chest area.

Now, while this may seem like it’s a small step beyond what those girls are actually there to do – show off their assets and wave enthusiastically if the cameramen happen to single them out – there’s a sneaky kind of invasiveness that makes JugCam into something distasteful in the extreme.

It’s the permanence of the frozen image – the fact that something transient is now frozen in a way that people can possess it. But most importantly, it’s taking an unspoken contract of intended use: “I’m going to enjoy myself and I might get on camera,” and turning it into an unpleasant game for nasty people to participate in.

Which is the point I’m coming to. I don’t equate JugCam with rape as some have, but I do feel that participation in the meme labels the players as immature and slightly perverted. If I were to find out that my life partner was taking part in either snapping or viewing the images, it would fundamentally shift how I feel about him, because one of the cornerstones of our relationship is the utmost respect with which my husband treats women.

This is not to say that he doesn’t look at or appreciate the “fairer sex”. We frequently have discussions about what makes other people beautiful or sexy, and these often turn to how a physical attribute can project something about the underlying personality, which then either enhances or diminishes the attractiveness of the person – but (and I’m fairly confident I’m not deluding myself here), he wouldn’t participate in JugCam because it’s simply beneath him.

That’s what it boils down to for me. JugCam is silly, it’s distasteful and it’s invasive. Someone at home with a recording device freeze-framing the girls on the television and then distributing them on the internet would be creepy. The ease of the process on smart phones and Twitter doesn’t make it any less disturbing.

It’s the kind of behaviour I’d expect from teenage guys who sleep with girls just to brag about it to their friends or who have more than a passing interest in pornography or who get girls to climb a ladder so that they can look up their skirts. Perhaps not outright abuse, not rape for sure, but still insidiously creepy sexual behaviour that would make me give the perpetrator a wide berth should it be revealed.

- Georgina Guedes is a freelance writer and corporate communicator. You can follow @georginaguedes on Twitter.

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