Kiss Cam–Encouraging a Culture of Sexual Assault?

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A couple months ago there was some controversy over the kiss cam, the popular down-time entertainment at many sporting events. An op-ed published last fall in the Syracuse Post Standard sparked debate on whether the kiss cam can actually encourage or even enforce public sexual assaults of unwilling women. Syracuse University has since stopped deploying the kiss cam.

This is an interesting debate in itself, when we think through it with ideas of gender, culture, and society that we have been reading about and discussing this week. But, as Wheaton student Neil Henry, who emailed the above links to me, points out, it echoes parts of Dude, You’re a Fag where Pascoe discusses “how men enforce their masculinity on women by touching and kissing without their consent.”

Neil continues, “Pretty much what this article talks about is how the “kiss cam” at sporting events instills almost a rape culture in our society. The thing I found most interesting is when this was posted on Facebook, a majority of the people who commented were men and they were all saying it was stupid to stop the kiss cam. There is also a poll on the website that takes people’s opinion on the article and as of right now, most people find the kiss cam to be innocent.”

So, what do you think? Is the kiss cam innocent? Or might it be an example of how a certain version of masculinity is socially reproduced and imposed, sometimes with the willing consent of partners but sometimes at the expense and forced submission of women?

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