Sunday, December 20, 2009

HNT Boycott

This has been stewing for a little while, finally I just had to say something.

When I first started this blog I spent some time searching out others with similar interests. I noticed this thing called "HNT" and the photos that it inspired. The first few sites intrigued me, they way they were done they assumed that the reader understood what "HNT" was but I didn't have a clue. It looked like fun, I thought I might give it a try. So I poured through some sites, each linked to another that linked to another until I found the originator of this interesting phenomenon. What I found surprised me:

"It was suggested that I include the inspiration for "Half-Nekkid Thursday". I would agree. Originally, I credited Cathy with posting pictures for Half Naked Thursdays. I wandered through her blog, and found numerous shots of kid's tushes, bare shoulders, hubby's tummy, etc. It didn't appear to be an organized thing, but a cool idea. So I ran with it. After publicly thanking her for the idea, both she and her husband Doug informed me that the true originator of the concept was The Blue Sloth. He has a HUGE amount of pics on his site--a majority of them of his kids & family. He used to take the kids to the beach and take half naked pics of them. Voila! An idea was born! Many thanks to this unknown genius! I know that he's been made aware of the phenomenon as it now exists. I hope he takes a little pride in its conception!" HNT Guidelines

Seriously? What the fuck? The post continues on and talks about celebrating exposure, not necessarily in an erotic way, but I was still thrown for a loop. This whole thing started with half naked pictures of family members? Including children? This person, 'The Blue Sloth', took his kids to the beach to take half naked pictures of them? And this inspired others to repeat it? I don't even post pictures of my daughter on any site that is open to the public, let alone revealing photos in the same loop with adult erotica. In fact, I'm pretty sure that's a hairs-breadth away from being a felony in most countries.

A while ago, on another website, I put up some mostly-naked photos. I got some compliments and a couple pick-up lines from some gay guys, it was a neat little ego boost. Posting revealing photos of yourself can be fun, a rush all it's own, so something like "Half-Nekkid Thursday" sounds like a funky fun excuse to post some new pics, but do people actually READ about this HNT that they are promoting?

I peruse blogs every once and while, whenever I stumble upon someone's HNT post I wonder if they know what 'inspired' the movement or if they just picked it up as something fun to do. You want to post a half naked picture of yourself? That's great (especially if you're an attractive female). Hell, we could do a FNW (Frontal Nudity Wednesday), I'd be good with that. I have absolutely no issue with consenting adults putting up revealing photos, in fact I would encourage more attractive people to give it a try. Just don't put "HNT" in your post, delete the links to the HNT website. Anything that remotely rings of child nudity should not be encouraged.

If you think I'm overreacting or misrepresenting the facts just check out the site yourself, I put the link by the first quote, but it looks pretty black and white to me: "He used to take the kids to the beach and take half naked pics of them. Voila! An idea was born! Many thanks to this unknown genius!" Sounds pretty fucking wrong.

9 comments:

  1. It DOES sound wrong. I completely agree. However, I honestly hope that it wasn't at ALL meant in the way you are taking it. I hope that it is a poorly written explanation and even if that's how it started (hopefully entirely innocent) that what it has become relates in name only. I completely see why you are choosing to boycott, but I am trying to have a little more faith that it's not quite so mixed up.

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  2. If you only read the follow up 'rules' for HNT than it seems fairly innocent, but I can't get past that description of it's inspiration. I honestly don't see how someone taking revealing pictures of their kids to post on the internet can be innocent.

    If they had said "That is what started it, this is what we're doing now..." that would be one thing, but they aren't, they call the guy a genius. Maybe he's an amazing photographer and his pictures were high art and entirely innocent... but that is NOT how it reads. They could have just said "Everybody post half naked pictures on Thursday! Whoohoo!", instead they went out of their way to describe taking pictures of kids.

    Either a clarification needs to be made, the description changed, some lines drawn, or EVERYONE should boycott.

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  3. Johnny -

    I think it's fairly uncharitable of you to, essentially, call someone you don't know out for being a pedophile. I don't know the Blue Sloth, and can't vouch for him in the least, but I did at least track down his blog (bluesloth.net), and it seems to be pretty benign writings about travel, movies, and yes, his kids. And in googling him, what I see over and over again is "check out this really great piece written by the Blue Sloth", and "Blue Sloth, great 'dad blog'", etc. etc., and not a mention anywhere of "oooh, Blue Sloth has naughty pictures of kids."

    In fact, all three of the individuals mentioned / linked to in the paragraph you quoted are about the same, pretty mundane family oriented affairs, with nothing overtly sexual to see. They're not blogs like yours, or ours, or like most people's who I would associate with the current HNT 'scene'.

    The way I read it, it started as an innocent thing, and over time has shifted to the (mostly) more sexualized thing that people (myself included) have made it today. I can see how the current climate might make you read that paragraph and go 'ewww, he did this with his KIDS?' But if you have an objection with the way that's written, I'd suggest you take it to Os, rather than put out a call for people to boycott an activity they find entertaining because you can find an offensive way to construe its origins. Shrug.

    Take care...

    -d.

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  4. Ok. My point is less about the photos that started it and more about the people who are doing it. Did anyone actually read the 'guidelines' to the activity they were participating in? Maybe it is perfectly innocent but it certainly doesn't sound that way.

    Daniel- I didn't call anyone a pedophile, in fact most of the words I used to describe them were quotations from their own post. This is about what they said about themselves and the reaction the evokes in me. I didn't take anything out of context, I quoted the entire passage and not just the parts that bothered me. I even mentioned that it celebrates "exposure, not necessarily in an erotic way". It's their own words that SOUND bad, whether they are meant that way or not doesn't really matter to the point I'm trying to make.

    To ME any time someone uses the words "half-naked" and "kids" in the same sentence there's issues. I read that and seriously my skin started to crawl. Did no one else react that way? Did no one else read it? Or do they just not care? THAT was the point of the post.

    I'm very curious as to whether or not you read that before you started and what your opinion of it might have been.

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  5. i read it, but not until after daniel and i started doing it. (daniel was the one that told me about it initially and i just never got around to checking the site until months later.) i thought the same thing you did, kids/naked = no good. however, from the tone and reading more of os's blog and briefly looking at sloth's stuff, i totally felt that it was just poorly described and harmless. i agree the description isn't great, but semantics are not keeping me from participating.

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  6. Frances - I still feel like I'm not getting my point across. I'm not saying this is an evil phenomenon, I'm not saying this is a feeding ground for pedophiles, I'm not saying there's anything wrong with posting pictures of yourself.

    1. I thought HNT sounded like fun
    2. I researched HNT
    3. I read that description and wanted to puke

    Maybe every single person, out of the hundreds (or more) that participate in HNT, read the description, did the follow-up research, and decided that it was harmless, that it was just poorly described. If it IS just poorly described, why didn't someone out of those hundreds of people point that out? And why would you participate, and advertise, for something that can so easily be "misinterpreted" as promoting skin pics of children.

    Look at it this way, someone new to your site looks at your HNT (like I did, once upon a time) and then clicks the link to go to that page. Then reads that description. What conclusions are they supposed to draw?

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  7. I think it is always best to be careful even if things are posted for an entirely innocent reason you can't control who else is veiwing.

    I do wonder if perhaps guidelines need a little clarification... difficult issue

    Kate x

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  8. Johnny, I'm with you on this one. Whether innocently intended or not, posting half naked photos of kids on line is WRONG. Sadly.
    I wish it wasn't, but there are enough people out there who are capable of such sick shit, that it's not worth the risk that guy is putting his kids up against.
    Maybe I'm overreacting, but my husband works with some of those sick fucks as his job.
    Why risk your own kids, even if innocently. The dude must know what the site has become, even if it DID start innocently enough.

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  9. I think everyone pretty much agrees that the description is at the very least poorly worded, at worst... well, it's already been said.

    As a brother and a father, that description leaves such a bad taste in my mouth that I can't see myself ever participating or why anyone else would want to either.

    I feel very strongly about it, but it is just an opinion. I would encourage everybody to boycott until the description is changed, but I'm not going to blame anyone for having a different viewpoint or opinion than my own.

    I wrote up how I feel, it's not going to change, take it or leave it. Or just ignore it and keep on doing what your doing.

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