The Kissing Sailor, or “The Selective Blindness of Rape Culture”
I enjoyed these articles.
Actually, no. Stop distorting a historic photo based on one blogger’s selective interpretation.
The fact is that the quotes taken from the woman in the photo were from an interview in 2005. Let’s run through some bullet points to lay this to rest, in case you don’t care to read the whole transcript:
- She and George were complete strangers and she did not want or expect the kiss, however she states that it “was just somebody celebrating. It wasn’t a romantic event. It was just an event of ‘thank god the war is over’”
- She states that he kissed her because she was dressed as a nurse, and George felt indebted to the nurses for their work during the war
- She met with George in 1980 for a reenactment
- She didn’t think about the kiss after it happened
- She is in occasional contact with him, exchanging Christmas cards
- She mentions nowhere that he was drunk
The point is that the culture and standards of the day were vastly different then. Today, anything that can be labeled as sexual IS duly labeled as such. That was not the case then, nor was his kiss interpreted as such. He kissed her in jubilation that he didn’t have to leave his home to go back to war. As Friedman herself says, sailors all over the plaza were celebrating and kissing everyone.
We’re talking about the end of the second World War. As devastating and heartbreaking as we view our current “War on Terror”, it’s impossible for our generation to imagine the relief of knowing a war 50 times as deadly (by approximate casualties) had ended.
Let iconic photos be.
Also, be wary of jumping on social justice bandwagons. It seems anything can be appropriated to serve a cause, any means adopted to justify righteous ends.
I’m all for the reduction of douchebaggery on the part of men everywhere, particularly when it comes to their (our) horrid tendency of overstepping physical boundaries. But let’s tackle the problem where it actually exists, instead of rewriting history to suit our arguments, shall we?