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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Summertime, and the Living’s Skeezy

posted by on July 10 at 13:40 PM

Remember yesterday? The day that offered but a taste of the heat that’s steaming up today? Well, yesterday after work, I stopped by the Safeway at 23rd and Madison and saw a twenty-something woman doing her grocery shopping in a bikini.

It was truly a sight, even to homosexual me, and I really really really wanted to get a photo of her with my phone, but I didn’t want to be the creepy guy surreptitiously photographing the lady shopping in a bikini, so I gave up.

As if to confirm the rightness of my decision, this morning brought this Hot Tip to my inbox:

I was at the QFC on the north side of Broadway yesterday around 7 pm doing some shopping with my girlfriend, when I noticed this voyeur-asshole (about 6ft, African-American, w/ 3-4-inch mini-dreads) awkwardly position himself behind my gal, holding what appeared to be an I-Phone down near his waist pointed at her ass. My intuition told me exactly what he was doing (i.e. snapping a surreptitious pic of her ass in tight summer pants), but it wasn’t until I noticed him walk over to the very next aisle and repeat the same act on another unsuspecting, attractive female with a nice behind, that I deliberated what next to do. After a few minutes I explained the situation to my lady, and told her to wait a few minutes for me while I investigated. Sure enough creep-dude was now at the check-out stand behind another hottie in tight pants. I promptly informed the nearest manager and clandestinely pointed out the pervert to him-then walked out, creeped out for the summer. Side note: I understand that this isn’t an illegal thing to do in WA. In your opinion, should I have done anything else—or confronted the asshole? I really feel irresolute about the whole thing.

What think ye, Slog readers?

RSS icon Comments


She's a racist!!1!one

Posted by Mr. Poe | July 10, 2007 1:38 PM

There is much too much wrong with that letter for me to comment, but as for the gal in the bikini, maybe she just came from the beach or something and maybe I just can't picture that many hotties roaming around in a Seattle grocery store. Oh and yes, she's a racist.

Posted by hunh? | July 10, 2007 1:42 PM

Is it the surreptitiousness that's creeping everyone out? Would it be less creepy (although probably graduating from creepy to outright weird and a bit pervy) to do it blatantly?

Posted by Gloria | July 10, 2007 1:52 PM

Hmmm...I'm of the opinion that looking is fine, taking pictures is not. On the other hand, when I was driving on 45th during the last heat wave, there were some FINE ass frat boys on a balcony with no shirts on, and I snapped a pic with my phone. So, maybe just frat boys should be photographed.

Posted by Gitai | July 10, 2007 1:54 PM

And, what, they expect privacy in a grocery store?

If a girl (or a guy for that matter), is wearing a bikini or thong or some such in the privacy of their own back yard, then no, you should not photograph them. If they are parading around public sidewalks and in grocery stores wearing next to nothing, then I can't get too offended if someone photographs them. Nobody is forcing them to wear a bikini; presumably they chose to wear a bikini of their own free will. Of course you do have to risk the wrath of pissed of significant others...

Oh, and for sure a deck full of shirtless frat boys is definitely fair game.

Posted by SDA in SEA | July 10, 2007 2:03 PM

I always figure if someone is displaying something, s/he wants people to look at it. If you don't want people looking at your ass, don't go out in public wearing ass-enhancing attire like "tight summer pants." (And no, that's not "visual rape" or blaming the victim. It's looking - not approaching, confronting, harrassing, or touching - there is no victim.)

So why is photographing something publicly visible skeezier than looking? What if camera-guy had taken a wide shot that could later be cropped down to feature only the parts he wanted to see? Would that be as skeezy?

Posted by pox | July 10, 2007 2:03 PM

It's like this..... MOST of us have this 'little thing' inside us that stops us from doing fucked up or obnoxious things such as; blowing snot out of your nose on to streets crowded pedestrians, farting loudly in business meetings, telling your best friends boyfriend you think he is an asshole, taking pervy pictures of women who are dressed skimpy when it's 90 degree outside, etc.

Some people seem to be missing this 'little thing'- just because you can do it does not mean that you should. I'd say your restraint shows that you have IT (that 'little thing") and I'd say that's good! Nice job.

Posted by Restraint button | July 10, 2007 2:03 PM

Maybe taken a picture of his ass?

Posted by Eric Arrrr | July 10, 2007 2:04 PM

Would it be permissible for Mr. Perv to stick his face right up to a stranger's ass? Effectively, that's what he's doing with the phone. Getting a perspective that he can't get any other way -- without the consent or knowledge of any of those women.

Posted by keshmeshi | July 10, 2007 2:04 PM

As soon as I noticed dude trying to take pictures of my woman I would have turned and looked the guy in the eye and said, "HEY BUDDY, NOT COOL. NOT COOL."

Posted by monkey | July 10, 2007 2:10 PM

I would be afraid that he'd steal my soul, which I keep in my ass, with his magic picture box.

Posted by mason | July 10, 2007 2:12 PM

Monkey, that's not the way we do things in Seattle. We think about it for a day or two and then write about it. At most, we go tell the nearest authority this case, a QFC employee.

Posted by pablocjr | July 10, 2007 2:14 PM

I would gotten out my own phone and started snapping his pic

Posted by z girl | July 10, 2007 2:26 PM

I know it goes against every Seattleite bone in your body, but please - confront, folks. Confront. Say "What the fuck. Did you just take a picture of my girlfriend's ass?" What are you afraid of? The kind of guy who surreptitiously takes pictures of ladies' asses in QFC is not someone to fear confrontation with.

@6 - There is a difference, in that wearing revealing clothing does not necessarily indicate a desire to have this particular image of you shared and ogled by people all over the world for all eternity. I believe it is technically legal (it didn't sound like he was taking pictures up a skirt), but it's certainly morally questionable.

Posted by tsm | July 10, 2007 2:28 PM

I think I saw this guy too, he rode into town on a horse and asked, "Where are all the white women at?" I pointed to QFC.

Posted by Travis | July 10, 2007 2:29 PM

#14: I'm with you on both of your points.

This guy should have assertively confronted this person, who probably would have run away.

Posted by hey | July 10, 2007 2:38 PM

The whole thing is kind of creepy and would have made me a little uncomfortable, whether it was my companion's butt, or, I suppose, my own.

This is a tricky issue, though. Is there a whole lot of difference between a camera and a really good memory? (Okay, maybe so, because it's a lot harder to share an image stored in your brain than one stored digitally.) But what about one camera vs. 100 pairs of eyes? What about all the security cameras that were also photographing this young woman's posterior?

The angle thing is a reasonable argument. It would not be cool for the guy to have stuck his face down where he put the phone. However, compare that to 1. him bending down to tie his shoelaces from several feet away and taking a nice long look that stuck in his memory from the same butt-level, or 2. hime using the same camera from the same angle, but at a distance and with a zoom lens.

It's reasonable to expect that when you're out in public, there is not someone looking through a hole in the floor up your skirt. It's not reasonable to expect that when you're out in public, someone will not observe, admire, and remember your shapely and prominently-displayed ass.

Posted by Phil M | July 10, 2007 2:39 PM

I'll never understand the need to go take pictures of women all creepy-like. Especially when there is such an abundance of internet.

Posted by Jordyn | July 10, 2007 2:41 PM

I don't expect privacy in the grocery store, but I do expect a person to have the manners to ask my permission to take a photograph.

Posted by yo | July 10, 2007 2:41 PM

That said, to the degree that I am able to resist, I don't stare, because it's not nice.

But I don't confront people who do stare, and I really can't complain about people taking pictures in public. I'm pretty sure that if everyone else can see it, it's fair game. If you don't want thousands of people looking at your summer-bum, cover it up when you go out.

Posted by Phil M | July 10, 2007 2:45 PM

Let's see... over the last few weeks, SLOG has had pictures of the naked backs of (male) Red Sox fans, a naked back of a (male) firefighter (and most likely a few others skin photos that escape me) all taken on the sly downlow, not because of "news" value, but just because the subjects were "Hot and Sexy". And specifically for the SLOG, a public "no membership" needed website, where folks will comment on the photos. Yet the Slog asked no questions.

Were TAKING those pictures were ok, much less posting them on a newspaper's blog?

Yet, somehow, because it was a woman's backside, the question needs to be asked?

A double standard, ok if it is gay, questionable if not gay?
My ass (am I a chick or a dude, you ask, as if it should matter) has been photographed with camera phones by strangers (not The Stranger) and I don't like it. They should have asked first, maybe I would have said yes, if asked nicely. It annoys the fuck out of me, I should be able to control my image just like a movie star controls their's, but that's neither here nor there.

What can I do, call 911 and report a photo being taken in a public place? Its also not like my ass is trademarked or anything either. There's not a damn thing that can be done, other than bitch about it to other folks.

Posted by Phenics | July 10, 2007 2:49 PM

On the other hand, which female butt lover wouldn't check out that guy's gallery if it were linked to here? I know I would!

Posted by meks | July 10, 2007 2:49 PM

Movie stars can't control their images when they go out in public.

Posted by pox | July 10, 2007 2:53 PM

you shoulda punched him and taken his phone.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | July 10, 2007 2:54 PM

Is it okay if you look at it for less approximately two seconds to fix the image in your brain and jerk off to it later?

Posted by Smade | July 10, 2007 3:00 PM

Being an ass man myself, with a healthy respect for camera phones, I have no problem with this. It seems like a pretty healthy expression of pretty standard sexuality. So what if someone looks at your ass? You think it makes you special? People look at asses all the time. Asses are interesting. Round asses in tight shorts are particularly interesting to some of us. If you were a dog you'd be smelling them.

By the way, this blog itself represents the typical Seattleite response to negative stimuli. Don't like something? Whine about it anonymously to strangers!

Posted by Gurldoggie | July 10, 2007 3:00 PM

I had a QFC incident with the Ex a year ago or so, where upon entering the store and passing this "man", his head swiveled and he was lecherously looking her right in the ass (something I knew she would not be cool with). I looked him in the face and said "what the fuck are you looking at?"

We later exited the store and the dude was there, and was like "sorry man, I didn't know she was with you." To which she fumed (correctly), "why the fuck is it that he apologized to you? Am I some piece of property? Apologize to ME MOFO!".

the bottom line is, as the #14 says, CONFRONT. That's the social mentality that much of Seattle needs to adopt for this shit. Either that, or put up with creeps. A public place with people around is a reasonable situation to say "I don't like this and stop it now".

Posted by Messer M | July 10, 2007 3:00 PM

If one is going to wear revealing or suggestive clothing out in public, one mustn't be too surprised if people gawk - or if some asshole shoots a pic. It'll happen.

There seems to be a wave of exhibitionism going on these days - primarily with young women (have you noticed how young women's clothing is getting skimpier and skimpier while young men's clothing is getting looser and baggier?). I was at the DMV not too long ago and there was a young girl (early 20s maybe) who looked like she'd been in an accident. She had scabbed wounds on her back and midriff looking as though the wounds might have run down her entire left flank. She was on crutches. But she was wearing flimsy pink jersey pants that rode on her pubic bone and a very narrow matching tube top sort of thing. I'm sorry for her accident, but the sight of those scabs were pretty disgusting.

I just wondered why it was more important for her to get those tits and that coin slot out there than it was for her to spare everyone the site of those wounds by covering up a little. Wouldn't something loose and flowing be more comfortable? I'm sure most everyone (except for the jerk with camera) would have been most appreciative.

Posted by Bauhaus | July 10, 2007 3:01 PM

And if someone is taking a picture of your ass, you turn around and say, "Please stop or I'll report you to the manager." But don't take it any farther than that. Some people think they have a right. And they might get vengeful. Also, pick up a magazine and hold it over your ass until the cretin disappears.

Posted by Bauhaus | July 10, 2007 3:07 PM

@21 - touche. I'll still say that anyone who is having their ass photographed and doesn't like it ought to directly confront the picture-taker.

Posted by tsm | July 10, 2007 3:10 PM

Summertime is nutty in Seattle, you have to admit. Skimpiness can only occur for so long, and people here seem to go into a frenzy. Which is great. Lots of people seem more than ready to dust off their stuff.
In observing this phenomenon, one must practice tact and impeccably unobserved good manners. Skeezing it is only gonna lead to trouble.

Posted by Lloyd Clydesdale | July 10, 2007 3:24 PM

OK, only because after 30 comments with nary a mention: Break his arm or fingers after he exits the store.

He knew what he was doing was wrong and a cast is a great reminder of that day you learned a lesson.

Posted by first | July 10, 2007 3:34 PM

The photographer in question is not getting off on the asses, he's getting off on the transgression of blatantly photographing them in an unsexualized zone.

And people wearing skimpy clothing are not inviting sexual assault. I say confront. It's not OK.

Posted by Fnarf | July 10, 2007 3:39 PM

If anyone sees this asshole again, they should grab his iPhone and smash it. The loss of $600 will teach him a lesson he can't forget.

Posted by keshmeshi | July 10, 2007 3:47 PM

Fnarf wrote:

And people wearing skimpy clothing are not inviting sexual assault.

Absolutely, positively, 100% correct. I'm rather impressed that no one has yet suggested otherwise in this thread, as it's a common, disgusting, and sociopathic, attitude.

That said, photography of someone in public, though arguably rude or inappropriate, is not sexual assault.

Posted by Phil M | July 10, 2007 4:17 PM

Fnarf, does the act become a sexual assault only if the photographer is getting off on it? Is an assault still and assault if the victim is never aware of it? Do you consider the shirtless male Slog photos mentioned above a form of sexual assault?

Posted by pox | July 10, 2007 4:18 PM

Agreed that the camera's the big transgression, along with the deceptive intent. Bad, bad, bad.

Fnarf @ 33: what determines an "unsexualized zone"? I mean, I've known a couple of friends who were ardently sexualizable in every zone they travelled through.

Posted by Lloyd Clydesdale | July 10, 2007 4:19 PM

Oh, and pinging off of Phenics' good gender double-standard comment at 21, the two ready-to-be-sexualized people I knew were both women.

Posted by Lloyd Clydesdale | July 10, 2007 4:28 PM

I'm from the MN. There, women with shapely butts cover them with long jackets or, in summer, garments tied around their waists. Better? Worse? Mini-burkas? Not sure. But I like summer in Seattle...

Posted by Big Sven | July 10, 2007 4:30 PM

Careful, Fnarf! Your moral compass is showing!

Posted by Bettina | July 10, 2007 4:36 PM

@40: But dominant culture tells me that men have no moral compass! It shrivels up and falls off a few days after birth! Or am I thinking of umbilical tissue?

Posted by Meg | July 10, 2007 4:43 PM

Remember, if they wear a bikini and a wrap skirt, up-skirt photos are illegal in WA and especially in Seattle.


Ian takes pics all the time with his iPod ... what privacy?

Posted by Will in Seattle | July 10, 2007 4:49 PM

No, the shirtless dude pix are not offensive. It's not about the pictures at all. It doesn't matter if there ARE any pictures, if the camera's even functioning. If the photographer of the shirtless men was getting up close and pointing the lens directly at their asses, that would be an offense.

Again: it's the transgressiveness, the crossing of boundaries, that the creep is getting off on, not the pictures. I doubt he even looks at the pictures afterwards.

It's the same as if he was walking around the store making grabbing motions at women's asses, coming close but not touching.

My moral compass DID shrivel up and fall off, but I still have it in a jar.

Posted by Fnarf | July 10, 2007 5:19 PM

Offensive, okay, but you also mentioned sexual assault.

Posted by pox | July 10, 2007 5:50 PM

What if the ass is in gortex pants? What if the ass is a face instead, is it then wrong?

I’m not thinking as far as sexual assault/harassment. I am thinking more of a commodity, something that belongs to me, which, if I were a movie star, would be worth something. Legally, well, I’m no movie star lawyer, but a good PR person could put on the hurt. Or at least, get the photographer to slip a twenty-spot their way. A movie star’s ass comes with some inherent hurt when messed with, is that true? The best mere mortals can hope for is to cause a scene, or put on the hurt some other way.

That photo, most likely, will end up on the “Pervert /ass/feet/back/face Web Site of the Week” page. Or on YouTube…Or a blog.. . whatever. Anonymous picture of ass. Think that’s a searchable term?

OH. But then Schmader was talking about a woman in the bikini thing. While shopping. What was she holding in her hands? Sounds like some sort of ART to me. Most likely a wide shot for context… yeah, but would she be pissed if she saw the photo being taken? Ask, some people will be flattered or kick your ass, but yeah, that’s “free-lance photo journalism” for ya.

Play it straight, otherwise, you will get a scene. Or, if its your photo being taken, whip out your cell and take their photo. Posting a “prevert in QFC” photo on light poles is legal.

Posted by Phenics | July 10, 2007 6:40 PM

It's completely legal, but like others have already commented, it's rude. If I had known someone was taking pictures of my ass, I would say something along the lines of, 'Fuck off or I'll break your phone!' Had it been my husband who noticed, he would have said something equally confrontational.

So why was the tipster such a wimp? How passive/aggressive to e-mail someone at the Stranger (???) & not say something directly to the guy. Also, why did the tipster need to mention the guy was black, even going as far as describing his hair style? I doubt he would if the rude snapper was white!

Posted by ka-chunk | July 10, 2007 9:20 PM

Maybe it's just me?

Why should the boy friend confront him? The girl should- she was informed. I would have demanded his fcking phone and deleted the pic or thrashed his phone.
You don't have justification for taking anyones' pic intentionally; using it for your own purposes without their permission. This includes jacking off or harassment.

Posted by kat | July 10, 2007 9:24 PM

@18 Yes, the internet does provide a bounty of pornography, but there's nothing quite as fun as making your own.

Posted by Gitai | July 10, 2007 9:32 PM

you gotta ask if you want the ass photos. it's the only right thing to do. otherwise it's violating.

and yes confront. Either one of them would be justified in confronting.

Posted by call me a snot | July 11, 2007 12:11 AM

If the photographer was white, the e-mail writer would have confronted him.

Posted by PdxRitchie | July 11, 2007 2:45 AM

@45 - Movie star asses don't come with "inherent hurt". If they did, I would not know what Britney Spears' twat looks like. Oh wait, not her ass, okay, maybe you have a point.

Posted by amy! | July 11, 2007 4:47 AM

My 4 yr old daughter and I were standing in an elevator in our apartment building and a man, totally overtly, took a picture of her with his camera phone. He put the phone right up to her, snapped it, unconcerned about the "click" noise the phone made--like he was doing nothing wrong. The second I saw what he was doing I took his fucking phone and snapped it in half--one of those flimsy razors. I felt so good about myself until I started to wonder if maybe the picture would still be retrievable if the phone was repaired? I reported creepo to management and we're no longer in the building, but the whole incident still haunts me, and part of me wishes I had gone to the police instead. My question--I don't think anybody would disagree that it is unacceptable to photograph a child like that--so how is it different if it is an adult, other than the creep factor going way up? And what about teenagers? Pre teens? Acceptable then? I think it is a fucking disgusting practice--are we really saying that women OR men who aren't dressed modestly enough are fair game for creepy, illicit photography? Isn't that a bit of a slippery slope? And do we really want to say that just because it isn't illegal it is somehow okay? In many cases the technology has simpply advanced too quickly for the laws to keep up. Just thoughts, anyway..

Posted by Shannon | July 11, 2007 6:26 AM

Re: 46's comment: "Also, why did the tipster need to mention the guy was black, even going as far as describing his hair style? I doubt he would if the rude snapper was white!"

The tipster mentioned what the guy looked like to give others the heads-up/find out if others had encountered this guy. (In a follow-up email, he went on about how closely the guy resembled Eric Benet.)

Oh my you think it was Eric Benet?

Posted by David Schmader | July 11, 2007 12:34 PM


I think Shannon is the best mom ever, and I am in love with her.

Posted by rtm | July 11, 2007 3:48 PM

if the photographer was shirtless, i totally would have followd him around, trying to catch some nipple on my camera phone. the next time i see a guy wearing jogging shorts i think i'll try to save a kodak moment with his balls.

not really, but that's the funny part. guys without shirts are like grass being green; it ain't no thang. but when a girl dares to wear a skirt, watch out for mirrors on shoes and dudes with iphones.

Posted by your mom | July 12, 2007 5:16 AM

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