Today I received a threatening email from Flickr HQ claiming that I had violated the Flickr terms by posting this video clip of the World Naked Bike Ride in London. It said that if I continued to post questionable material my account would be suspended. I find this totally absurd, and it would be laughable except that increasingly Flickr has become a place of low-grade harassment for me. Other women must also experience this– smarm-spam in your inbox, asking you for pictures, or your own pictures favourited by someone who is collecting women’s bodies. Through looking at these sites one can see all manner of amateur porn, which is often quite voyueristic and disturbing. I don’t wish this content to be banned– I just click away. But I find it very ironic that there is so much of this on flickr and yet my super-low-res footage of nude people riding bikes is deemed so inappropriate that they are threatening to suspend my account. When I was a women studies major we often debated the idea of porn. Since I never looked at porn that often it was totally academic– that is until I started exploring the idea of nudity in my artwork. Suddenly the pro-porn feminist argument that said that anti-porn laws are used first against women doing body-positive things rang true. This is an example of just that. On a cursory level, it’s just (American) stupidity. But go a bit deeper and it becomes obvious this is indicative of a culturally-determined body hatred. It is easy to find pictures of women naked and subjugated on Flickr and across the web. Often women’s bodies have been concocted unnaturally for this kind of display. They are not “real”– they are coded for consumption– tanned, shaved, surgically altered, posed. The images I uploaded of the bike ride are human, playful, fun. It would be a stretch to even claim they are sexual. But looking at them you can’t help but feel the infectious happiness of the event, and even, as one of my friends put it, a little better about your own body. If Flickr is trying to save children from nudity, they are failing. What children will see on flickr are pornographic images which, to a sensitive child, will be disturbing not because of the lack of clothing but the demeaning/voyueristic/taboo aspect of the image. Healthy images of the human body, like the one I uploaded (which you can’t even see the ‘naughty bits’ frankly) are a violation of their code. No wonder children (especially little girls) grow up to hate their bodies.