These days in Auckland, the first sign of spring seems to be a parade of surgically-enhanced mammaries along what passes for our main street, to the raptuous applause of tens of thousands of bystanders and bemusement of a small number of tourists caught unawares. We call this spectacle “Boobs on Bikes”.
This year Auckland City Council have passed a new bylaw aimed at stopping events deemed “offensive”. Inevitably, pornographer Steve Crow (who Granny describes as a “businessman”) says this won’t stop him. Sadly, he’s probably right.
It pains me to say this, but I agree with Mayor John Banks when he says:
“In a perfect world we wouldn’t have Boobs on Bikes in Queen St, but we don’t live in a perfect world.”
“I’m very aware that in these post-Christian times, in this slack and ill-disciplined society, holding up a bylaw around what is decent and what is not will be very difficult.”
Attempts to stop the parade wouldn’t succeed. They’d just give more publicity to the event. And I hate the idea of giving City Council officials any more power to decide what we can do in our city.
Not an easy position to come to, given that the parade demeans women. Actually, it demeans the men who delight in it too, poor sods, excited by a glimpse or two of the plastic surgeons’ craft.
Part of the problem with the new by-law is that it doesn’t define what is meant by “offence”. The City Vision minority attempted to amend it to give some specificity, ruling out “R-rated or age-restricted commercial activity involving full or partial nudity…”
I have a lot of time for the worthy Richard Northey and his colleagues, but wonder at how practical they were being.
So it looks like we will give our city over to a pornographer and for an afternoon become Gotham City. And hope that eventually interest will die away.
Don’t know about the last bit though. We still have mysogynist rap music, don’t we?
Tags: gender politics