Fether

BYU's stance on nude art - "Self Censorship"

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This is a bit of a follow up from a post a while back. I don't want to debate whether nude art is pornography (I really don't have an opinion because I really don't know), but rather use this article to combat an idea related to it.

http://universe.byu.edu/2012/10/19/honor-code-and-the-arts-art-censorship-at-byu/

Here is an article on BYU.edu talking about BYU's use of "nude" or semi-nude models. On multiple occasions they use the term "self censorship" to separate pornography from art. 

My question is this. If this reason stands and self censorship is an acceptable way of perating the gross sin of pornography from art, can't we extend this to other sinful content?

Now, I feel nudity for purely a sexual sake (like perurposfully sexual based movies) and movies where the plot revolves completely around violence (horror movies) are undoubtably evil in nature. But what about movies that are story or history driven and they contain sex scenes, explicit or not, as part of a minor driving plot? Or gruesome blood in gore in depicting an event, historical or fictional. Or maybe an important event in history where the the speakers are recorded in using every swate word in the book?

In these situations, can we use the excuse of "self censorship" and be clean with God in watching these or even participating in such scenes? After all it is just cinematography, it's only evil if we see it as evil!... really???

I personally feel there is a double standard here

Edited by Fether

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People who get to look at/interact with naked people without doing anything wrong:

- Spouses
- Doctors and nurses
- Parents
- Morticians
- Artists

Nobody gets the last one. Nobody gets artists.  Artists always suffer.

Edited by NeuroTypical

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1 hour ago, Fether said:

In these situations, can we use the excuse of "self censorship" and be clean with God in watching these or even participating in such scenes? After all it is just cinematography, it's only evil if we see it as evil!... really???

I personally feel there is a double standard here

In the movie, Schindler's List, naked actors werre shown on screen re-enacting the humiliation the Jews experienced in concentration camps.

Do you think that was pornographic?

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7 minutes ago, anatess2 said:

In the movie, Schindler's List, naked actors werre shown on screen re-enacting the humiliation the Jews experienced in concentration camps.

Do you think that was pornographic?

I personally think that was necessary to get the point across.

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1 minute ago, zil said:

I personally think that was necessary to get the point across.

Yep.  It's not an image that would invoke arousal in viewers...

But, of course, there are just some people who are easily aroused by any kind of nudity.  Hence, the idea of self-censorship.  Because, in the case of aroused people and Schindler's List, the pornography issue is DEFINITELY on the side of the viewer.

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4 hours ago, anatess2 said:

In the movie, Schindler's List, naked actors werre shown on screen re-enacting the humiliation the Jews experienced in concentration camps.

Do you think that was pornographic?

No I don't... What I'm calling to question is the idea of "self censorship" how far can we stretch that reasoning? Can I watch movies with frequent sex scenes in them that push the plot, or historical movies with explicit content and claim "self censorship"?

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4 hours ago, NeuroTypical said:

Nobody gets the last one. Nobody gets artists.  Artists always suffer.

Right...  I don't know if you were joking or not...

Michaelangelo.
Degas.
Picasso.
Andy Worhal.

I'll ask this question:  What is the difference between a painter looking at a nude model and painting a nude figure... and a movie maker of something like Anti-Christ, Last Tango in Paris, Eyes Wide Shut, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Chloe, etc.?

Ask them.  They won't say that it is pornography, but "art".  And the actors/actresses will also make the same claim.  Who are we to say differently?

Edited by Carborendum

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7 hours ago, Fether said:

Here is an article on BYU.edu talking about BYU's use of "nude" or semi-nude models. On multiple occasions they use the term "self censorship" to separate pornography from art. 

My question is this. If this reason stands and self censorship is an acceptable way of perating the gross sin of pornography from art, can't we extend this to other sinful content?

I feel pretty good about it as far as my own responsibility goes for working out my salvation.

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6 hours ago, zil said:

I personally think that was necessary to get the point across.

Really? You weren't aware of the horrible suffering of the Jews in the holocaust without the depiction of nudity in Schindler's List?

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2 hours ago, Carborendum said:

Right...  I don't know if you were joking or not...

I've never met an artist that didn't suffer in at least one of three ways:
- They can't art well enough to bring to life whatever is inside them.
- They can art just fine, but nobody gets them, people stand in their way.
- They must prostitute their art to da man in some way.

Michelangelo was just barely starting out in art school as a young teen, and he aroused such jealousy in his peers that one bully broke his nose and left him disfigured for life.  He was melancholic and introverted person who popes and kings tried to pull about as they wished.  

Degas had fortune, fame, skill, and the life he wanted - until he started to go blind in his '40's.  After that, seclusion and depression got worse and worse as his ability to paint eroded. 

Picasso's women.  Two killed themselves.  Two went mad.  Dozens of affairs and codepenency issues sure didn't add to his happiness.

Worhal enjoyed the heck out of celebrity status.  Did quite well, even though he was shot and almost killed at 40 by a ticked-off person who suffered rejection poorly.

2 hours ago, Carborendum said:

I'll ask this question:  What is the difference between a painter looking at a nude model and painting a nude figure... and a movie maker of something like Anti-Christ, Last Tango in Paris, Eyes Wide Shut, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Chloe, etc.?

The answer is inside themselves.  And it's not a line between painters and movie makers.  It's a line between creators of art and creators of pr0n.  And consumers of art and consumers of pr0n.  God and the individual know where they stand.  The rest of us, we get to judge what the thing is to us, we don't get to judge what the thing is to someone else.  Sometimes it's pretty obvious, or maybe seems obvious, but we usually lack the tools to judge what's going on in someone else's heart.

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for community standards and the Strength of Youth pamphlet and movie ratings and all that.  I'm all for making wise choices and avoiding bad stuff. And I absolutely get there are people who create/consume pr0n, who claim they are only creating/consuming art.  Whether they fool us or not isn't the issue - they're not fooling themselves or God.

 

Edited by NeuroTypical

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54 minutes ago, The Folk Prophet said:

Really? You weren't aware of the horrible suffering of the Jews in the holocaust without the depiction of nudity in Schindler's List?

I respect your right to disagree with the difference in impact with and without such scenes.

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17 minutes ago, zil said:

I respect your right to disagree with the difference in impact with and without such scenes.

You didn't answer my question? What, exact, point wouldn't have come across without such scenes -- or had, for example, the scene been filmed in such a way as to not display the more explicit bits and pieces?

I have yet to have anyone ever be able to legitimately, logically express how the actual showing of the "R-rated" parts actually makes a point that otherwise could not have been made?

You stated that it was actually necessary to get "the point" across. I'm trying to explore that. Can you justify such a statement? Maybe even what was "the point" and how was the explicit nudity required for "the point" to be made? I presumed that you meant "the point" was how horrible it was. Is that "the point" you feel wouldn't have come across or not? Can you explain what you stated?

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The question about degree of impact based upon scene vs suggestion (at least that's how I'm understanding it) really is interesting to me. I'm visualizing the shower stabbing scene from Psycho where as I recall the impact was achieved essentially with bare shoulders and some Hershey's chocolate syrup going down the drain. 

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22 minutes ago, The Folk Prophet said:

You didn't answer my question? What, exact, point wouldn't have come across without such scenes -- or had, for example, the scene been filmed in such a way as to not display the more explicit bits and pieces?

I have yet to have anyone ever be able to legitimately, logically express how the actual showing of the "R-rated" parts actually makes a point that otherwise could not have been made?

You stated that it was actually necessary to get "the point" across. I'm trying to explore that. Can you justify such a statement? Maybe even what was "the point" and how was the explicit nudity required for "the point" to be made? I presumed that you meant "the point" was how horrible it was. Is that "the point" you feel wouldn't have come across or not? Can you explain what you stated?

IMO, if you don't understand how seeing the events graphically depicted creates a visceral response that would not have been evoked without it, no one can explain it to you.  Either you experience it and understand at a visceral level something which implication and description cannot evoke, or you don't.

I have a friend who, when she reads fiction, does not experience what she reads.  She sees words.  She understands in the same way she understands math.  She does not see the events unfold, she does not feel emotions, she doesn't smell or hear a thing.  This baffles me and another friend with whom we discuss these things. The other friend and I see, hear, smell, emotionally feel the depicted events - we step into the story and live it (me most of all).  Our friend does not experience the events, but intellectually processes the description without any imagination / visualization.

Perhaps you are like that friend, perhaps not.  Perhaps you experience in a third way which doesn't benefit from the graphical depiction or which would actually benefit more from implication than explicit portrayal.  I don't know.  I probably should have said that the point is more effectively communicated to some with the graphic scenes than it would be without the graphic scenes, since I can't actually know that it's "necessary" or even what would be most effective for anyone but me.

Edited by zil

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9 hours ago, Fether said:

I don't want to debate whether nude art is pornography (I really don't have an opinion because I really don't know

IMG_2569.GIF.0cfc8eab2f3b5ed976b5cbe67b0f2036.GIF

As far as art or media is concerned. If sex or nudity are required, even mentioning them, it needs to be thrown out. 

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40 minutes ago, The Folk Prophet said:

I have yet to have anyone ever be able to legitimately, logically express how the actual showing of the "R-rated" parts actually makes a point that otherwise could not have been made?

The movie's purpose was to do more than just make a point.  The movie's purpose was also to convey some of the feeling of the holocaust, to have an emotional impact.  

Visual images happen in movies, sort of by dictionary definition.  A holocaust movie with no images of naked starving prisoners robbed of their dignity?  Might as well make a holocaust movie that shows no Jews being killed.  Are there ways to get the point across that don't involve those horrible images?  Yeah, sure.  But are there ways to convey the feelings, ramp up the emotional impact without those images?  Not and make it something people will watch.  

I read Schindler's Legacy before I saw the movie.   Both got the point across.  The movie seared a deep "never again" something into my soul that is still here today as I argue about neo-Nazis and Antifa.  

Edited by NeuroTypical

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9 minutes ago, Snigmorder said:

As far as art or media is concerned. If sex or nudity are required, even mentioning them, it needs to be thrown out. 

Then we'd better toss out the Bible because it starts out with Adam and Eve running about naked.

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9 minutes ago, Snigmorder said:

That's different from entertainment.

I'm not convinced it is. Human beings tell each other stories. That's how we think, that's how we communicate, that's how we contextualize...well...everything. We tell stories. We tell stories about Adam and Eve, about God, about each other. Some stories we call "history", some we call "drama", some we call "entertainment", some we call "literature", some we call "fairy tales". The lines between the different genres that we define are hazy and often whimsical.

So to say "THIS nudity in THIS context is always okay, because it's Scripture®", then say, "THAT nudity in THAT context is always bad, because it's Entertainment®" is useless, or almost so. It ignores the reality of things. It's painting a portrait on canvas using a burnt tree stump for a brush. Schindler's List (which I never saw, because I don't watch R-rated movies) is "entertainment" in roughly the same way that A Tale of Two Cities or 1984 or A Clockwork Orange is "entertainment". There is no whoopee-fun-this-is-better-than-roller-coasters feel.

You appear to be uncomfortable with drawing contextual lines. Surely you see a difference between the following:

  • A South American woman deep in the Amazon walks around openly with essentially no clothing on at all, as do most other women in her group.
  • A young African tribeswoman is bare-breasted most of the time because that's how women in her tribe dress.
  • An American mother bares her breast in order to feed her infant.
  • A European woman takes off her shirt at a nude beach.
  • A New Yorker publicly exposes her breasts to show her solidarity with her sisters who struggle for the sacred right not to have to wear their shirts.
  • A small-town woman removes her clothing and walks around town in order to draw attention to herself, claiming that she's very brave to have flouted convention in such a manner.
  • A young woman undresses in a group of people in an attempt to seduce a young man she's been lusting after.
  • A woman provocatively and teasingly takes off all of her clothes in an overtly sexual manner in front of a large, very appreciative paying crowd.

Some of the above are "bad" to varying degrees. Some of the above are not "bad" at all. But each situation is different. To claim that all, or any, are equivalent to the others is to close one's eyes very tightly to the reality of being.

Nudity in Schindler's List is simply not the same as nudity in Debbie Does Dallas. I say this with great confidence, notwithstanding I haven't seen either movie.

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The concept of "self-censorship" is an interesting concept, as it does base itself in a principle, by which we govern ourselves. The notion at BYU, doesn't seem to apply because it is BYU's honor that censors, not the individual. If BYU's honor code allowed "nude" models, would we see "nude" models at BYU. My personal opinion, yes we would, and this would be defended under the banner of self-censorship with the following paragraph, “A nude image in and of itself is not salacious or pornographic. Now some may choose to see it that way, but I think that is a limitation of their training or their background.” So is BYU really "self-censored"? No. BYU, as a whole, is censored by the honor code, not individuals. Within the honor code professors, students, and models can then determine their self-censorship.

The Church self censors our very own temple videos, as we don't see Adam or Eve naked. I have a friend who shared an experience of a friend being the home teacher of a man who did not self censor his wife. There was a picture, nude picture, of his wife in their living room for all to see.

The concept of self censor is also the reason why I had a BYU professor distinguish between pornography and sexual education videos. If the video was under the banner of education and the people in the video were naked (performing sexual acts on video) this was not pornography -- this was education. This is part of the reason why (I feel) if their was no honor code, professors, students, and models would not self-censor -- they would be nude.

In these situations, can we use the excuse of "self censorship" and be clean with God in watching these or even participating in such scenes? After all it is just cinematography, it's only evil if we see it as evil!... really???

I believe this principle is properly applied here, "Be careful that we do not call evil good and good evil." This strays very, very close to calling evil good.

Edited by Anddenex

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1 hour ago, Snigmorder said:

As far as art or media is concerned. If sex or nudity are required, even mentioning them, it needs to be thrown out. 

Can you allow that maybe if sex or nudity are required even mentioning them, then maybe one simply needs to decide whether to not look at it? :)

 

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12 minutes ago, Vort said:

I'm not convinced it is. Human beings tell each other stories. That's how we think, that's how we communicate, that's how we contextualize...well...everything. We tell stories. We tell stories about Adam and Eve, about God, about each other. Some stories we call "history", some we call "drama", some we call "entertainment", some we call "literature", some we call "fairy tales". The lines between the different genres that we define are hazy and often whimsical.

So to say "THIS nudity in THIS context is always okay, because it's Scripture®", then say, "THAT nudity in THAT context is always bad, because it's Entertainment®" is useless, or almost so. It ignores the reality of things. It's painting a portrait on canvas using a burnt tree stump for a brush. Schindler's List (which I never saw, because I don't watch R-rated movies) is "entertainment" in roughly the same way that A Tale of Two Cities or 1984 or A Clockwork Orange is "entertainment". There is no whoopee-fun-this-is-better-than-roller-coasters feel.

You appear to be uncomfortable with drawing contextual lines. Surely you see a difference between the following:

  • A South American woman deep in the Amazon walks around openly with essentially no clothing on at all, as do most other women in her group.
  • A young African tribeswoman is bare-breasted most of the time because that's how women in her tribe dress.
  • An American mother bares her breast in order to feed her infant.
  • A European woman takes off her shirt at a nude beach.
  • A New Yorker publicly exposes her breasts to show her solidarity with her sisters who struggle for the sacred right not to have to wear their shirts.
  • A small-town woman removes her clothing and walks around town in order to draw attention to herself, claiming that she's very brave to have flouted convention in such a manner.
  • A young woman undresses in a group of people in an attempt to seduce a young man she's been lusting after.
  • A woman provocatively and teasingly takes off all of her clothes in an overtly sexual manner in front of a large, very appreciative paying crowd.

Some of the above are "bad" to varying degrees. Some of the above are not "bad" at all. But each situation is different. To claim that all, or any, are equivalent to the others is to close one's eyes very tightly to the reality of being.

Nudity in Schindler's List is simply not the same as nudity in Debbie Does Dallas. I say this with great confidence, notwithstanding I haven't seen either movie.

It's completely black and white from where I'm sitting. If Adam and Eve were naked and then were ashamed when they fell, it is so written. 

However I will not be shown sex or nudity by the world because they don't have the right, it is the thing they abuse and drag through the mud. I will not bother with their opinion of the thing. Whether the medium be TV, movies, Music, or "art."

 

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Just now, Mike said:

Can you allow that maybe if sex or nudity are required even mentioning them, then maybe one simply needs to decide whether to not look at it? :)

 

That's exactly what I've done. I've actually gotten in trouble with one of my friends because he wanted to see a movie with me that I wouldn't watch. 

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9 minutes ago, Snigmorder said:

That's exactly what I've done. I've actually gotten in trouble with one of my friends because he wanted to see a movie with me that I wouldn't watch. 

And I certainly commend you for that because I perceive you're striving to be true to yourself. If I were physically in a place where I could offer you my support I would certainly do it. :)

 

 

Edited by Mike

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