Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Flashing vs. Streaking

Which is more disturbing or are they equally disturbing?

I've had a report that a circ student was flashed over the weekend. I haven't confirmed it yet, but I've already decided that if it is the full-blown trench coat variety that I'm going to report it to the police.

But I wouldn't bother reporting streakers to the police.

Is that hypocritical?

I've tried to figure out if I'm being lenient on streakers because it is such a classic college prank or if it's something else. Should intent play into this? And tell me if you don't agree, but streaking is done for fun. Laughter or surprise are commonly invoked. Flashing is going for shock. Flashing seems like a nefarious activity and streaking is just a naughty prank.

Also the audiences of the activities are different. Streakers put themselves before a faceless multitude, while flashers choose their victims. VICTIMS. I guess that's the crux of the issue for me. Streaking seems like a victimless crime. Streakers just want to be outside and naked on the move. They don't care who sees them. Flashers, on the other hand, choose specifically who they will expose themselves to.

Here are some definitions I found interesting:


1. to run naked through a public place in order to attract attention or to express strong disapproval of something. From Cambridge Dictionaries

2. is the non-sexual act of taking off one's clothes and running naked through a public place. From Wikipedia

3. to run quickly through a public place with no clothes on, usually as a joke or publicity stunt. From Encarta


1. Someone who shows their sexual organs in public. From Cambridge

2. Wikipedia doesn't have an entry specifically for flashing. It lumps it in with exhibitionism, which also counts streaking under its banner, though they direct readers to indecent exposure for acts spurred by aggression or criminal intent.

3. a person, especially a man, who gains pleasure from publicly exposing the genitals. From Encarta

I think I'm being lenient on college streaking. I can see how streaking could be as bad as flashing, such as at an event where children are present. And there are types of flashing that don't bother me much, such as boob flashing for beads or mooning.

It's the classic trench coat, dark glasses, weirdo guy who makes me mad and want to prosecute. The sick glee in the face of the victim's shock really bothers me.

I know I'm rather blase about streaking because it is so prevalent at my institution. Others could be as shocked by a streaker as a flasher. If you're one of these types, I'd be very interested in your opinion. I think I was once one of these types before coming to Library X. Then I saw some streakers in the "flesh" (heh), and my opinion changed, but I'd never considered the question: Is streaking as bad as flashing?

Is it all a matter of intent? If the flasher or streaker merely does the act to amuse, is it then all right? If the streaker or flasher does it for sexual gratification, does that make it wrong? If either does it to gain a particular reaction from the viewer is it wrong? What if the viewer of the streak is horrified, though the streaker was aiming for mirth? Does that make the streak criminal, no matter intent?

Should the reaction of the viewer be considered?

I think I've asked too many questions.

But here's one more: What do you guys think?



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Flashers make me think of dirty pervs.
Streaking makes me think of fun college kids.

There's a difference.

1:15 PM, October 18, 2006  
Blogger L.C. said...

I think your opinion is right on the money.

I experienced my first set of streakers during finals week last December. Two naked guys in Tina Turner-esque wigs ran around our first floor yelling "study break!". I called the campus police because it's my job to deal with the crazies, but it was too late for them to do anything anyway. Later, I just laughed about it as did most of the studying students.

Thankfully, we've never had a flasher in during my time. If we did though, I would be of the opinion that anyone that does so would be a viewed as a sexual predator and I would definitely file a police report.

5:03 PM, October 18, 2006  
Blogger listmaker said...

I agree with both of the above. We've had both streakers and an exposer in the library. The streakers were just out to have fun and weren't targeting anyone in particular, but the exposer was definitely there to get his kicks by shocking female students.

7:31 PM, October 18, 2006  
Anonymous song said...

I agree.
unless it's a streaker with a trench coat who just flashes random people, not a target per se.
Coz a girl used to do that on my campus and it was funny.

12:03 AM, October 19, 2006  
Blogger Spike said...

The sick glee in the face of the victim's shock

You hit the nail on the head. Flashing's just a precursor to physical attack, according to a mate of a mate of a mate who's a copper.

Streakers are just exuberant or dickheads or closetted guys.

2:15 AM, October 19, 2006  
Blogger Spike said...

Can't hardly believe how much non-study happens in your library. My uni it's mmainly just surreptitous consumption of mars bars.

2:17 AM, October 19, 2006  
Blogger Vampire Librarian said...

Library X is sort of the unofficial student union. A lot of clubs meet here and a lot of people just come to socialize.

12:20 AM, October 20, 2006  
Blogger Spike said...

Because study would be too obvious an activity to do in a uni library.

1:44 AM, October 20, 2006  
Anonymous Maddy said...

Excellent post, interesting and just the answer I was looking for.

9:04 PM, November 08, 2007  
Blogger Vampire Librarian said...

I'm glad it helped!

11:21 PM, November 08, 2007  

Post a Comment

<< Home