While only one photo was removed (the burgundy jockstrap), the entire collage (the yet to be published top row), as well as the rest of the images that are collages, all rely on specific placement, TURNIP STYLE as decided to remove all the photos in order to keep the over all flow going.
Now, make no mistake. We are NOT naive, we know this is not the first time this is happened. We know that we aren’t the only ones that this happens to. In the 15 years we have been publishing we have faced censorship so many times we have lost count.
What is different now is we are fed up and have decided how we are going to react. In fact we are HASHTAG LIVID.
The photos as you see above, are in no way different than any catalogue photo that sells undergarments. For many young gay men the catalogue from whatever “department store” (for many in North America it was the Sears catalogue, but I remember a few years where Eaton’s put out some sexy material) was the closest thing we could get to seeing a man disrobed!
In fact, I know for a fact that the straight boys I grew up with were jerking their little boners to the NUMEROUS pages of female models in bras. They still do – it’s called Victoria Secret.
We are sure the vintage photo below would be banned on Instagram and Facebook because the men are touching. Notice how the one is leaning on the other. That has to be some sort of “faggot witchcraft”. <clutch pearls><gasp>
However, we are not going to fight with the BOTS at Instagram in the hopes of getting a human to look at it. Honestly, we just don’t think Instagram/Facebook is worth the trouble.
It has been very clear, for a long time, that the “powers that be” at the steering wheel of all the major social media companies have had their heads so far up their asses for so long that they can’t even smell their own bullshit anymore. In fact, we would argue that much of the “machine” that is The United States is so oblivious to reality and as well can’t smell its own foul stench.
Instead, we are going to post the photos here – and tell you about it, with the hopes that you will be informed of yet another incident of double standards and take the step to help remove social media as the medium by subscribing to our newsletter, “Snap the Strap”.
We have made it a policy at TURNIP STYLE that we will NOT pay for advertising or promoting posts on; Twitter, Instagram or Facebook. Firstly on principle that we will not spend money at a company that would censor us like this.
“Sure we will take your money; but you can’t play in our sandbox” is not a policy we are on board with and we won’t be part of it.
We will continue to post on these platforms, as best we can, but our intention will always be to bring you back here to TURNIP STYLE or to sign up for or newsletter. Both which will hopefully allow us a chance to communicate opening, freely and ensure our message of body positivity, sex positivity, sexual health, physical health and MENTAL health are not silenced.
The human body is nothing to be shunned, shied away from or demonized in any way, shape of form.
So what can we as a queer public do? We want to leave you with these suggestions. Suggestions, that if we can make it a large enough practise could hopefully effect change;
- Don’t spend money with these social platforms, i.e. pay for advertising.
- Continue to follow these queer groups, businesses on these platforms and as a consumer sign up for the newsletters from the queer businesses that interest you.
- As a consumer let these queer businesses know when you purchase from them that you follow them directly not just via social media platforms.
- Queer businesses, give your audience a way to follow you (like a newsletter) that doesn’t involve one of these platforms so “you” don’t have to solely rely on these platforms.
By positively reinforcing the efforts of queer businesses and organizations directly, we as a queer community are distancing ourselves from these social platforms and their puritanical, draconian social constructs that only further keep the queer community, and other minority communities under their shoe.
Let’s use our ingenuity that has helped us survive millennia and stop being marginalized. Wouldn’t it be nice to finally say “this is 2021” and that means something for equality and equity?
We do recognize that there are platforms and places available for sexually explicit, pornographic materials and we celebrate those platforms and places and will engage with those avenues when the content or message requires.
At the heart of this, we as a queer community, know that this is a double standard and as such we at TURNIP STYLE are not going to entertain the argument that these are private companies and can decide what they are willing to have posted on their platforms.
The policies clearly use terms like “sexual content” “sexually explicit” “genitals exposed” yet what that really means is “any content that could possibly hint at being queer”. Even further to that, “male on male” queer.
As we all know that “girl on girl” action is 100% acceptable for even the reddest of redneck homophobes. You know the kind that are so homophobic one could be surprised that they even can handle touching their own dick.
We face the deletion and censorship images of men in swimwear, underwear or even “fetish” gear; however we are flooded with images of females in bikinis where one can clearly see the outlines of labia majora (commonly called camel toe) that these social platforms are happy to host.
We are going to state this now and clear before any one gets their knickers in a twist. We are not anti-vagina or breasts. We want these photos to continue to be out there, but stop deleting the photos of men in their underwear and calling it sexual content. (So don’t go out and start reporting every image of a woman in a bikini or with pasties on her nipples and call it sexual or offensive.)
Oh and while I am on a rant – BREAST FEEDING is not sexual, demonic or disgusting. So get off your fucking crosses with that one; the wood is needed elsewhere (like building affordable housing).
Hopefully, to make it abundantly clear, we are equally FURIOUS at the censorship females face, especially when it comes to their breasts. We also have zero tolerance for the censorship our trans-brothers face when they post photos of their chests.
The point we are trying to make is that the policies use gender neutral language yet this “neutrality” does not play out in practice.