The Kissing Sailor, or “The Selective Blindness of Rape Culture”

Here is a fantastic analysis on the more troubling aspects of the famous “soldier kissing nurse” photo on V-J Day.

An excerpt:

A few facts have come to light. Far from being a kiss between a loving couple, we learn that George and Greta were perfect strangers. We learn that George was drunk, and that Greta had no idea of his presence, until she was in his arms, with his lips on hers.

The articles even give us Greta’s own words:

“It wasn’t my choice to be kissed. The guy just came over and grabbed!”

“I did not see him approaching, and before I knew it, I was in this vice grip.”

“You don’t forget this guy grabbing you.”

“That man was very strong. I wasn’t kissing him. He was kissing me.”

It seems pretty clear, then, that what George had committed was sexual assault. Yet, in an amazing feat of willful blindness, none of the articles comment on this, even as they reproduce Greta’s words for us. Without a single acknowledgement of the problematic nature of the photo that her comments reveal, they continue to talk about the picture in a whimsical, reverent manner, “still mesmerized by his timeless kiss.” George’s actions are romanticized and glorified; it is almost as if Greta had never spoken.

I suggest you head over to Crates and Ribbons and read the whole thing.

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2 thoughts on “The Kissing Sailor, or “The Selective Blindness of Rape Culture”

  1. That is a fucking terrifying photo once you know that. Sigh.

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