If you’re a woman who uses the Internet it’s likely you’ve been sent a d*ck pic you never asked for. Especially if you use dating sites and apps, where, apparently, d*ck pics are the new candle lit dinner. And you thought romance was dead! Sure, there are some instances where women ask for d*ck pics, but these instances are ones in which a woman has squarely said “D*ck pic, please!” and not those in which the words “Send me a picture of your d*ck” or something similar have never been uttered.
Los Angeles artist Whitney Bell recently opened a show called 'I Didn't Ask For This: A Lifetime of D*ck Pics' which put on display the many unsolicited d*ck pics Bell and her friends have been sent over the years. Bell says, "The thing is, this isn't d*ck-hating or man-hating. I love a good d*ck. I just don't love harassment. That's what this needs to start being seen as." So to any fellas reading this: don’t send a d*ck pic that wasn’t expressly requested. If “not being asked to send” doesn’t sound like a good enough reason for you not to do it, here are five more reasons why it’s not OK to send a woman a d*ck pic you were never asked for:
1. . Basic Human Decency
Before we get into the nitty gritty of gender politics and sexual harassment, what about the very base level idea that it’s simply indecent to send someone who doesn’t want a picture of a penis, a picture of a penis. This is Common Sense 101. Be a good person. Don’t expose yourself to women who aren’t interested in being exposed to. You could end up assed out of a job, instead.
2. . It’s Incredibly Presumptuous
Sending an unsolicited d*ck pic plays into the sexual entitlement men sometimes feel over women. The presumption that it’s acceptable for a man to send a woman a d*ck pic is the same basic presumption underpinning rape culture. It shows that a man believes that simply by being visible in the world (on a dating app for instance), a woman is “asking for it”. She’s not. Which takes us to the next point.
3. . Because You Need Consent To Expose Yourself To Someone
It’s not for you to decide what another person wants sexually. No means no. Silence means no. The only thing that means yes is yes. Simply because a woman is talking/texting/social media-ing with you, it doesn’t mean she wants to see your penis. The only time you can safely assume a woman wants to see your penis is when she asks to see it, in person or otherwise. Bell says the sending of an unsolicited d*ck pic is "not about sex. It's about power. It's about these guys wanting to exert that control. These guys, they get off knowing that they forced some girl to see it."
4. . The Power Imbalance Means You’re Engaging In Sexism
As Bell said, sending unsolicited d*ck pics is about power. It reinforces the status quo that entitles men to belittle and threaten women sexually. The fact that receiving an unsolicited d*ck pic as a woman can be a fairly aggressive, upsetting experience, it only furthers the idea of female sexual vulnerability.
5. . It’s Bottom Line Sexual Harassment
Would you expose yourself to a stranger or a friend in the street at random and without notice? Hopefully not--that’s sexual harassment and assault. Sending a d*ck pic you weren’t asked for is no different. It’s bottom line sexual harassment. It’s not sexy or cute or funny. It’s not your right. It’s the opposite actually. It’s an infringement on someone else’s rights, and it makes the sender an abuser. Don’t do it.