Naked Girls Reading impressions

By 12 December, 2013 44

Title

So last night I went to go see Naked Girls Reading at the Polit Bar.

Now in interest of full disclosure: Naked Girls Reading event is run by Tiffany Blue who happens to be a member of the Sass & Tease Collective which I am also a part of. Also most of the readers were also members of this collective one of whom is my girlfriend. So bias ahoy is basically what I’m saying.

I quite liked it.

It’s in Manuka, which is a drag because… well Manuka, but Polit bar was a nice friendly bar with some nice food and some great cocktails. It sat at the top of a flight of stairs behind a black curtain and seemed exactly like the kind of place one might go to see some burlesque.

Oddly enough the event was very non-burlesque. There was nudity dressed up in sparkly jewelery and lipstick and high heels and all that, but there was none of the show or spectacle of a burlesque show. None of the energy or tease. Here were four girls sitting on a stage.

The “Naked Girls” part of the title obviously lured a lot of people into the venue, but it quickly turned out to be the least important part of the event. (If you were suddenly thought “Ha! Yeah right!” congratulations, you’re incredibly boring and unimaginative.)

Yes the girls were pretty, but the reading was the star. About 10 minutes into the event a quick glance around the room showed people with their eyes closed or staring aimlessly ahead instead of at the stage. People were just tuning out everything but the stories. It was quite amazing.

The power of someone reading you a story should not be underestimated and many people may not have had this pleasure since they were children. There was something profoundly comforting and enjoyable about it.

The night had some teething problems with sound and lighting, and the performers obviously needed to warm up their voices more to fix some of the projection and diction problems, but these were small quibbles. The girls were open and honest about the fact that this wasn’t a conventional style of event and that they were kind of making it up as they went and the audience respected that. I’m interested to see how they improve it.

I suggest checking it out, even if you were into nudity before hipsters tried to make it cool or whatever if was everyone was saying in the last thread.
Wear a blindfold if you must, but go just to be read to. It’s quite a nice feeling.

Sorry about the lack of photos, but y’know, there are rules about this sort of thing.

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44 Responses to Naked Girls Reading impressions
#1
poetix11:10 pm, 12 Dec 13

Still, why do the readers have to be naked?

I wouldn’t go for exactly that reason, however much I like books and hearing them read. It is a fundamentally sexist idea, and it makes me very sad.

I note you didn’t say which books were read.

#2
jellyware12:47 pm, 13 Dec 13

poetix said :

Still, why do the readers have to be naked?

I wouldn’t go for exactly that reason, however much I like books and hearing them read. It is a fundamentally sexist idea, and it makes me very sad.

I note you didn’t say which books were read.

correct me if I’m wrong here. did you just say it is fundamentally sexist for a woman to choose to display her body however she wants? oh the irony

#3
Ben_Dover1:14 pm, 13 Dec 13

a quick glance around the room showed people with their eyes closed or staring aimlessly ahead instead of at the stage.

Mingers were they?

#4
Barcham1:35 pm, 13 Dec 13

poetix said :

Still, why do the readers have to be naked?

I wouldn’t go for exactly that reason, however much I like books and hearing them read. It is a fundamentally sexist idea, and it makes me very sad.

I note you didn’t say which books were read.

Why do they have to be naked? They don’t, they just want to I guess. I don’t think the nudity really added to the event, but others may disagree with me. I would urge you to check the event out first before dismissing it just because the girls running it like being naked, but if can’t enjoy then you can’t enjoy it so I guess that’s your call.

Saying nude performance is fundamentally sexist is a bit of a bold statement though.

The stories read were a collection of short Christmas stories, followed by a wonderful reading of A Christmas Carol. They intend to theme each event. I didn’t include the stories largely because I was intending to discuss the event rather than the content, but in hindsight that kind of seems like a silly distinction to make.

#5
poetix1:56 pm, 13 Dec 13

‘ And so, as Tiny Tim observed, God Bless Us, Every One!’

170 years young, that book.

#6
Watson2:18 pm, 13 Dec 13

Barcham said :

poetix said :

Still, why do the readers have to be naked?

I wouldn’t go for exactly that reason, however much I like books and hearing them read. It is a fundamentally sexist idea, and it makes me very sad.

I note you didn’t say which books were read.

Why do they have to be naked? They don’t, they just want to I guess. I don’t think the nudity really added to the event, but others may disagree with me. I would urge you to check the event out first before dismissing it just because the girls running it like being naked, but if can’t enjoy then you can’t enjoy it so I guess that’s your call.

Saying nude performance is fundamentally sexist is a bit of a bold statement though.

The stories read were a collection of short Christmas stories, followed by a wonderful reading of A Christmas Carol. They intend to theme each event. I didn’t include the stories largely because I was intending to discuss the event rather than the content, but in hindsight that kind of seems like a silly distinction to make.

So they are nudists. Never really got nudism. Nudity doesn’t bother me, but to insist on doing every activity you can think of without clothes just for the sake of it just strikes me as odd. Skinny dipping, that makes sense. But if playing tennis with or without clothes makes such a big difference to you that you will spend considerable energy and time on making it possible without getting arrested, then you are possibly a bit too much in tune with your body. Or an exhibitionist. Nothing wrong with that perse either, but just a bit too self obsessed for me to be able to relate to.

If the nudity was the least important part of the event, it seems more likely that they added that element in order to widen their audience. And if it was purely used as a marketing strategy, that seems reminiscent of the 70s car ads with skimpy clad girls draped across bonnets. Good times…

#7
Watson2:20 pm, 13 Dec 13

^Worst grammar.

*skimpily clad for starters

#8
Barcham2:45 pm, 13 Dec 13

poetix said :

‘ And so, as Tiny Tim observed, God Bless Us, Every One!’

170 years young, that book.

Alrighty, here’s your chance Poetix.

I’ve just booked the Phoenix for next Friday (the 20th) to do a completely clothed reading of A Christmas Tale to raise money for the Red Cross.

Let’s do this clothed reading thing.

#9
astrojax3:26 pm, 13 Dec 13

Barcham said :

poetix said :

Let’s do this clothed reading thing.

ooh, racy.

good luck with the charity raising; well done to raise money at this festive season but perhaps you should be reading the original christmas scrooge… or do you mean ‘a christmas carol’?

#10
Barcham3:43 pm, 13 Dec 13

astrojax said :

Barcham said :

poetix said :

Let’s do this clothed reading thing.

ooh, racy.

good luck with the charity raising; well done to raise money at this festive season but perhaps you should be reading the original christmas scrooge… or do you mean ‘a christmas carol’?

Oops yes, Carol. Brain fart.

#11
poetix4:20 pm, 13 Dec 13

Barcham said :

poetix said :

‘ And so, as Tiny Tim observed, God Bless Us, Every One!’

170 years young, that book.

Alrighty, here’s your chance Poetix.

I’ve just booked the Phoenix for next Friday (the 20th) to do a completely clothed reading of A Christmas Tale to raise money for the Red Cross.

Let’s do this clothed reading thing.

Excellent! I will even put off going to the beach.

#12
rosscoact5:22 pm, 13 Dec 13

Barcham said :

poetix said :

‘ And so, as Tiny Tim observed, God Bless Us, Every One!’

170 years young, that book.

Alrighty, here’s your chance Poetix.

I’ve just booked the Phoenix for next Friday (the 20th) to do a completely clothed reading of A Christmas Tale to raise money for the Red Cross.

Let’s do this clothed reading thing.

Sweet, can I be naked?

#13
gungsuperstar7:24 pm, 13 Dec 13

poetix said :

I wouldn’t go for exactly that reason, however much I like books and hearing them read. It is a fundamentally sexist idea, and it makes me very sad.

I could not disagree with this statement more.

On the contrary, we should all be so lucky to have the self confidence to this. It would be one of the most liberating things I could think of.

If we’re to accept Barcham’s review, it’s not sexist at all – it’s the readers who are completely empowered in this situation.

#14
LadyxBec3:55 pm, 18 Dec 13

poetix said :

Still, why do the readers have to be naked?

I wouldn’t go for exactly that reason, however much I like books and hearing them read. It is a fundamentally sexist idea, and it makes me very sad.

I note you didn’t say which books were read.

+1. I’m not sure how nakedness actually adds anything to the event. It seems like a marketing thing, which is sexist IMO, otherwise there would also be naked boys. Not that I would go for naked men either, but some people might enjoy it…

#15
Solidarity4:14 pm, 18 Dec 13

Naked girls is sexist?

Well… why should they be forced to be clothed?

A bunch of girls decided to be naked and read books. I don’t see how that is sexist, there is nothing stopping anyone from organising their own book readings, where they can choose to be clothed or not. Apparently, they can also choose if they’re female or not, according to some recent topics on here…

Hmmm.

#16
mossy7:30 pm, 18 Dec 13

correct me if I’m wrong here. did you just say it is fundamentally sexist for a woman to choose to display her body however she wants? oh the irony

What could be more liberating than a woman deciding to exhibit herself in the nude? That this choice happens to align precisely with standard male porn fantasies, and that they are therefore rewarded with positive attention, is purely coincidental.

The idea that these womens’ nudity can so precisely mirror traditional male fantasy while simultaneously existing in a kind of pro-woman, I-do-it-for-myself alternate universe is fundamentally flawed. All women participate in patriarchy regardless of what they say motivates their participation; patriarchy is the dominant culture, and there is no opting out.

Which means there is no opting in, either. Do it for me, do it for you, whatever; the primary beneficiaries of women’s participation — willing or unwilling, ironic or sincere — in patriarchy, are men.

#17
Ben_Dover7:06 am, 19 Dec 13

mossy said :

correct me if I’m wrong here. did you just say it is fundamentally sexist for a woman to choose to display her body however she wants? oh the irony

What could be more liberating than a woman deciding to exhibit herself in the nude? That this choice happens to align precisely with standard male porn fantasies, and that they are therefore rewarded with positive attention, is purely coincidental.

The idea that these womens’ nudity can so precisely mirror traditional male fantasy while simultaneously existing in a kind of pro-woman, I-do-it-for-myself alternate universe is fundamentally flawed. All women participate in patriarchy regardless of what they say motivates their participation; patriarchy is the dominant culture, and there is no opting out.

Which means there is no opting in, either. Do it for me, do it for you, whatever; the primary beneficiaries of women’s participation — willing or unwilling, ironic or sincere — in patriarchy, are men.

Who cares? As long as they get their puppies out, W-a-a-h-a-a-y!!!

#18
BimboGeek9:03 am, 19 Dec 13

Ffs people pay attention. A professional stripper appeared naked in a bar. How is this possibly a feminist event?

#19
Solidarity9:43 am, 19 Dec 13

Who said anything about it being a feminist event?

It’s not! It’s not a feminist event, it’s not a secist event, it’s a girls reading books naked event. Far out.

#20
Watson11:05 am, 19 Dec 13

BimboGeek said :

Ffs people pay attention. A professional stripper appeared naked in a bar. How is this possibly a feminist event?

Professional strippers reading books instead of pole dancing. I like that perspective.

And I also like Mossy’s explanation.

And you don’t have to be female to be a feminist…

#21
Mr Evil12:03 pm, 19 Dec 13

All I can say is that it obviously made people pay attention!

Maybe all important Government Public Service announcements should be read on TV by naked ladies?

#22
HiddenDragon12:30 pm, 19 Dec 13

Mr Evil said :

All I can say is that it obviously made people pay attention!

Maybe all important Government Public Service announcements should be read on TV by naked ladies?

Yes – with musical accompaniment!

http://content8.flixster.com/question/65/46/39/6546390_std.jpg

#23
zorro292:54 pm, 19 Dec 13

Some good points throughout, esp Mossy.

I don’t mind what people do so have nothing particularly for or against this event….but if they’re from some sort of burlesque crew, then the nudity is clearly designed to titillate people (men and women). Again, nothing wrong with that, but if the reading was the star then it wouldn’t have “Naked Girls” in the title trying to widen the audience reach and increase attention for the event. Call a spade a spade.

That said, I doubt it would really attract the perv audience (who probably prefer pr0n in the comfort of their own basements)….the crowd was probably more jobless/girlfriend-less hipster types looking to drink coffee and have a guilt-free peek.

#24
Barcham3:44 pm, 19 Dec 13

mossy said :

correct me if I’m wrong here. did you just say it is fundamentally sexist for a woman to choose to display her body however she wants? oh the irony

What could be more liberating than a woman deciding to exhibit herself in the nude? That this choice happens to align precisely with standard male porn fantasies, and that they are therefore rewarded with positive attention, is purely coincidental.

The idea that these womens’ nudity can so precisely mirror traditional male fantasy while simultaneously existing in a kind of pro-woman, I-do-it-for-myself alternate universe is fundamentally flawed. All women participate in patriarchy regardless of what they say motivates their participation; patriarchy is the dominant culture, and there is no opting out.

Which means there is no opting in, either. Do it for me, do it for you, whatever; the primary beneficiaries of women’s participation — willing or unwilling, ironic or sincere — in patriarchy, are men.

You fail to point out where this “fundamental flaw” actually is. You’re setting up a false dichotomy there, something can be both liberating and empowering for women while being enjoyable for men. It’s not necessarily an either or argument so don’t present it that way.

Beyond that you are completely taking away the agency of the participants in these events, both male and female, with this doom and gloom damned if you do damned if you don’t scenario.

“We live in a patriarchy, so therefore everything is for men and nobodies choices matter whatsoever!”

Choices do matter, and the choice to use nudity in performance and in art is a valid one for both men and women. The naked body is not inherently pornographic, and while there are those that will view any situation involving a naked body as such, that certainly does not mean all will, and it absolutely does not make nudity into pornography.

#25
maxblues4:21 pm, 19 Dec 13

poetix said :

Still, why do the readers have to be naked?

I wouldn’t go for exactly that reason, however much I like books and hearing them read. It is a fundamentally sexist idea, and it makes me very sad.

I note you didn’t say which books were read.

When did you join the Taliban, Poetix?

#26
grunge_hippy4:54 pm, 19 Dec 13

So, in the interest of fairness, was/will there be there naked men reading?

#27
DrKoresh5:21 pm, 19 Dec 13

Barcham said :

You fail to point out where this “fundamental flaw” actually is. You’re setting up a false dichotomy there, something can be both liberating and empowering for women while being enjoyable for men. It’s not necessarily an either or argument so don’t present it that way.

Beyond that you are completely taking away the agency of the participants in these events, both male and female, with this doom and gloom damned if you do damned if you don’t scenario.

“We live in a patriarchy, so therefore everything is for men and nobodies choices matter whatsoever!”

Choices do matter, and the choice to use nudity in performance and in art is a valid one for both men and women. The naked body is not inherently pornographic, and while there are those that will view any situation involving a naked body as such, that certainly does not mean all will, and it absolutely does not make nudity into pornography.

I’m with you Barcham, all this outrage is just prudishness being poorly framed as progressive rather than repressive in intent. If you are truly a feminist then how can you justify judging the way these girls are expressing themselves? Telling women how they should behave and shaming them for doing otherwise seems to be the antithesis of feminism to me, but everyone seems to have their own definition.

#28
BimboGeek7:28 pm, 19 Dec 13

Watson said :

Professional strippers reading books instead of pole dancing. I like that perspective.

And I also like Mossy’s explanation.

I liked your explanation best. In the absence of context it’s just nudism and thus basically pointless.

BTW guys I don’t mean to say that it was marketed as a feminist event. I didn’t think it was marketed as anything at all; when I went past and saw the poster that said “Naked girls reading” I simply assumed it was a silly name for a band or event. It’s the comments about how empowering nudity is that surprise me. It’s not that nudity is particularly awful, just that it’s not proving anything either.

#29
CraigT6:34 am, 20 Dec 13

DrKoresh said :

Barcham said :

You fail to point out where this “fundamental flaw” actually is. You’re setting up a false dichotomy there, something can be both liberating and empowering for women while being enjoyable for men. It’s not necessarily an either or argument so don’t present it that way.

Beyond that you are completely taking away the agency of the participants in these events, both male and female, with this doom and gloom damned if you do damned if you don’t scenario.

“We live in a patriarchy, so therefore everything is for men and nobodies choices matter whatsoever!”

Choices do matter, and the choice to use nudity in performance and in art is a valid one for both men and women. The naked body is not inherently pornographic, and while there are those that will view any situation involving a naked body as such, that certainly does not mean all will, and it absolutely does not make nudity into pornography.

I’m with you Barcham, all this outrage is just prudishness being poorly framed as progressive rather than repressive in intent. If you are truly a feminist then how can you justify judging the way these girls are expressing themselves? Telling women how they should behave and shaming them for doing otherwise seems to be the antithesis of feminism to me, but everyone seems to have their own definition.

So you can’t give any subjective opinion on any woman’s behaviour because that makes you an anti-feminist.

Got it.

#30
CraigT6:35 am, 20 Dec 13

BimboGeek said :

Watson said :

Professional strippers reading books instead of pole dancing. I like that perspective.

And I also like Mossy’s explanation.

I liked your explanation best. In the absence of context it’s just nudism and thus basically pointless.

BTW guys I don’t mean to say that it was marketed as a feminist event. I didn’t think it was marketed as anything at all; when I went past and saw the poster that said “Naked girls reading” I simply assumed it was a silly name for a band or event. It’s the comments about how empowering nudity is that surprise me. It’s not that nudity is particularly awful, just that it’s not proving anything either.

A man’s responses to the female form puts women in a position of power when it comes to how they wield that form. Strippers reading books in the nude is just another way they are trying to manipulate men using their power. Feminism just doesn’t come into it. Quite the opposite. This is a form of oppression against men.

Tell your girlfriend to grow up and get a real job, Barcham.

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