Victoria trans woman takes on Facebook’s topless photo ‘double standard’
CTV Vancouver Island
Published Wednesday, October 7, 2015 6:44PM PDT
A transgender Victoria woman is taking on social media giant Facebook over what she says is a double standard for topless photos.
Courtney Demone is taking topless photographs of herself as she undergoes hormone therapy to spur debate around the fact that men can post topless photos, while female nipples are censored.
“Society oversexualizes women’s chests. There are plenty of cultures and societies where topless women aren’t sexualized at all,” said Demone. “I think this is one of many ways in which women are restricted, are oppressed within society.”
She’s snapped photos of herself topless at the B.C. Legislature and another at Victoria’s waterfront and posted them all to the social media site.
She said because her body currently appears male, Facebook hasn’t removed any of the photos.
Demone expects that as she posts more as she develops larger breasts, Facebook will start censoring her photos as well.
“I think that’ll be a really awesome opportunity to talk about why they do it, to suggest ways that they can change,” she said.
Demone said she won’t stop posting the photos until the double standard is lifted.
While she admitted that may mean children could see images of topless women, she said social media is already flooded with highly sexualized pictures and advertisements.
Hers is the latest campaign to take aim at Facebook censorship.
Women across North America complained after the website pulled photos of breast-feeding moms – and Facebook later updated their policy to allow such photos.
There likely won’t be the same policy reversal when it comes to nipple photos, according to Royal Roads Professor David Black.
“As a business decision, it makes a lot of sense for Facebook to err, as it does, on the side of a more conservative view of these things,” said Black.
But as women launch more campaigns such as “Free the Nipple,” Black said it could be a unique perspective like Demone’s that could finally break down social barriers.
“That’s where I think women in the culture in general benefit from having these questions raised. Why is it that the female body is immediately sexualized, and the male body not?”
With a report from CTV Vancouver Island’s Scott Cunningham