A “kink and BDSM-inspired” mural in the Sydney CBD of a “furry” leather-bondage man with a teddy bear head has been slammed for being “inappropriate” and “creepy” in a public space.
The painting, created on a Wynyard street wall by “YCK Laneways”, a consortium promoting local shops in nearby streets, is part of the WorldPride festival, but has been likened to the recent Balenciaga fashion house scandal linking adult sex themes to children.
Online reaction to the image, depicting an overweight man with bondage straps laying on a rainbow flag on a couch with a bear and the logo “YC Gay” was scathing, with some calling for it to be removed.
Grassroots campaigners Collective Shout spokeswoman Caitlin Roper said children should not be exposed to sexual fetishes, but that the mural would attract their attention because of the use of “appealing” teddy bear images.
“The widespread condemnation of Balenciaga for their BDSM-themed ads involving children demonstrates that many people strongly object to involving or exposing kids to this kind of content,” Ms Roper said.
“Kink and BDSM-themed imagery is not appropriate for the public space which includes children.
“The global research is clear – sexualising children by exposing them to adult, sexualised or pornographic imagery harms their physical and mental health, beliefs, attitudes and sexuality in a range of ways.”
“There are other ways to promote diversity and inclusivity that don’t involve adults imposing their sexual fetishes on an audience that includes children.”
UPDATE: Caitlin Roper quoted in Daily Tele piece on Oz Kink Fest
Caitlin Roper from grassroots Australian organisation Collective Shout, who campaign against the infiltration of pornography and harmful objectification into the mainstream, sees deep problems with the message that sexualised abuse is sexy and women should enjoy it.
“We're seeing the legitimisation of male violence against women under the guise of ‘kink’ and BDSM,” she says.
“I think it is being fuelled by the mainstreaming of violent porn… all of which paint degradation and sexualised violence against women as 'hot' and something women should want.”
She says LGB was previously about same sex attraction but has grown to the point where sexual preferences and fetishes have been added to that.
From 'Being a little kinky has gone a bit too far', Clarissa Bye, 2 March - only in the print newspaper