Man posting upskirt videos on Youtube

From ‘Man targeting S’porean women posts their upskirt videos online’, 27 May 2012, article in asiaone, Digitalone.

A man targeting women in Singapore has been posting a collection of ‘upskirt’ videos online. The man even went as far as to lift the skirts of some of the women he filmed. The man’s activities were brought to light on Stomp by a reader who sent screenshots of the man’s collection of videos on video-sharing site YouTube.

A check on the user’s YouTube page shows the user last uploaded a video a week ago. The user was last active on May 22, 2012. The reader told Stomp: “It’s very disturbing to see someone filming Singaporean women and post them on a public site like YouTube.

“What’s even more disgusting is that he even numbered them, like ‘Singapore office lady 21’, and documented where he found them. “He even lifted their skirts in some cases! “I really hope the police put a stop to his reign of terror!”

While it’s safe to assume that the pervert was a man, even young girls may get hooked on upskirt voyeurism, thanks to a free online game called ‘Under Cover’, where one scores points by snapping photos of animated women in vulnerable but tasteless positions. Though it’s unlikely that such games would spur men to prowl MRT stations and shopping centre escalators to snap under women’s skirts (more likely to be porn that’s the source of inspiration), the act of peeping is as old as civilisation itself, when humans first put on clothes and had something to hide from prying, horny eyes. Or maybe it’s all Sharon Stone’s fault for her scene-stealing spread in Basic Instinct.

Modern voyeurism has been played down as a form of sexual neurosis, or a symptom of major depression. The nature of compulsively hording images or videos, even categorically labelling them in folders, has added a dimension of ‘obsession/addiction’ to the voyeur’s ‘disease’.  Such upskirt attacks have been on the rise since 2004, with many otherwise respectable men being admitted for ‘treatment’. Even a National Day medal winning grassroots leader has succumbed to such gross indecency. In 2010, an officer in the police force was caught for not just filming an upskirt of his female colleague, but for adding his semen into her drink, which suggests that ‘voyeurism’ is just one ‘symptom’ of a spectrum of related deviant fetishes.  We live in an age where Freud, if he were alive, would have been at his most prolific. People no longer maintain a ‘collection’ for hours of personal entertainment. Video-sharing, forums and blogs, with social media elements like ‘hits’,  ‘ratings’, ‘likes’ and reputation points, have supplemented one’s upskirt obsession with something equally stimulating to the unsound mind; an audience.

One may blame technology, porn and the incessant drive to miniaturise gadgets for this wave of peepshow gratification, but even before James Bond pinhole cameras or mobile phones, men still found ways and means to catch a glimpse of female bottoms, even if it meant lying down in a prone position to try their luck. Some would do away with the gizmos and stealth altogether and lift skirts directly.  But where’s the ‘thrill’ in that? The more discreet would use mirrors to satisfy their curiosity, while the rest would peep through cracks in toilets, showers, bedrooms and changing rooms. One guy in Tampines made it a daily ritual to view upskirts from below an overhead bridge while on a bicycle.

In 1956, the penalty for looking at your neighbour bathe is a staggering $20, compared to the up to one year jail term today. Which means seeing someone completely naked deserved less punishment in the past than spotting someone’s undergarment today. We still call such sneaky folks ‘peeping toms’, a term which suggests a boyish naughtiness that deserves nothing more than a rigorous spanking. Today the term ‘mischief’ no longer applies, you have instead committed a sexual offence. But it’s not just women who need to watch out for suspicious bags floating beneath their skirts, we men have been known to have our ‘modesty outraged’ by cubicle stoopers as well, especially when we’re taking a shit. We don’t even have to dress sexily to be stalked by a sicko. It’s also a  really dumb, not to mention smelly, position to adopt if you want to spy on innocent people doing their business.

But if indeed voyeurism were a sexual disorder, such incidents may trigger another sort of neurotic behaviour, a wave of paranoia that there is always some sex predator out there with an invisible gadget looking to steal a shot of your underwear. Terrified women may start avoiding overhead bridges, spend more time checking for bugs in the cubicle than urinating, or avoiding the Mint Museum of Toys and its glass ceilings. Every staircase, ladder or locker room would be approached as if it were booby-trapped. Thanks to this share-the-nasty-stuff culture, I can no longer text on the stairs, under a ladder or on an escalator without the fear of getting mistaken for a lecher and receiving a flying handbag in the face.

Sure, we can’t do without mobile phones or tiny cameras, but let’s just pray no one invents an invisibility cloak.


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