Boobs on Bikes

CrowdedI was in Queen Street with a colleague, dropping off the collection from church at the bank. We left the bank and started walking up the street. Queen Street was busy, unusually busy. So busy in fact that people were lined up against the sides of the road, looking expectantly towards upper Queen Street.

It turned out that an event known as “Boobs on Bikes” was on town, and since we had never been before, we stayed around to wait and see what would happen. We waited an hour with the rest of the crowd in anticipation.

Expectant CrowdAbout half an hour before the event, a rather rotund fellow on a bicycle had the misfortune of riding up through the crowd. We promptly cheered him on as though he was the main attraction. Perhaps he was the boob on the bike? By now the crowd had something like a mind of its own and I had a real appreciation of crowd psychology. If we had all decided to just walk in one direction, we could have caused a great deal of mayhem.

As it was, the crowd was relatively well behaved. Young Asian girls spent most of their time taking photos of themselves in the crowd, or standing obliviously out in the middle of the street. The crowd started inexorably spilling into the traffic and causing general disruption. 

ProtestorAfter about an hour of waiting, the first sign of a parade began, we craned our necks with anticipation as the crowd roared excitedly. The first thing I saw was a sign saying “porn” and “rape”.

“Oh, that’s good,” I thought, “must be porn stars against rape or something, good for them”.

It turned out that a number of concerned citizens had taken it upon themselves to protest the event. They walked solemnly down the street, holding anti-pornography signs and (to my great astonishment) were booed by the crowd.

Waiting in Queen StreetNow, I would like to point out that I am pro boobs and I am pro freedom of expression. I am also anti discrimination, rape, exploitation and any other kind of violence. So, I have to say I was a little conflicted. Firstly, I think the crowd should have respected the protestors’ rights to protest and could have had the grace to be silent. That said, it’s quite obviously silly to say that “porn fuels rape”.

Take, for example, a country where decency laws are quite strict: a Muslim country. Now, you can’t accuse them of allowing their women to be sexual in any way. Even so, despite the fact that pornography and most kinds of individual expression are carefully suppressed, rape is a common occurrence.

For a moment, I wondered whether it had all been a ruse. A clever ploy by the protestors to get a bunch of Aucklanders out into the cold air so that they could berate them for wanting to see some breasts. I was mistaken. The actual boobs on bikes arrived in hot (and I use that word loosely) pursuit of the protestors.

I have to say, like most things involving sex, it was decidedly anticlimactic. Basically, it’s a bunch of semi-naked women driving down the road. There were a bunch of drag queens out on the parade as well but they received a rather frosty welcome from the mostly heterosexual male crowd. I didn’t realise it at the time, but I realise now that the whole event was basically a publicity stunt in order to advertise a pornographer’s business. I am a little conflicted about it, to be honest. On the one hand, I am pro freedom, if people want to legally arrange an event that involves some legal nudity (which is what this is) then let them go for it. Then again, I don’t care for people using these women as a fleshy billboard to sell their wares on.

In conclusion, I decided that I am pro boobs, but anti the boob who organised the event.  

If you really want to, you can see the more explicit photos I took. Warning, these photos contain boobs.