reunited & it feels so...odd
A kiss based on one person’s joy and another person’s non-consenting shock isn’t really a perfect kiss. And actually, it never was.
Non-consensual acts of Intimacy no longer in Vogue
Today, this iconic photo might be considered an assault. It doesn’t mean Mendonsa was a monster. It doesn’t mean humans were bad in 1945. It just means that stories don’t always behave as we’d like. Our fantasies can be punctured by the reality of other people’s feelings.
The battle of the sexes is the longest running war...
THE POSE Greta REFUSED to repeat
When Greta Met George - Times Square · 1980
ON DOG TAGS AND WOLF WHISTLES
ON VJ DAY - A NATION "CUT LOOSE" - and it wasn't pretty
With millions dead, and 4 years of deprivation at home, the nearing end of the war prompted a military-encouraged trend toward the “Hollywood Kiss” – a ritualistic exaggerated welcoming home of the conquering heroes.
Caption from the Eisenstaedt Photo:
According to Boston University historian Brooke Blower
In stateside military hubs, there were kissing ambushes, and accounts surfaced of women trying to dodge these traps, usually unsuccessfully, and ‘admiring’ crowds, like the one in Eisenstaedt’s photograph, gathering and applauding nosily in charivari fashion when they were caught.
Reporters quickly normalized these incidents weaving details of assaults in which the rest of their coverage of the merriment, making no effort to distinguish between voluntary kissers expressing their own joy and appreciation and others who had been caught against their will.
This spirited display of public kissing Life described in the text accompanying its photo spread
ran the gamut from mob-assault…to indiscriminate chain-kissing. In New York alone, the revelry led to looting, vandalism, over 200 fires, six deaths, and over 900 hospital trips.
Nothing, however, rivaled the
orgy in San Francisco…where thousands of rampaging sailors overturned cable cars, and stripped girls of clothing…during three days of so-called ‘peace riots’, which caused thirteen deaths and more than a thousand injuries. Unsuspecting women were molested, and their escorts were beaten. Published reports made a meticulous account of broken liquor store windows, but offered only oblique references to the feminine assault that furnished a major method by which sailors and marines ‘let off steam’ as the Life caption reporting the attacks put it.
Guys were kissing, and practically raping, everybody on Market Street, remembered on hotel hostess:
They were pulling girls’ pants off and sailing them down the street. Many allegations of sexual assault, including gang rapes described by witnesses, came to light in subsequent weeks, and officials confirmed that that at least 6 rapes took place.
On VJ-Day, the elated servicemen brought the mix of sex and violence that characterizes the fast life of war home. Indeed, in WW-II as in all subsequent wars, there was a notable upswing in the number of sexual assaults reported near military bases, and over 13,000 women were reportedly raped by U.S. GI’s in France during the war…one of the unpleasant truths disclosed in the accompanying sign when Unconditional Surrender was displayed at Normandy.