We're all familiar with the iconic Alfred Eisenstaedt photo of a sailor kissing a nurse in Times Square on Aug. 14, 1945, during the celebration to mark V-J Day, the end of World War II.
Well, the perpetually affronted ladies of the blog Feministing just realized something you probably figured out in 4th grade: The duo may not have been an actual couple prior to the sailor laying a kiss on the nurse.
And you know what that means: They're trying to find the guy to charge him with sexual assault. I'm only slightly exaggerating:
As it turns out, rather than a romantic moment between lovers, the image actually and unambiguously depicts an act of sexual assault.
A London-based feminist has been causing a huge stir on Facebook and in the blogosphere with this very observation. The blogger known as “Leopard” writes:
“Most of us are familiar with this picture. Captured in Times Square on V-J Day, 1945, it has become one of the most iconic photographs of American history, symbolizing the jubilation and exuberance felt throughout the country at the end of World War II.”
“Do you get the feeling that something is not quite right?
…Far from being a kiss between a loving couple, we learn that George and Greta were perfect strangers. We learn that George was drunk, and that Greta had no idea of his presence, until she was in his arms, with his lips on hers… It seems pretty clear, then, what George had committed was sexual assault.”
A closer look at the image in question shows corroborating details that become stomach-turning when properly viewed: the smirks on the faces of the sailors in the background; the firm grasp around the physically smaller woman in his arms such that she could not escape if she tried; the woman’s clenched fist and limp body.
If there is a better symbol for how messed up our ideas about sex and romance are, I can’t think of one.
What is wrong with these people? Stomach-turning? Like most women, I imagine, I've been subject to boorish behavior from men. But not every surprise kiss is a sexual assault.