Protest ahead of Boobs on Bikes parade

  • 07/10/2015
Boobs on Bikes parade in Auckland in March (Facebook)
Boobs on Bikes parade in Auckland in March (Facebook)

The organiser of Boobs on Bikes is defending the controversial parade, saying the annual event was originally meant to be a one-off to make a point.

"It was created by me when two women got arrested for flashing their breasts and I thought about it and I thought that didn't sound right – this is 15 years ago mind you – because I thought if a guy did that he wouldn't be arrested.

"I thought this is not right, I'm going to prove a point here and then it grew into this thing that it is today," Steve Crow said on the Paul Henry programme this morning.

The parade has come under fire for promoting pornography, especially as it falls during the same week as the Erotica Lifestyle Expo, and adult entertainment convention.

A march advocating against pornography and sexual violence will take place before the parade today.

The demonstration organised by Stop Demand Foundation will be joined by representatives of MASsiVe (Men Against Sexual Violence), sex offender clinicians as well as members of the Kaikohe community.

While the rally isn't focusing on the Boobs on Bikes march directly, Stop Demand founder Denise Ritchie says it will gatecrash its audience for the anti-pornography group's own ends.

"Both events are using international porn stars as a drawcard. The [parade] organiser is a renowned pornographer," she said.

"We are simply using the Boobs on Bikes audience for our messages about hardcore pornography and its links to sexual violence and harm."

The protest will start at the same place as the Boobs on Bikes parade, just 30 minutes beforehand.

Mr Crow, who normally works as a marine biologist, admits there is a crossover between the parade and the Erotica expo but that they do not have the same agendas.

"There is a by-product there because it's the same week and the stars of Erotica are in the parade, are on the ride, but that is not the primary purpose of it," he says. "Breasts are not pornography."

Stop Demand sex offender clinician Russell Smith told Paul Henry that despite intentions there is a link between nudity and pornography.

"We're not here to make judgement on [Boobs on Bike], what we're here to make is link between Boobs on Bikes and pornography, because it's promoting pornography, that's what it's doing, that and other things," says Mr Smith.

"[There's] a clear link between pornography and elevated sexual arousal, and if we're working with the people that I'm working with, what pornography has the ability to do is to reset the sexual point. If you think that our brains develop for stimulation and you think that we're supposed to be stimulated – it depends on how we stimulate our brains."

Mr Smith says the context around breasts in public makes all the difference.

"They wouldn't be pornography if it wasn't promoted as pornography."

3 News / NZN