Boob Aid Fundraiser Uses Porn Star's Breasts to Raise Money for AIDS Research, Wut?

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 24: HIV+ patient Aaron Laxton of St. Louis, Missouri, holds up a sign in front of the White House after a march from the Washington Convention Center July 24, 2012 in Washington, DC. AIDS activists from organizations all around the world participated in the march to 'demand rights and resources to confront and cure HIV/AIDS.' (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Source: Alex Wong/Getty Images News/Getty Images

I think most people would agree that AIDS research is a majorly worthwhile cause, and raising money to fight HIV and AIDS should be encouraged. However, when raising money for AIDS involves having people grope Japanese porn stars, something might have gone wrong somewhere. And you thought the Ice Bucket Challenge had some issues

Though this fundraiser sounds too bizarre to be real, it's actually already been held 11 times, the first time being all the way back in 2003. The whole thing is basically a 24-hour telethon wherein female porn stars allow men to squeeze their bare breasts in exchange for a donation to AIDS research while people at home get to watch. It's called Boob Aid, and again: yes, it is real. 

The porn stars participating say that they're happy to help out for charity, saying they support the cause. Actress Rina Serina told Tokyo Sports, “I’m really looking forward to lots of people fondling my boobs,” and then added, “But I would be very happy if you would please be delicate.”

She also said, “I never thought my boobs could contribute to society," which is kind of an odd comment considering the entire reason women have boobs is to provide nourishment to human infants, an undeniable contribution to any society interested in having a next generation. 

Still, it's their bodies, so if the women involved are happy to participate, I'm certainly not going to judge them. 

I will say, though, that I am approximately 112 percent over charity fundraisers that are driven by sexualizing women. Yes, I understand that charitable causes need money, and yes, sometimes you have to get creative about how you raise that money. But even though I'm sure lots of people think they're being clever by capitalizing on the male gaze to support charity, it still implies that women are valuable only for their sex appeal and how that sex appeal can be used, whether that's for a good cause or for personal pleasure.

Also, the idea is not at all original. This fundraiser, for example, vividly reminds me of the boys over at the Simple Pickup YouTube channel who are fond of doing things like raising money for breast cancer by motorboating random women, or supporting the fight against female genital mutilation via public use of sex toys

For the record, turning women into props or spectacles is never good, not even in the name of charity. If the adult film industry of Japan wants to raise awareness or funds for AIDS research there are numerous ways to do that without letting men pay to grope women — they could, for example, donate the proceeds of a specific film to AIDS research. Having men feeling up porn stars in exchange for a donation though — with the whole world watching, no less — has crossed the line from fun adult film industry stunt to blatant objectification, the kind that is just not OK. 

Image: Tomo News US/YouTube

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