Feminist Group Says “The Kiss” Statue Glorifies Sexual Assault

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On August 14, 1945 photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt took one of the most iconic photographs of our time. It was V-J Day – Victory over Japan Day, and the story goes a sailor was making his way through the crowd kissing any woman he could find. Eisenstaedt snapped the image in Times Square right at the perfect moment as the soldier was kissing a nurse in a white dress. The image has come to symbolize freedom, peace and victory to many, however one feminist group in France says it’s a symbol of sexual assault, and they are calling for the removal of a statue based off the famous photograph.

The statue which stands in front of the Caen Memorial Museum in Normandy, France was created by J. Seward Johnson Jr. and depicts the image of the famous kiss. The French feminist group , “We cannot accept that the Caen Memorial erected a sexual assault as a symbol of peace. We therefore request the removal of this sculpture as soon as possible […] The sailor could have laughed with these women, hugged them, asked them if he could kiss them with joy. No, he chose to grab them with a firm hand to kiss them. It was an assault.”

The museum says it has no plans to take it down.

What are your thoughts? Is this iconic image one to be celebrated or do you think it portrays sexual assault?

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