Oh my GOSH! No. You certainly projected a lot of imaginary venom into my question.
Upskirting and downblousing are indeed what you thought they must be. A photographer in a public place takes photos up womens' and/or little girl's skirts and down their shirts. It is so common that legislation prohibiting the practice has been put in place in most of Australia, New Zealand, and many states and cities in the U.S.. Also in many places in the U.K. and the U.S. someone can be prosecuted under other voyeurism laws. It has been debated by high courts all over the country.
This is a topic that very commonly comes up in discussions of photography and rights to privacy in public places because the issue is so widespread. It is not a crazy hypothetical like people marrying sheep. I wish you had perhaps taken a moment to Google it instead of getting so upset. I meant no offense. I really wanted to know how you felt about it.
I don't think that Googling it would have changed my reaction to your question much, since I'd managed to grok it sufficiently from context to deal with it as I thought appropriate. I would have been surprised if you'd have agreed that your question could be construed as insulting or offensive because I'm sure you didn't intend it that way. If you'd thought of it that way, you probably wouldn't have asked it at all. It was only my realizing that you probably didn't intend to give offense that moderated my initial response. You may well imagine what I'd have said if I'd thought you intended to give offense. Though more likely than not, I'd have simply not responded at all. It was because I assumed you must not realize how this came across to me that I induced me to respond and attempt to explain how very insulting your question seemed to me.
It is, however, still very much to the point to say that the mere act of taking candid photos out in public is not in any way the same thing as taking -intimate- photos such as you've described above. And that you asked the question the way you did implies strongly to me that you do actually equate the taking of candid photos on the street with the invasion such intimate photos constitute on the females so photographed.
I can think of only a few reason why you would have asked such a question in the context of this discussion, and none of them are particularly pleasant to me.
1) You honestly think that taking candid photos out in the street is exactly the same thing as a person violating a woman or young girl by taking a photo up their skirt.
2) You wanted to see if I was so loose in my definition of art and what I considered to have artistic merit that you pushed the boundaries to the extreme to see if I'd defend the "artist" in such a case, or if I did actually have -some- sense of there being such a thing as privacy in a public space
3) You were trying to take a conversation that was going, I thought, fairly well and being rather mild to a more incendiary level by asking a deliberately provocative question
I probably could come up with more reasons for why you'd ask such a thing if I tried very hard, but I'm not inclined to do so. The bottom line is, as far as I'm concerned, you took this too far. Of -course- there are -some- things that one might do with a camera on a public street that should not be permitted, and would, actually, constitute a violation of privacy. Taking photos up skirts or down blouses would, clearly in the opinion of more than myself, constitute such a thing.
That is not, however, at all
what was being discussed when this thread was first introduced, and it bears absolutely no resemblance to any of the behaviours I have been defending in this thread.
I certainly accept you at your word that you never intended any venom or insult. I also fully accept responsibility for my reaction to and interpretation of your asking that particular question at that particular time and in this particular thread. You have not, however, actually explained how your question is not the same sort of thing as I had presented above. It is not as absurd as marrying sheep, perhaps, but it is certainly as offensive as marrying children.