It seems not a day has passed for the past week or so that hasn’t made me say, “That calls for a blog”. I had a giveaway planned with the awesome ladies at http://www.Overtone.co, but had to push that back because the universe had other plans for me, but I will get back to setting that up as soon as I get all this out.
First order of business: Several celebrity women were the victims of a hacker, who stole and shared photos of them in various states of undress. Presumably, because, as an Academy Award winner, she is arguably the most famous of the victims, Jennifer Lawrence has become the unwitting forefront of this violation, though the victims include multiple women, including Victoria Justice, Kirsten Dunst, Ariana Grande, to name a few.
The story broke, being called a “SCANDAL”. What should be disturbing is, this label wasn’t referencing the theft and distribution of these picture. The SCANDAL being cited was that these pictures existed, in the private possession of these women. Rather than admonish the person(s) whom, without the knowledge or consent of these women, obtained and distributed their personal, private, intimate photos, the resounding response was to blame the victims. Evidently, if these women want to know where to point the finger of blame, they need to turn it at themselves for choosing to create the pictures. Since these women all possess some degree of celebrity status, there seems to be little consideration of even an eligibility for an expectation of respect, much less privacy. It seems that many people think that, if you are a public figure, you belong to the public and nothing is off-limits. This was nothing short of a cold serving of justice for women who would do the unthinkable by being human, with actual personal lives and sexual relationships and thinking they were entitled to privacy.
These women are public figures and, more importantly, they are attractive. What did they expect to happen when they took photographs in various states of undress with no mention of or intention of sharing them with the public? It’s like women think that they have the right to decide if, when, and with whom they share their bodies. When will we learn that, as women, we don’t belong to ourselves. If you have the audacity to demonstrate any ounce of sexuality, much less sexual agency, you have no one to blame but yourself. Just like, if you don’t want to get raped, don’t get drunk in tight clothes; if you don’t want people stealing your nude photos, don’t take nude pictures in complete privacy or protect them with logins and passwords. You’re just asking for it. Would you store your banking information online? Ha! I think not!
Another response that the invasion has sparked comes from those who, though they aren’t blaming the women, they think, since Jennifer Lawrence meets or exceeds the accepted standard of beauty, her response should be something like, “Fuck yeah, that’s me! Don’t hate me cuz you ain’t me, haterz”.
Other responses have included, “why isn’t there outrage when the woman down the street or the girl at school has her pictures stolen and passed around”, or “OMG! People are up in arms about stolen naked pictures and don’t give a shit about ISIS killing people!!!!”. To the first point, if you or I or any Janey Doe Public wants women, famous or not, to have legal recourse against these violations, it shouldn’t matter, nor be a surprise, if it comes from an event involving, not just one, but multiple women with the status, money, and influence to effect change. To the second point: I fucking hate the people who say this kind of shit. This is most likely the person that has, in the past, inundated your Facebook feed with Phil Robertson support memes, having made it clear with every defense of his, as well as, Chick-Fil-A and Paula Deen’s FREEDOM OF SPEECH, that they haven’t the foggiest understanding of what constitutes a violation of free speech. Today, though, they’ve decided any issue not involving human suffering or corrupt politics or anything else that the self-appointed “Matter-Meters” isn’t worthy of concern and, therefore, far too vapid a topic for Facebook. They are going to take the opportunity to mount their very high horse, named “Sanctimonious Dick Nipple”, and update their status to admonish all who have not mentioned civil unrest and political corruption, either in the US or abroad. You see, being concerned and outraged about crimes against women being perpetuated and excused and being aware of and concerned with incidents of violence, illness and corruption, here and abroad are mutually exclusive. Impossible. Like walking and chewing gum, I tell ya.
Stop blaming the women whose privacy was violated, whose property was stolen, who continue to be violated every time their pictures are sought out and viewed and shared. Those of you who seek out and distribute these pictures are no better than the person before you. You share in the culpability. These women are human beings. Their sexuality belongs to them. Their bodies belong to them. It is their choice, as it is any woman’s, when, how, and with whom they share their body, physically or otherwise.