Nude photos: stolen property and sexual harassment

By
September 30, 2014

(Amanda Edwards)

(Amanda Edwards)

After news broke of the stolen nude photos depicting many prominent women, including Jennifer Lawrence, I was asked by a friend if I had gone online to look at them. My first reaction was one of shock, immediately turned to irritation. The answer is absolutely not.  Yes, as a lesbian I find Lawrence to be incredibly attractive. She’s established herself as a force to be reckoned with in the complicated enigma that is the entertainment industry.  Yes, I am a proud fan of J-Law. I admire her work in Winter’s Bone, The Hunger Games series, and my personal favorite, Silver Linings Playbook. That admiration is precisely why I will not invade her privacy. Her accomplishments have been thrown aside in the wake of this “scandal,” something that Jennifer Lawrence or any of the other women targeted are not responsible for.

This is the case of a hacker who stole and is getting off on the turmoil they have caused. Their clear intent? To shame these women for committing the (what many were calling) “horrible act” of taking private photos for their own personal reasons.

When articles and blog posts revolving around the issue were published, naturally our celebrity-obsessed internet culture was in a frenzy. And of course links were posted for people to view the pictures and dive into these women’s personal lives in which they had no business being in. Comments were being posted on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, any social media tool people could find. The majority of the ones I witnessed were disgusting. Men and women were blaming these actresses, saying things like, “If you don’t want people seeing you nude, don’t take naked pictures.” There were the occasional comments that defended these women and their right to privacy, but the people blaming Jennifer Lawrence and others would shoot back with their same horrid comments slut-shaming these women.

These comments made me shake with anger. Not because a woman who deserves admiration for her accomplishments that I fancy was being slut-shamed, but because it points out a sad fact about how internet culture still treats women. We live in an age where revenge porn has been circulated through the web, an age where a movie (the movie in question being The Purge: Anarchy) sparks a Twitter trend of men posting intimate photos of their ex-girlfriends as a tool of humiliation, an age where women cannot win with sexuality. Not one of those despicable comments should have surprised me.

The fact of the matter is that taking nude photos is a woman’s choice. It is something they do in private, and they don’t owe anyone an explanation. They are not meant to be shared with the people who troll the internet. If said trolls are shaming these actresses for taking private photos, should they not do the same to the male celebrities (I’m talking to you, Kanye) who do it and aren’t necessarily keeping them private?

So, to answer my friend’s question: No. I have not looked at Jennifer Lawrence’s photos, and because I respect the hell out of her, I never will.


Nude photos: stolen property and sexual harassment was published on September 30, 2014 in Column, Opinions

Print this page Print this page