If you deliberately seek out any of these images, you are directly participating in the violation not just of numerous women’s privacy but also of their bodies.
In what’s being called the biggest celebrity hacking incident in internet history, more than 100 female celebrities have had their private nude images stolen and published online. The bulk of the images posted have been officially confirmed as belonging to Jennifer Lawrence, but a complete list of victims’ names - including Krysten Ritter, Kate Upton, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Rihanna, Brie Larson and Kirsten Dunst - has been subsequently published. (Link does not contain pictures, only names.)
The images were first uploaded by an anonymous member of the underground internet sewer known as 4chan and have since been enthusiastically shared across platforms like Reddit and Twitter. A representative for Lawrence has confirmed the images are real, condemning the theft of them as a “flagrant violation of privacy” and adding that “The authorities have been contacted and will prosecute anyone who posts the stolen photos.”
There are a few different issues that a criminal act like this brings up, but before I get into them it’s necessary to make one thing clear: If you deliberately seek out any of these images, you are directly participating in the violation not just of numerous women’s privacy but also of their bodies. These images - which I have not seen and which I will not look for - are intimate, private moments belonging only to the people who appear in them and who they have invited to see them. To have those moments stolen and broadcast to the world is an egregious act of psychic violence which constitutes a form of assault.
The people sharing these images are perpetuating an ongoing assault. The people gleefully looking at them are witnessing and enjoying an ongoing assault. When you have been asked by victims of a crime like this not to exacerbate the pain of that crime and you continue to do so anyway, you are consciously deciding that your enjoyment, your rights and perhaps even just your curiosity are more important than the safety and dignity of the people you’re exploiting.
That out of the way, let’s get a few other things straight.
1. This is not a ‘scandal’
It’s a crime, and we should be discussing it as such. Some media outlets are salaciously reporting it otherwise, as if the illegal violation of privacy involving intimate images is little more than subject for gossip. When associated with sex, the word ‘scandal’ has been typically interpreted as something that assigns responsibility to all parties involved, a consensual act unfortunately discovered and for which everyone owes an explanation or apology. Remember when private nude photos of Vanessa Hudgens (whose name also appears on the list of victims) were leaked online and Disney forced her to publicly apologise for her “lapse in judgment” and hoped she had “learned a valuable lesson”? Never mind that Hudgens was an adult and a victim of privacy violation - the ‘scandal’ was painted as something for which she owed her fans an apology. Which leads us to:
2. These women do not ‘only have themselves to blame’
While depressing, it’s sadly unsurprising to see some people arguing that Lawrence et al brought this on themselves. Part of living in a rape culture is the ongoing expectation that women are responsible for protecting themselves from abuse, and that means avoiding behaviour which might be later ‘exploited’ by the people who are conveniently never held to account for their actions. But women are entitled to consensually engage in their sexuality any way they see fit. If that involves taking nude self portraits for the enjoyment of themselves or consciously selected others, that’s their prerogative.
Victims of crime do not have an obligation to accept dual responsibility for that crime. Women who take nude photographs of themselves are not committing a criminal act, and they shouldn’t ‘expect’ to become victims to one, as actress Mary E. Winstead pointed out on Twitter.
Sending a photograph of your breasts to one person isn’t consenting to having the whole world see those breasts, just as consenting to sex with one person isn’t the same as giving permission for everyone else to fu*k you. Victim blaming isn’t okay, even if it does give you a private thrill to humiliate the female victims of sexual exploitation.
3. It doesn’t matter that ‘damn, she looks good and should own it!’
Stealing and sharing the private photographs of women doesn’t become less of a crime just because you approve them for fapping activity. I’m sure many of the women on this list are confident of their sexual attractiveness. It doesn’t mean they don’t value their privacy or shouldn’t expect to enjoy the same rights to it as everyone else. It also doesn’t mean they want strangers sweating over their images. That line of thinking comes from the same school which instructs women to either ignore of welcome sexual harassment when it’s seemingly ‘positive’ in its sentiments.
None of these women are likely to give a shit that you think their bodies are ‘tight, damn’. Despite what society reinforces to us about the public ownership of women’s bodies, we are not entitled to co-opt and objectify them just because we think we can defend it as a compliment.
I will not be seeking out these images out and I urge everyone else to avoid doing the same. I hope that all the women who have been victimised here are being appropriately supported by the authorities and their network of friends. And I hope sincerely that more people take a stand against this kind of behaviour.
Because this incident aside, it strikes me as deeply ironic that we will vehemently protest a free Facebook messenger app because we’re outraged at reports that it can access our phone’s numbers, and yet turn around and excuse the serving up of women’s bodies for our own pleasure. Our appreciation is no less disgusting just because it’s accompanied by the sound of one hand clapping.
i am slightly drunk and also freezing and so, so angry. there is this one club in my hometown that i just hate, because all the bad things that ever happened to me here always did happen there but today all my friends went there again so i joined them. now i am responsible for one of my friends losing his jacket as well as me losing my hoodie which was gifted to me by my brother today and i loved it so much because i was wearing it the last time i was here as well and it fit so well and i am just so angry cause someone took it during the ten fucking minutes i wasn’t watching it and.. seriously. i hate people so much. i hate it that people steal things. i hate it that other people obviously don’t care about others stealing things. i hate this club in general. and i am so mad at myself. fuck…
the lovely ingensorjernardudor tagged me for this challenge and i accepted - obviously. i really do need to warn you: first of all this is very loud! because i recorded it with my mobile phone. so please beware and don’t startle. i guess it’s best if you listen to it at low volume. second: i can’t speak english properly so this is a lot of rambling i guess? and bad. oh dear. i am very sorry! anyway. i tried. so there’s that. oh! and i also think i misinterpreted some of the questions, so please beware of the stupid. the questions are:
1. what is your name and/or username?
2. where are you from?
3. pronounce the following words: theatre, iron, salmon, caramel, fire, water, new orleans, furniture, both, again, probably, alabama, lawyer, coupon, mayonnaise, caught, naturally, envelope, twitter, new york, crayon, tumblr.
4. what would you call a sale of unwanted items on your porch, in your yard, etc.?
5. what do you call your grandparents?
6. what is a bubbly carbonated drink called?
7. what do you call the wheeled contraption in which you carry groceries at the supermarket?
8. be a wizard or a vampire?
9. how old are you?
10. what colour are your eyes?
11. what was the last thing you drank?
12. would you rather: have a million dollars or a million friends?
the always wonderful kafkascupcake tagged me for this game/fun thing so i am going to do it of course. the challenge (i don’t know what else to call it) is: "you can tell a lot about the person from the music they listen to. put your music device on shuffle and write the first ten songs that play without skipping. tag ten people afterwards." since i have no itunes anymore i will just take my spotify playlist with all my ‘important’ songs and put it on shuffle.
1. avenged sevenfold # fiction
2. matchbox twenty # disease
3. fall out boy ft. big sean # the mighty fall
4. linkin park # hit the floor
5. my chemical romance # kill all your friends
6. paolo nutini # new shoes
7. mcfly # transylvania
8. men without hats # safety dance
9. the offspring # (can’t get my) head around you
10. mindless self indulgence # never wanted to dance