The Duchess of Cambridge just can't catch a break. First, a German paper published a photo of Kate Middleton's bare bottom after the wind exposed her during her recent trip to New Zealand and Australia and now, an Australian paper has also decided to run the picture. But the worst part isn't their decision to use the photo, but their justification for doing so. Annette Sharp of The Sydney Daily Telegraph, the paper in question, discussed the reasoning in an article titled "Why should the media stick to an antiquated code of etiquette when Kate doesn’t bother to protect her own modesty?" As you can probably surmise, it's a horrible case of victim blaming.
Right, because it's Kate's fault that it was windy and she was wearing a dress.
Time and time again the fault for situations is placed on women. Girls in schools need to cover up so they don't distract the boys, women are raped because they dress like sluts, Kate deserves to have her bottom displayed because she didn't put weights in the bottom of her dress.
Seriously. That's Sharp's suggestion. "If the Duchess can’t be bothered protecting herself by having hem weights sewn into her garments, why should the media protect her?"
I'm sorry, why should it be any woman's responsibility to sew weights into her dresses for fear that someone might snap a picture during a wardrobe malfunction? Why are we again teaching women to be fearful that someone might be waiting to take advantage of them?
Sharp also faults Kate for having had this happen before, and taking no precautions. "When she is on a public street and her dress blows up again and again, surely the lesson is the media can only turn a blind eye for so long," Sharp says.
With that kind of flawed logic, Sharp could no doubt argue that if a guy sees a woman wearing "slutty" clothes a few times and doesn't do anything, if she continues to dress the way she pleases, he is now entitled to her body. Because hey, she could have learned her lesson but she didn't!
In all fairness, The Daily Telegraph was not the first paper to print the photo in question. It was originally printed in a German online paper. I will not link to it, because I think it's incredibly disrespectful to any woman to have a photo like that circulated. This German paper is to blame, as well, but what scares me the most about this whole situation is the language Sydney's Sharp is using to justify their publishing the picture. It's especially appalling that even as a women, she is still spewing this rape culture talk. And she goes on and on, each comment more ridiculous than the last, as she further tries to justify publishing the photograph.
It becomes difficult to argue the necessity of honouring “do not publish” conventions when royals like Prince Harry are photographed cavorting naked in Vegas with buxom women.
I don't see what Prince Harry's actions have to do with Kate Middleton. Is the Royal Family only allowed a certain amount of indiscretions before the next one is published? Sorry Kate, Harry used up your "do not publish" allotment for the month so Sydney is going to run your bare bottom. That's just the way it is. It's difficult for the media, you know. It's hard for them.
This makes it sound like the paper has no control over their actions at a certain point. If that argument seems familiar, it's because it's often used in rape cases. She acted/dressed in this way, so he couldn't help himself.
Sharp, unfortunately, goes on even further, saying:
Why would the cheeky French, German and American media, with no Commonwealth ties to Britain, be expected to honour such an antiquated code of etiquette? Why should the media be responsible for turning a blind eye when the royals aren’t always vigilant about keeping themselves nice?
It's not about keeping the Royal Family's image squeaky clean, it's about respecting a woman's right to not have her naked body displayed against her wishes. We can do better than this, people. It's 2014.