It's tragic that in today's society — one that claims to be a modern society, above racism, misogyny, inequality, and discrimination — a group of women could be so shamed and abused by the public for nude photos being stolen from them. Do we really live in a world where the female body is seen as more offensive than a gross violation of privacy experienced by a large number of women who just so happen to be famous? Unfortunately, it seems like that may be the case: In the wake of Jennifer Lawrence, Ariana Grande, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, and countless other female celebs having their personal nude photos stolen by a disgusting hacker, a disappointingly large response from the public has been one of ridicule and shame directed toward the women in the nude photos rather than the outrage one would expect to be the reaction to a situation like this. These stolen photos being posted on the Internet is nothing short of a sex crime, not a twist of gossip meant to be shared with others.
People blaming these women for having their photos stolen from them should be ashamed of themselves.
That said, luckily there has been some truly feminist reaction to this event. The Guardian's Van Badham's article on the subject, "If you click on Jennifer Lawrence's naked pictures, you're perpetuating her abuse," is a must-read; Scott Mendelson's piece in Forbes, "Jennifer Lawrence Nude Photo Leak Isn't A 'Scandal.' It's A Sex Crime," deserves applause; and the feminist Twitter response has been much greater than it has in the past when situations regarding female celebrities' personal nude photos or videos being stolen and publicly shared arose. As Mendelson states in his piece:
It is not Ms. Ritter’s or Ms. Dunst’s responsibility to protect their own property from theft by not creating said property or only storing it in a specific place any more than it’s any woman’s responsibility to dress a certain way, travel in groups, wear special date rape drug-detecting nail polish, or what-have-you to lessen the chance that someone will attempt to rape them. As is often the case when we discuss sex crimes, we have it backwards. It is not on the (usually, but not always, female) victim to take “enough” measures to protect herself but rather on the (usually, but not always, male) victimizer to choose not to commit said sex crime.
While there will always need to be more voices speaking out about this being an outrageous crime — and there will be until everyone responding to this situation is saying something like this — it's good to see there's at least a strong presence on the Internet as disgusted by this crime as they should be.
Here are some great feminist responses to the scandal seen on Twitter:
And these amazing, amazing words from Girls creator/star Lena Dunham:
Remember: Just because these women are celebrities and put their lives in the public eye for their work, it does not invite creeps to intrude on their personal belongings and share their most private photos for the world to see — these are real women, and they deserve the respect that every single human being deserves. Again, this is a sex crime, and I can only hope that it will be treated as such by the appropriate authorities.