When the news first started reporting that several female celebrities had private photos stolen, I was too angry to eloquently formulate any cohesive thoughts on the matter. But this week the topic resurfaced because Jennifer Lawrence, one of the victims has made a public statement:
“this isn’t a scandal its a sex crime”.
That sounds dramatic but it is true, horrifically true.
Ok, let’s start from the beginning.
Hi, I’m a human, and if you are reading this you are probably a human too. As fellow humans, we both have bodies. (I know surprise, surprise.) And we usually cover our bodies with clothes. But here’s another shock for you, under our clothes, we are all naked! (Peeks down shirt…) So I have 3 basic thoughts on this “scandal”.
Why is everyone still SO APPALLED by nudity? Literally everyone in the world is naked, usually at some point every day. We need to stop treating the human body like it is something to be ashamed of. Everyone has one and the sooner we reconcile with this obscenely simple fact, the better life will be for everyone. (Pardons, to Tobias Funke)
This was data theft. Why aren’t the same people who freak out about the NSA hacking our phones freaking out about this? Because they are celebrities, they don’t have the same rights to online privacy? Or because they are women and we are still subtly and not so subtly shaming their sexuality? I think a little of both.
And most importantly.
What we do with our body is our choice. It sounds simple right? Because it is. The right to the privacy, or sharing, at our own discretion, of our own bodies is our most fundamental human right.
You have the right to cut your hair, if you so choose, right? Its your body, of course you have that right if you want to. You have the right to get a tattoo or piercing, its your body. If you want to hold someone’s hand you can do so. If you don’t want someone else to hold your hand, you have the right to say “no thank you, please don’t touch me”. It is your body. Women have the right to breast feed, or not, its their body. You have the right to have sex with other consenting adults, its your body.
No one else has the right to cut your hair, or touch your body, or see your body in any way unless you tell them they can.
*You have the right to grant someone else permission to see your body at your mutual discretion*
We live in an age of technology now, and that is something we are going to have to get used to. So for the people who say “If they didn’t want people to see them naked they shouldn’t have taken the pictures” I ask you: How would you feel if you were intimate with your significant other, and someone was watching from outside without your permission? Violated? Yes, as well you should. And these acts are equivalent in this age of technology. The photos were taken, intended for one person, whom the subjects of the photos had given the privilege and the responsibility of seeing, their own choice in the given relationship between the them. And then the photos were stolen by someone who was not given that privilege by the subjects. They violated basic human rights and dignity.
We need to be treating these hackers the same way we would any thief, hacker, and sex criminal.