This past weekend, men and women were treated to a spectacular present: nude photos of the celebrity women they fantasized about for years. We tweeted our excitement, we criticized them for being so stupid and careless that they got hacked, we spread the pictures around like wildfire. We were thrilled to finally get a full frontal and borderline pornographic view of Kate Upton. We even giggled that her ginormous boobs matched her “overweight” frame. We rejoiced that Jennifer Lawrence’s goods were spread across our computer screens, our phones, our tablets, our Facebooks, our Twitters, our news sources. We cringed as we judged women for their un-photoshopped bodies. We smiled and laughed as dozens of women became the victims of a heinous sex crime.
Here are the facts: An atrocious scoundrel decided that he would use his ingenious abilities to hack into the clouds of some of the most desirable celebrities. The hacker, no doubt, used advanced and highly illegal methods of breaking into areas of password secured cyberspace in order to rob these celebrities of their most intimate possessions. These personal images of celebrity women in compromising positions were no longer personal, but made available to the public just like every other part of their lives has already been.
So, why are people proud that someone has finally conquered the unknown? This isn’t NASA discovering a galaxy and furthering human knowledge. We idolize these women because they are untouchable celebrities we hold on a pedestal. However, we fail to remember that it is a deliberate breach of these women’s civil right to privacy and our society is embracing it with open arms. And it is absolutely disgusting.
The counter argument is that the victims should have better protected themselves or should have known better than to keep nude pictures on their phones. If J Law or Kate Upton or whoever had practiced better preventative steps, none of this would have happened. These women are responsible because they made the conscious decision to take nude photos and save them on their personal and private phone, unaware of the dangers of hacking. These women had something they knew the public wanted and knowingly left it out in the open, practically inviting hackers in. These women were metaphorically in the windows of their private homes, blinds open, dancing naked, begging for it. These women are just plain stupid for getting robbed.
“Okay, so they were robbed and that sucks. But that’s a property crime, not a sex crime.”
Sex Crime, n. A crime involving sexual assault or having a sexual motive.
Call me crazy, but nudies are usually pretty sexual. The only kind of un-sexual nudie I can think of would be for that STD app where you send a picture of your diseased bathing suit area to doctors for a diagnosis. Chances are, J Law in a robe with a tit out probably wasn’t being sought out after for medical reasons. They were, instead, being used for sexual gain by exploiting her sexuality in a way she did not give consent to. Again, she did not explicitly allow her private, personal property to be used by a criminal. Call me an extremist, but I would go so far as to claim that this act of sexual robbery is the equivalent of cyber rape. The victims here were robbed of a part of themselves that they did not give consent to, by a person who used physical force to break the walls of their phone. It’s simple: no consent means no.
The way a majority of social media and news outlets has reacted to this crime is something we should be absolutely ashamed of. The celebrations of their privacy being stolen right out from under them and our inherent victim blaming reflects poorly on us as citizens of such a beautiful nation. Not only have we objectified these poor women, but we have gotten way too comfortable with forgetting that they are humans with civil rights, too. We have got to change. It has got to end.