herald

Monday 20 August 2018

Why is it always women who end up humiliated by online privacy leaks?

Did you google the leaked images of Jennifer Lawrence? Were you tempted?

Did you want to see if she looked 'hot' or what she might look like not photoshopped?

Did you think to yourself is everyone doing this? Taking explicit photos? Or were you relieved to think that everyone's at it, not just me?

All of those questions and issues are actually irrelevant, really. The real issue here is why it is women who are constantly the ones being shamed and humiliated by leaking of private and personal material.

It's not just famous female celebrities who this happens to. It happens to regular women every day of the week.

They agree to take a photo or record something on the understanding that it is private. An intimacy shared between two people and for their eyes only.

Then they break up and suddenly that private image or video is now public property on an revenge porn website.

privacy

And the victims are almost always women, whose image is often accompanied by personal information, including the woman's name, links to Facebook and social media profiles.

It's become such a problem that Israel, Britain, Germany and 12 states in the US have all passed laws against it.

It's nothing new really. In the 1980s, Hustler ran a feature of reader-submitted images of naked women, often accompanied by personal details.

Some women successfully sued the publication for publishing their picture without permission.

Your knee jerk reaction may be to warn women against agreeing to partake in explicit images but that's blaming the victim, who has a right to agree to such pictures in a consensual relationship.

But she also has a right to privacy and laws that protect that.

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