We’ve all heard that story before…Girl* takes pictures of herself naked. Girl sends them to boy that she trusts. Boy gets mad or vengeful at some point in time. Boy leaks naked photos. Girl is humiliated and scarred for life. Boy is not affected.
Or, in the case of Jennifer Lawrence, her cloud was hacked and naked pictures were leaked by whoever stole them. She is said to be posing naked on the cover of Vanity Fair with a boa constrictor, apparently as her own way of mocking the situation.
The more I hear of naked photos being leaked, the angrier I get. Because with the action of having nude photos leaked comes a sudden wave of questions: “Why did she take those photos to begin with?” And sometimes even statements like, “Well, if she didn’t want them on the Internet, she shouldn’t have taken them in the first place!”
This may sound like a harmless and even valid point to you. Sure, the girl in this scenario assumed a certain risk when she posed nude and documented it. To play it safe she probably shouldn’t have taken them in the first place, right?
Not entirely true.
Yes, it’s true that this girl made a decision and had to know there were possible consequences involved. I’ll acknowledge that she took a risk. But that doesn’t excuse the fact that somebody violated her as a human being and completely neglected her right to privacy.
The question “Why did she do that in the first place?” is always asked. But what about, “What kind of human being betrays someone like that?”
I firmly stand behind the idea/fact that people have the right to do what they want with their bodies. Just because someone does something that you would never do or that you find scandalous doesn’t make it wrong.
When the media gets hold of these stories, the girl who posed naked is often blamed when she is actually the victim. She was not wrong for taking the pictures. What is wrong is that someone she trusted decided to humiliate her by posting them.
So please stop saying, “Why doesn’t she respect herself?” because for all you know, she respects herself enough to realize how beautiful she is and that is why she took a picture of herself without clothing on. People have absolutely no right to point a finger at someone and shame them for doing what they want with their body.
I am sick of the blatant misogyny involved with these cases. I am tired of listening to people defend the ones who leak the photos. And I’m done pretending this situation is virtually harmless when what it really is blatant slut shaming.
People can wear what they want and act how they want. And it’s time that everyone accepts that.
*Note: This does not always happen to girls. For the purpose of this post, I am using a typical scenario that includes a girl as an example.