If you've been on Twitter in the past 24 hours, there's no doubt you've encountered someone, anyone, your mom, talking about the private, nude photos of celebrities leaked by some lowlife 4chan hacker. Or at least, you've seen people discussing Jennifer Lawrence. At this point, you might've even seen the photos yourself. But let's talk about what's being less discussed here:
Seriously, do not forget that the person who stole these pictures and leaked them is not a hacker: they're a sex offender.— Lena Dunham (@lenadunham) September 1, 2014
People are titillated by leaked nude photos BECAUSE it is nonconsensual. Please consider that before you go searching for images.— Jessica Valenti (@JessicaValenti) August 31, 2014
A few writers have also started different conversations on the issue. Some choice excerpts are listed below:
Rather, just as the acceptance of Monroe’s nude photos — and her image as a whole — anticipated the sexual revolution, the acknowledgement that twentysomething females are sexual beings just might predicate a more balanced and less Puritanical understanding of female sexuality.
Moving away from the ethics of the leak, Petersen takes a historical view and discusses how Jennifer Lawrence might spin the situation positively, like Marilyn Monroe did when photos of the actress taken earlier in her career eventually surfaced.
Nor is this exploitative exposure of women’s naked bodies an issue that only famous women must deal with. Celebrities are just like us after all. This practice is so pervasive that it even has its own name – revenge porn, nude photos and explicit videos unleashed on the internet, most often by disgruntled ex-lovers. There are websites and online forums dedicated to this pernicious genre. Lives have been, if not ruined, irreparably harmed, because we are a culture that thrives on the hatred of women, of anyone who is Other in some way, of anyone who dares to threaten the status quo.
"The Great Naked Celebrity Photo Leak of 2014 Is Just the Beginning" by Roxane Gay for The Guardian
Roxane Gay tackles the issue head-on, not only addressing the hypocrisy with which celebrities are treated by the masses and the flimsy justifications used to invade their private lives, but also considering the double-standards inherent within society.
The perpetrator of this crime will probably one day be unmasked, vilified by the decent and heroized by jerks, and then fall into oblivion the moment they're shipped to prison. (Remember Christopher Chaney? Exactly.) But just like the photos themselves, the jerks who inflamed this spectacle, the ones who shared the photos and poked the victims publicly, will still be around.
Let them know the internet is written in ink. Let their horrible ideas be preserved and ridiculed publicly. It's their own fault.
"Say Hello to Men Who Hate the NSA But Love Invading the Privacy of Women" by T.C. Sottek for The Verge
Rather than placing any blame on Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton, or any of the other victims of the hack, this piece from Sockett shifts the focus to the hypocritical misogynists at the center of web communities like 4chan and Reddit.
So just take a second to skip the Internet message boards/blackhole of endless slut-shaming, and consider the tweets and essays above before you act. And most importantly, consider this: these women, regardless of their public persona, are entitled to privacy and to express their sexuality however they wish. It's their basic human right. These women have lives, too.