A good morning to you—
I'm probably the last person to comment on this, as I've never shot a single nude photo of anyone. (I don't know how ordinary or unusual that makes me among lifelong photographers—I don't have any reading on that metric.) And I don't need to see Jennifer Lawrence naked so much as I need to her cast in better-written movies. Hunger games, bah humbug.
But "This Idea Could Stop People From Posting Women’s Naked Photos Without Permission," written by Tara Culp-Ressler on ThinkProgress, is one of the most interesting photographic articles I've read in a long time. To me it doesn't seem reasonable to blame the people who shared their photos privately in the first place—romance is full of hope and excitement and trials of intimacy, and to expect people to remain guarded and legalistic in their thinking while in that state isn't very generous to human nature. But then, is the act of disseminating those private photos later, without permission, properly thought of as an act of sexual violation or aggression?
I lean toward sympathy with the latter position. Personally I'm very big on the idea of consent as a general principle. "Revenge porn," so called, goes against the grain of the way I tend to think human relations are best conducted. But as I say, maybe I'm not close enough to the issue to comment.
Have a good Thursday, and be considerate to others.
"Morning Coffee" is auto-published weekdays at 3:30 a.m. Central Time to be in time for morning coffee breaks in the UK and Europe.
Want to suggest a topic or ask a question? Leave it as a comment.
Original contents copyright 2014 by Michael C. Johnston and/or the bylined author. All Rights Reserved. Links in this post may be to our affiliates; sales through affiliate links may benefit this site.
(To see all the comments, click on the "Comments" link below.)
Featured Comments from:
Tim McGowan: "You have something in common with Ansel, he too did not shoot nudes."
Edie Howe: "Mike, Thank you for speaking up on this subject: as a survivor of sexual assault, the thought of having intimate images of myself distributed without my permission does indeed cause the same level of fear and anxiety that remembering my rape trauma does. Yes, it is a form of sexual assault. Nice to have an ally in you."
Jerome: "This not a technical problem, and it won't be resolved with technical cleverness. It is a problem of what behaviour we reward, and what behaviour we punish.
"The hacker: Let's start with that weird hacker apotheosis. Hackers are criminals. They break in, steal, extort, blackmail, intimidate. It is beyond me that hackers are celebrated and elevated to being heroes, some sort of robin hoods of the digital era. They are not. Just a bunch of thugs, that found a substitute for physical strength to commit crimes.
"Let's try an analogy. Imagine a burglar break into your house, steal your belongings—and then see him nut running off into the darkness, but all giddy and bursting with pride, showing off, surrounded by a cheering crowd that can't get enough of your stuff, and resells it with huge profit? And they point fingers at you, how stupid you are for having belongings, or being victim to a burglar. And don't even dare to speak up, or that crowd will turn into a raging mob, defending their burglar hero. But that wouldn't happen, the perpetrators would end up in jail in no time. Because we all agree that these are criminals, and their behaviour is not to be encouraged.
"You see? That's the difference. The burglar is labelled a criminal. People who resell stolen goods are also labelled criminals. Nobody cheers.
"Not so our hacker. He has no reason to fear any persecution, and he can monetise whatever he stole without a problem. This needs to change.
"Security: It is amazing that users are blamed for not being experts in securing their computers. Life is not long enough to become an expert in everything. IT security is a moving target, today's security fad is obsolete and ridiculed tomorrow. You just can't keep up with all the vulnerabilities, leaks, vendor's policy changes if you have a life to live.
"You will be hacked. No smug comment on how clever a password you have will change that. No user can constantly double check on the iClouds, Dropboxes, OneDrives of this world to see if there isn't any loophole waiting to be exploited, a new default setting that might backfire in combination with a new convenient (but potentially risky) feature and a bug in whatever device you used any given day.
"Hackers are experts in that, and they will find their way. Just like the burglar, who will pick a bigger crowbar, or just smash a window to get in. Security measures are just a hope to inconvenience the criminal enough to make him go to the next house.
"Pick a vendor you trust, set your passwords, and hope for the best. As a user, there's nothing more you can do, and nothing to feel guilty about.
"Shaming: Now this is the most troubling aspect. Who is shamed? Not the criminal who stole the pictures is shamed, not the media that publishes the stolen pictures. No, the victim is the one who gets public shame.
"Shaming means that you did something wrong. Something to be ashamed of. You stepped out of line, and now the crowd scoffs, points fingers and puts you in your place. Who do you think you are? How dare you do this, and expect to be treated respectfully afterwards, to still be one of us?
"Let's not fool ourselves here. It's women who are publicly shamed. The thinking is: they stepped out of line. Now they deserve to be punished. And this line of thinking needs to be stopped.
"There's nothing shameful about human bodies. There's nothing wrong or shameful in owning / taking nude pictures. This is a part of our human nature, and deserves the respect and privacy that we owe the person, regardless what gender, whether naked, clothed, crying, laughing...you get the idea.
"The one who needs to be scoffed, shamed and prosecuted is the one who steals or exploits stolen photos. The victims need and deserve our empathy and support.
"Please, give this a thought. If you agree, be vocal about it. Don't be a silent bystander when you see friends, colleagues ogling stolen nude photos and shame a (probably a female) neighbour, friend, colleague. This is the only way to stop this madness: to stop encouraging such behaviour."