Feminism is not a radical movement. Simply put by our queen Beyoncé in one of her songs, a feminist is someone “who believes in the social, political and economic equality of the sexes.” Our society poses women as sexual objects and will do anything to exploit it. Over one -hundred female celebrities’ nude/semi-nude pictures were stolen for a profit, and merely two included males. Rather than focusing on the hackers who personally targeted these women, others like Ricky Gervais and Fox News’ reporter Martha MacCallum defer to slut-shaming.
The pictures of these women were personally stored on their phones. They had the right to take these photos, yet are the ones being held responsible. Lena Dunham of Girls rebutted the argument “to just not taking the pictures if you don’t want them hacked” by the comparison to “just not wearing a short skirt if you don’t want to be sexually harassed.” One action doesn’t necessarily warrant the other, especially when legality is in question. Justin Verlander of the Detroit Tigers, one of the only male victims, stated “I’m not going to comment on my personal life. I never have, and I never plan on it. I keep my personal life personal.”
Viewing the photos are a form of sexual violation. It is one thing to personally post nude pictures on the web, but it is an act of degradation to illegally obtain and sell pictures to create the so-called “Fappening.” This term isn’t as humorous as it appears, at least from a female stance; it seems to indicate that those viewing the photos feel a sense of entitlement, a personal right to propel the humiliation of the victims. Feminism is needed to fight the blatant injustice. Social equality fell when some of the most famous female celebrities in the world were targeted. Kate Upton might be on Maxim’s Top 100, but that doesn’t give anyone permission to go through her password-locked files. Clearly the fact that these people are successful doesn’t matter since they are the ones being blamed.
Twitter and Tumblr have been vital platforms for people to express their views, including comedian Bo Burnham’s sassy, and might I say, true depiction of the incident, “OMGG YASSS STOLEN NAKED PICTURES OF YOUNG WOMEN YASSSS BLATANT VIOLATION OF A FELLOW HUMAN BEING’S PRIVACY SO HOTTT OMFGGG MMMMM!” Objectifying women is nothing new, but telling girls of all ages their privacy will not be respected is a new level of injustice. Emma Watson was not a victim, but shared her concern, “Even worse than seeing women’s privacy violated on social media is reading the accompanying comments that show such a lack of empathy.”
Rather than earning a woman’s respect to see her body, the media is perpetuating the nonconsensual dispersal of the nude photos. NBC’s Late Night with Seth Myers put an end to the discussion with these comments, “Oh, and a message to those of us in the media: We should stop referring to the photo-leakers as ‘hackers,’ because they aren’t cool nerds saving the world from oppressive information mainframes; no, they’re ‘perverts making money off of stolen goods.’” The “Fappening” is not a case of security, it’s a case in which internet users can make the decision to stop this egregious and hurtful violation of privacy.
by MEGAN McCLAIN / contributing writer