Naked pictures of celebrities are in the news again. With allegedly over 100 nude photographs leaked to 4chan, an anonymous hacker has now threatened to release a ‘sex tape’ featuring Jennifer Lawrence. As the news hit, most of our press has commented on this news by running pieces about how safe are we are online. Fair point but my main peeve of this whole scandal is that there is a glaringly obvious similarity of the people reportedly hacked and it’s this, they are all women. I can’t help but feel this is a reflection of the price of fame for women.
I get my news from social media, I follow the main newspapers and am met each day with a stream of articles to click on, like and share. This is handy as I get to spread the news I wish to whilst seeing what other people think too. I like to read the comments; to me they are almost as important now as the news itself. However there is an assumption that people that comment on the bottom of news articles and comment pieces aren’t real. That they are chronic moaners who hate the world and anyone doing anything remotely successful or newsworthy. But to think that these aren’t real people isn’t only a delusion, it’s irresponsible.
“Well she has a film out soon it must be a publicity stunt” or “We’ve all seen it before when she’d nearly got nude in her films” – talking here of Jennifer Lawrence, are a few that had got to me.
Our assumption that this sort of thing could be a publicity stunt is shameful and the idea that showing your body in film is in some way comparable to private pictures makes me sick. When you’re an actress your job is to act, not to give up your privacy for the general public to gawk at. Lena Dunham was right when she said these were sexual offenses. Huffington Post released a jaunty list of ‘funny’ comments people have made about the scandal, but making light of it doesn’t make it less of a crime. Just because you find someone attractive does not mean you can objectify them and sadly that is what I can see so many people doing. By clicking on the links your adding to this.
Whilst the internet throws up a lot of opportunity and knowledge it also proves a guise for a lot of ignorance. I live a lot of my life online: blogging and reading provides me with endless hours of entertainment and work. But I’m real; all the opinions I type and post are mine. I’m held accountable for the things I say online as much as I am in the outside world. We need to confront these attitudes of casual misogyny as they do represent how some people think. They are the loudest voice on a news page as they can come in their hundreds next to a piece written by a single person.
The news feeds us and our attitudes and for as long as we stand for it we will keep receiving it. It’s safe to think a woman would use a sex tape or a nude photo to create publicity because this is exactly what happens if someone is in the public eye. But I’m more interested at the rest of us standing on quietly whilst the few shout loudly that women are sluts and probably deserve it anyway. I know this isn’t what the most of us think; if this were a crowd there would be a front row of people jeering hate whilst thousands stand behind not saying anything.
We will always have a fascination with sex that is a fact. We’re biologically wired to enjoy and to crave it. What we can change though is the backdrop of the experience, because that is all media can do is provide a backdrop to our world view. If you’re a teenager learning about yourself and all you see in the news and on the television is images of women being sexualised that is what you’re going to believe they are for. If we constantly see women as pretty things that have to pay the price of exploitation to stand alongside their male contemporaries as the ‘a-list’ then we’re not going to believe girls can get there without that.
Social media has given us the opportunity to comment on every little thing we see. We have become a society of debaters and show-offs. Let’s not let the loudest few dictate the conversation of the masses.