A PSA About Nude Photos

I wrote that tweet yesterday in regards to the celebrity nude photo thefts.

(It’s not a leak. Nor a scandal. It was theft, kay? Kay.)

It’s had over 4500 retweets since then.

A tweet that goes that far and wide tends to get a response that is equally far and wide, and so of course I’m getting a lot of tweets from people (let’s be honest: dudes) who are like BUH BUH BUT UHH THAT’S WRONG BECAUSE SOMETHING SOMETHING FALSE ANALOGY SOMETHING SOMETHING SECURITY AND HEY REMEMBER YOU SHOULDN’T PUT NUDE PHOTOS ON YOUR PHONE IF YOU WANT THEM STOLEN.

Basically reiterating the same thing I was attempting to refute in the first fucking place.

If that is your response, may I take this moment to elucidate an academic retort:

Fuck you.

Fuuuuuuuck you.

Fuuuu-huuuu-huuuuuuuuck you.

Please: now allow me to grow multiple arms like Shiva the Destroyer, and further, do note that at the ends of each serpentine arm you will find a middle finger, thrust up so that each finger is straining in an angry, arthritic fashion to convey the telepathic disdain I have for your bullshit, hypocritical, falsely equivalent opinion.

I think people should be allowed to take nude photos of themselves.

I think nude photos are rad. I think not taking nude photos is rad. I think whatever you want to do sexually or artistically is a-okay as long as its enthusiastically consensual — stick a carrot up your ass, if you want, while banging your genitals with a tambourine. Whoever you are, however you identify yourselves, I live in a world where I want you to have both the freedom to do what you want in this manner while simultaneously possessing the privacy to do it as you see fit.

Any violation of that is just that: a violation.

It is a crime. An actual, honest-to-that-blind-lady-with-the-scales crime.

It is not rape, but it is deeply demonstrative of rape culture because it is an act that exploits a woman and her body without her consent. And then, as if to vigorously rub salt into the wound with the heel of one’s callused hand, the judgey-faced shitty-assed judgments of countless men follow in the wake of the violation: victim-blaming, slut-shaming, Puritanical finger-waggling.

“If you don’t want nude pics to get into the world…”

“Something-something security…”

“Sure, sure, it’s a crime, but still, you have to know realize that…”

Shut up.

Shut up shut up shut up shut up.

If you do that, you are on the side of evil, not the side of good.

Oh, I know. You’re pretending that you have people’s best interests at heart.

You want to remind them that the phone they carry is a vulnerable device.

It’s basically a boat with a sprung hull. Anything might leak into or out of it.

So, you think that anything you have put on your phone is suspect? Or your computer or tablet? If I steal your banking information, or your credit cards, or your e-mails, or pictures of your wife, your kids — well, hey, that’s your fault. You plugged in, bro. You shouldn’t have driven on the Information Superhighway if you don’t want to get run over by a couple joy-riding hackers, right?

And hey, driving on the actual highway is pretty dangerous, too. You shouldn’t drive because you could get hit. Sure, I mean, a drunk driver shouldn’t drive drunk — but it’s kinda your fault too because you had the audacity to leave your home. Leaving your home is dangerous. Your whole body is basically a gelatinous jellyfish, just an animated sack of bones and meat quivering its way through life. If you don’t protect yourself — guns, armor, various Mad Max-ian spikes and chains — then you can expect all kinds of violence. You’re not at all secure out there. Your flesh isn’t protected by a password. It’s your fault if you get beaten up. Oh, they stole your wallet, too? That’s what you get for putting all that vulnerable money inside a leather flappy thing ensconced within the soft downy pockets of your dumb acid wash jeans.

What’s that? I just punched you in the face?

Okay, yes, that’s a crime. Admittedly! Admittedly.

But you probably also should be wearing a helmet.

Your face is very vulnerable to the security exploit of my grumpy fist.

Of course, nobody’s saying those things.

Because nobody thinks those things.

Crimes are not a thing we deserve just because we exist in this world.

And yet, that’s what people (ahem, again, mostly dudes) are saying, here. This is the digital equivalent of, “Look at what she was wearing.” A woman is raped and we ask all kinds of questions as to what she did to engender the act — did she protect herself? Was she dressed conservatively enough to thwart the unstoppable sexual aggression of men? Was she in a place — like a seedy bar, or a Ruby Tuesday’s, or any street in America — where rape sometimes happens?

If I see a cake in a window and it’s sufficiently delicious-looking, can I take it?

And when I do take it, will someone ask the bakery: well, how did you decorate it? Was it too delicious-looking? The icing is very enticing. Too enticing, really. Can you blame the thief? How can one control such base and vital hunger? You probably should’ve locked the case. Or hidden the cake behind a secret door. It’s at least partially your fault the cake was stolen. Make uglier, less delicious cakes, next time — ?

One response read:

‘…and i know i wouldnt bank online without the numerous security checks and verification systems they use.’

Well, yes, of course, but nude photos are also protected by the numerous security checks and verification systems afforded by using your phone. They didn’t staple-gun their photos to a nearby telephone pole. The photos weren’t public.

Another said:

‘Im not ‘Blaming’ but security is your own responsibility. Do you keep your money in a bank, or hang it from a tree?’

Were the nude photos hung from a tree? No, they weren’t. So, shut up.

Another called me an SJW, which of course stands for ‘Social Justice Warrior’ — a fascinating term that I guess is somehow supposed to be bad? Like, “Ew, social justice is gross, and also being a warrior for social justice, oh, yucky, blergh, fighting for things you believe in is such a jerk move. Trying to make the world a better place for society with justice is pretty weird! I mean, unless you’re one of the Avengers, because they’re great. Especially that hot red-headeded one with the naked pictures on line — did you guys see these?”

*Tasers you*

*sighs over your twitching body*

It’s ugly out there, folks.

Can’t be a woman online. Or worse, playing games — gasp!

Can’t be a black dude in a convenient store.

Can’t be transgender… well, pretty much anywhere.

You’ll get judged. Deserving of a crime by dint of some perceived deviation.

How you’re dressed. The color of your skin. The choice of your gender identity.

When you judge someone for taking nude pictures on their phone — and you suggest that what they got was, if not deserved then at least expected — you’re a sexist shit-ferret. You’re not really making a point about security or the porousness of the Internet. You’re making a judgment based on that person’s choices. You’re judging the act of taking naked photos rather than the theft of the photos. You’re putting the onus of the crime on the victim and not the criminal because — really, this is why, I swear! — you don’t agree with their choices. Prurience must be punished. Sex is a sin. Where is their shame, you ask? Such shamelessness is provocative. It provokes a criminal response which basically makes the sinner culpable for their own victimization.

Stop it.

Cut the Puritanical crap.

A crime is a crime is a crime.

It is not invited.

You don’t deserve it because of your lack of clothes or because you chose Apple as a brand.

You don’t deserve it because you’re a celebrity.

Nobody deserves it.

If you suggest otherwise: congrats, you’re now part of a culture of rape, misogyny and sexism.

*Tasers you again*

*throws you out the airlock*