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*

338 comments

  • This article is tripe; Frothy, blathering, irrational crapiola. Obviously, the only crime here is the hacking and distribution of personal data, in this case nude pics. This is simply another in a long line of examples highlighting the dangers of storing personal photos on the net, that there are a-holes out there who prey on this type of data, and they’re not going anywhere. That’s just reality. So, ladies, simply be aware and proceed at your own risk, and if you think I’m a misogynist for saying this, than fuck you too!

    • Just in case anyone doesn’t understand what “mansplaining is,” well ^^^

      “UHH, EXCUSE ME, LITTLE LADIES, [insert pedantic rant about security]. IF YOU DON’T LIKE WHAT I’M SAYING THEN [some sort of invective, possibly violent, possibly just jerky]. I’M JUST TRYING TO PROTECT YOU AND IF YOU CAN’T ACCEPT MY PROTECTION THEN [more invective]. THAT’S JUST REALITY. [poop noise]”

      I’m letting this comment through as a test balloon to note: I won’t let more like this through.

      I’ve already shut down quite a few that were… uhh, let’s just go with “a lot nastier than this one.”

      Guy, IF THAT IS YOUR REAL NAME, go away. Else I boot you into the spam oubliette.

      — c.

    • “If you think I’m a misogynist for saying this, than fuck you too!”

      Ladies and gentleman, I present to you: The King of Lacking Self-Awareness.

      Pro-tip, dudebro: if you think that a lady disagreeing with your expert opinion on ladies is grounds to tell her “fuck you,” then yes, you are a misogynist.

    • I think that it’s a little more than telling with who wrote this what we fight against every day. Yes, dude, you. I”m talking to you “guy”. You are completely and utterly, “THAT GUY”. You’re probably “THAT GUY” who catcalls about my ass but then when I don’t acknowledge you you shout a “fuck you too” as if your appreciation of MY ass is something I should be happy about.

      Everyone, meet “That guy”. YOu know the one we try really hard to avoid. The one we feel like we need a ‘boyfriend’ to be around, the one we’d rather not get near at the bathroom where there arent’ many people. THAT GUY who wants you to be oh-so-thankful that he deigned to find you attractive and THEN went so far as to lower himself to speak to you.

      Yep. You got it. THAT GUY is here on Chuck’s blog. Get a good long look at him – then raise your sons differently. Don’t raise THAT GUY.

  • Okay, normally I don’t comment on… well, much of anything on the internet… because I enjoy my sanity. But I feel so compelled in this instance. First, to say HALLELUJAH! Thank you! This is *exactly* what I’ve been trying to express to people. So much has been banging around in my head since this first broke that I’m not sure it comes across at all well when I try to say it. For one thing, I’m a bi-sexual woman who finds Jennifer Lawrence all kinds of super hot. I’m not going to lie; if she was naked in a movie I’d watch it and lust. But the thought of looking at pictures of her disseminated without her knowledge or consent makes me feel ill. And then doubly ill because there are so many people out there who apparently don’t feel that looking at them is a violation of anything at all.

    The other thing that makes my brain feel all explodey is that people genuinely don’t seem to realize how detrimental to society the victim-blaming mentality is. Several people commenting have mentioned how we don’t live in some sort of perfect fairy utopia where people should expect to have their privacy respected. They’re depressingly right. We don’t. And it’s just going to continue being that way – if not get worse – with all these people perpetuating the idea that, as you said so brilliantly Chuck, the onus of responsibility is on the victim to be a harder target. The prevalence of that mindset means that, if they do catch the criminal who did this, the jury he is brought in front of is more likely to not punish him as severely (I’ve witnessed first hand the mindset in deplorable action in the jury room of a sexual assault case). Which, in turn, makes that person more likely to commit the same crime again and again and again. Why wouldn’t they? All of society (or too much of society, anyway) is giving them an out. A caveat. “Well, yeah, I stole from those people… but it’s not like they tried *really* hard not to get stolen from!”

    If the reports that pictures of McKayla Maroney that were stolen were taken when she was a minor are true, this criminal is responsible for distribution of child pornography as well. But maybe he’s not entirely responsible for that either? She obviously should have made it more clear she wasn’t legal age in the photos he stole to sell to people. Maybe held up her driver’s license in the pic, or something.

    • Off-tangent:

      I am also a bisexual woman who finds Jennifer Lawrence all kinds of super-hot. Given the circumstances, this makes me feel slightly weird.

      (On-tangent: you said everything I wanted to say, but much more eloquently. So, awesome.)

  • I want to be clear about something. This article has the same problem that the pseudo-feminists who complained about nailpolish that could detect a drug in a drink. They were mad because women were being given a gift to defend themselves when they shouldn’t have to. They were whining about non-utopian solutions. You know what? Telling somebody anything along the lines of “you shouldn’t do this defensive thing because people shouldn’t do this awful thing to you in the first place” is beyond stupid, it’s dangerous. The hardened criminals who rape women or hack phones don’t give a shit about arguments like “you shouldn’t do that.” They have already crossed a point of no return. No one should be “on the side of the devil” for urging caution.
    “You shouldn’t have to” arguments don’t mean shit. Nobody who is violating you cares about that. While it shouldn’t happen, life is not fair and certain people are violated in ways not everyone can appreciate. Famous women have their phones hacked and they are blamed for whatever comes out. It’s not fair, but it happens. Given that so many celebrity phones get hacked, it is idiotic not to seek the best possible protection when you are a celebrity and you know phones get hacked. Here’s something to shut up the knee-jerk liberals: I’m a black male. I don’t worry about my phone being hacked and I don’t worry about getting drugs in my drinks because there is no history of that happening to people like me. But I doubt that many of you appreciate checking your rearview mirror all the time and getting nervous when you see a cop. I go through that all the time. Should I have to? No. But that doesn’t mean shit. I should not have to, but I do. That concern does not affect everyone, but that’s the way it is and all the wishful thinking in the world does not change that. All the attempts to change the world for the better don’t make things change tomorrow, or next week, or even next year. Certain people have certain unfair risks attached.
    If you can rip your heads from your asses, you might realize there is something significant happening in Missouri. Whenever I visited my Aunt and Uncle in Missouri, if I went out, my uncle would tell me “Be careful boy, Missouri is a southern state.” I got what he meant. I shouldn’t have to worry, but I would be a fool not to. My father gave me lifesaving information about dealing with the police. Don’t run, don’t mouth off, Keep your hands in sight, DON’T ACT STUPID! Was he wrong? Not at all. That advice could have saved a lot of young brothers lives. “Should” or “shouldn’t” implies that the world works exactly the way you want. It does not and my father and uncle were not wrong for telling me to be careful. It’s not my fault when a cop pulls up alongside me and tells me “I fit the description” or “Are you lost boy?” but I would be an idiot to think “I shouldn’t have to put up with this” will save me.
    It is dangerous to tell people that everything is equal and they should not have to worry about specific things. “Should not” is meaningless. Blaming people for urging others to take preventative measures is filthy and unrealistic and I sorry to see you think that way. Would you tell someone they should not drive defensively on the highway or use Norton anti-virus because “they shouldn’t have to?” Of course not. Too often, we excuse people for not practicing safety. The phone hackers must be punished, but I hope that would go without saying. If I had my way, all the hackers and rapists would be removed from the gene pool. Nevertheless, anything plugged in is vulnerable and we all have to live with that whether we like it or not. It would be irresponsible not to urge caution.

    • See, the thing to remember here though is that “urging caution” isn’t the same as “blaming those who failed to exercise it for reasons X, Y, Z.”

      Further, it assumes that those who had this photos stolen failed to exercise it.

      — c.

      • Urging caution is what many of the “Something something security” people are trying to say, but you and others are dismissing them outright. In this whole kerfuffle, it’s the one spot where I wish my fellow lefties would educate themselves.

        Look, we’re all taking chances. You take a chance using the same password for everything or storing personal data on the Internet. You take a chance using a credit card online or over the phone. You take a chance leaving money in your car or leaving your house unlocked all day. You take a chance parking or living in a crappy neighborhood and not having a security system. You are well within your rights to do all of those things if you want, and you shouldn’t have to pay some price or be blamed because you made a choice with a reasonable expectation of safety. Absolutely, you shouldn’t have to go to any measure to protect yourself because people shouldn’t commit crimes. If you become a victim of a crime, it isn’t because you “deserved it” or “asked for it” — but an ounce of prevention can matter. The world is loaded with criminals. Being careful and taking steps to protect yourself from them is not the same thing as assuming “victim blame.” Maybe an ounce of prevention would’ve helped. Maybe not.

        The Internet is NOT PRIVATE. People need to understand that. If you lock something away behind tough passwords and encryption, then you have a reasonable expectation of security, but it’s not in a magical private Internet of your own. The Internet is publicly accessible and a determined person can find what they want and break through weak passwords and security. It’s a crime. It’s wrong. It happens. It sucks. And it’s not the victim’s fault that it happened, but there are things we can do to slow people down and prevent this stuff.

        There is nothing wrong with urging caution and preparation while simultaneously calling for a better world where caution and preparation aren’t needed so badly. It’s called being reasonable.

        • Talking about prevention and caution is fine.

          Saying that, while pointing only at the women who had their private pictures stolen off what appeared to be a secure system, is where it enters the realm of mansplaining and potentially misogyny. Instructing women on how to be safe while not instructing everybody on the same is problematic. Which is why, as I said, it sounds a whooooole lot like the things people say to rape victims. Instead of getting the details on the crime, they ask what they did to potentially engender the crime. Which is fucked up.

          — c.

          • c. –

            How would you talk about caution? What would your PSA look like? Who would be your target audience for a PSA about someone stealing nude photos?

            I would personally target attractive women who have a lot to lose and a lot of people interested in their naked bodies. Makes sense because these are the people attackers are targeting. No hacker cares to see or steal photos of my lumpy white nude body.

            I would tell famous women not to create naked photos of themselves in any digital format. Maybe you view this as an unalienable right but it does not matter as aw0027 clearly articulated.

            I would reference an already public example of such a thing happening. I would try to call attention to it in two ways: first to warn that such thieves exist, second to request that people with the power to prosecute these people to prosecute them.

            Asking people to not learn from high profile incidents is wrong. Maybe not everyone on twitter is tactful. Surprise. That does not mean that we should not be allowed to publicly discuss the misfortunes of others as a society.

            Cops are going to be nice to me because of my white polo wearing body. I never once had an uncle warn me about living here in the south. I am not going to go yell at all my uncles for profiling me and not issuing the same warning aw0027 got.

            Despite disagreeing, I am still thankful for the public conversation you created here.

            – w.

          • A lot of people aren’t victim blaming, though. They’re just trying to offer advice, the most pragmatic of which is “don’t take nude photos, or if you must, don’t send them as data/put them on the Internet.” It reminds me of the ’90s safe sex commercials that said “Of course, abstinence is the safest, but if you must have sex, wear a condom.” It left your choices up to you, but gave you a warning on the way.

            The difference is being a realist, not an idealist. The utopia we wish to live in is not the world we actually live in. The Internet more closely resembles the Wild West than our offline lives. And like the Wild West, sometimes you protect yourself with a sidearm and make sure you always sit with your back to the wall, but one day you get shot from behind during a round of Poker, anyway. No one deserves it, but we’re in Deadwood with a population a billion times the size. It’s reality. The best we can do is offer precautions. I’m not judging anyone, slut shaming, or victim blaming. But we’re getting shouted down by a loud and angry vocal majority that is stifling this conversation with how the world SHOULD work. I’m with them: It SHOULD work that way. But until it does, it’s a dreamland. And we’re not there yet: we’re in a lawless, wilderness commune.

        • How much prevention is an ounce? Seems like all these women had passwords on their accounts. What if they thought that was their ounce? What reason did they have to believe it wasn’t until this happened? I don’t think it’s ‘reasonable’ to expect you iCloud account to be broken into, just like it’s not ‘reasonable’ to expect somebody to taser you and steal your shoes.

          And it’s also bullshit to say the internet isn’t private. You might as well say nothing’s private so long as there exists the possibility of somebody getting in there, even if they have to commit a crime to do it. Your bedroom probably isn’t private to the guy with a crowbar and a will to be there, doesn’t mean you wouldn’t call what you do there private.

        • If restricted, secured, password-protected cloud storage isn’t private then literally nothing is private. Breaking into cloud storage doesn’t make it ‘not private’ any more than breaking into your house makes it ‘not private’.

          Can’t you see the problem with this argument?

          The only difference is that it takes more time and more risk to break into 50 people’s houses than it does to break into their cloud storage. It doesn’t make it not private. It doesn’t mean they didn’t take security and prevention seriously.

        • “The Internet is publicly accessible…”

          You do not understand the definition of “publicly accessible.” Please shut up.

          (Is your bedroom “publicly accessible” because your house fronts on a public street? No? Even if you neglected to lock AND deadbolt your front door? Then shut the fuck up.)

        • September 4, 2014 at 7:33 AM // Reply

          You really, really don’t get it do you? The conversation isn’t about security or the lack of privacy online.

          It’s about the victims of the crime being blamed for the crime and it happens all too often to women (I’ve yet to see anything about the naked guy in the pictures or how he’s to blame for it–they all seem to be blaming his girlfriend/wife who wasn’t alone in some of the pictures).

          Then we get people who float into the conversation who don’t want to talk about the real problem but go on explaining something that nine times out of ten we realize and don’t need explained to us. Yes, the Internet is a dirty, nasty place seething with dirty, nasty people–message received, thank you. Now, can we talk about how you just completely ignored the subject at hand about how people, often women, are blamed for crimes perpetuated against us?

          Sorry I’m not being REASONABLE and talking about what you want to talk about but get a clue, man.

    • September 3, 2014 at 8:38 AM // Reply

      You hit the nail on the head!! Thanks for this very intelligent reply!!! All the things I want to say but can’t put into words!!!!

    • Caution is well and good. But one of the greatest catalysts for change and social improvements is calling out injustice and harmful thinking. If this aspect of change were to disappear and we all just accepted that injustice was a part of our social system, things would stay the same, or worse, slide backwards. You of all people should be able to appreciate that.

    • I’d like to respectfully point out that there is a HUGE difference between one’s father giving advice and warning, and strangers on the internet. One is meaningful and appropriate, the other is… well, I’ll just refer to Chuck’s blog on what that often is.

    • Blaming the victim, and blaming the offender/feeling bad for the victim, are not mutually exclusive. There are those of us who simply want there to stop being victims. Since stopping the offenders is outside of our abilities, the only option is to continue to use these victims as a way to illustrate how not to become one.

      Some of us can sit idly by, gasping in surprise every time something like this happens – and blaming all those who are to blame, while waxing poetic about how all these steps shouldn’t be necessary; but that doesn’t accomplish anything. At all.

      At least, following the advice within the so-called blame, will help people stop becoming victims in the short term, while more grandiose ideals like the elimination of rape-culture, and stopping the objectification of women, continue to form and take hold.

      While I wish there were nicer, and more effective methods of giving advice, that didn’t require using a victim as an example, I seem not to have Jennifer Lawrence’s phone number. Otherwise, I’d have been happy to pass on that advice to her, in the first place.

      • “Since stopping the offenders is outside of our abilities, the only option is to continue to use these victims as a way to illustrate how not to become one.”

        Have you considered how the victims whose stories you are appropriating and turning into an object lesson might feel about this?

        And actually, I find putting the blame on – and reminding other people that they need to put the blame on – the people actually responsible for victimizing others accomplishes quite a bit. Pinpointing where the problem really lies is the first step in solving that problem.

        The problem here doesn’t lie with the women who were violated. It lies with the men who violated them. Obscuring that fact and holding these women up as cautionary tales does nothing to “help people stop becoming victims;” it just ensures that when they do become victims, there will be someone else behind them to say “make sure you don’t end up like her.”

        • How would they feel? I’d hope they’d *want* people to learn from this. I’d hope they wouldn’t want anybody to go through what they are. I’d hope that they’d wish they’d seen and followed this advice beforehand – otherwise they wouldn’t be a victim in the first place.

          There is no mystery involved in who is to blame. Anybody that isn’t part of the problem already knows who to blame, and those who are part of the problem, don’t care. Blame for the sake of blame, accomplishes nothing – even those gleefully supporting this invasion of privacy, knows – deep down, that it’s wrong. Most of them even know that viewing a woman as a mere sex object, is also wrong – hence all the really lame attempts at “justifying” their actions.

          Yes, it is important to make it a point to reiterate that this *is* wrong, that these hackers did break the law, and invaded the privacy of a human being. It’s also important to make it clear that those who seek out these photos, and create the demand for this, are just as much at fault as those who are actually committing the crime. But it’s a lot easier, and far more effective, to help someone prevent becoming something they don’t want to be, than merely attempt to convince someone to be something different than they want to be.

          • ” I’d hope they’d *want* people to learn from this. I’d hope they wouldn’t want anybody to go through what they are. I’d hope that they’d wish they’d seen and followed this advice beforehand – otherwise they wouldn’t be a victim in the first place”

            May I ask – have you ever been sexually assaulted before?

            Because I have.

            And there is no amount of advice I could have followed to prevent it.

            But there sure are a hell out of lot people who think that I could have done something about it.

            Like you.

            I spent years beating myself up thinking that I had somehow brought my assault on myself, that surely, there was some magic bullet, something I could have said or done that could have stopped things before they began.

            There wasn’t. The man who assaulted me was going to assault me one way or another, no matter what I did.

            It took me YEARS to realize that, that it wasn’t my fault.

            So no, victims don’t “wish” they had seen and followed the advice of others, because there is no advice that can prepare you for being a victim, and to act like there is is horribly condescending at best, and indicative of a pathological need to appoint some portion of blame to victims at worst.

            I’m leaning towards the latter in your case.

            But I get it.

            You need to appoint some portion of blame because that way, you can feel safe and secure knowing that you did everything right, that you’re not going to be a victim, not like the people who irresponsibly didn’t follow your advice and who now wish they had. You need to know that you’re not going to become someone’s tragic example that they can point to and say “here, learn from this.”

            You need to know that one day, someone won’t treat you like an imbecile because you didn’t follow their advice and went and got yourself violated because of it, while simultaneously expecting you to somehow feel GRATEFUL for their deigning to impart words of wisdom regarding something they’ve never experienced and know nothing about.

            I used to feel the same way.

            I learned better.

            Get the fuck over yourself.

            (You’re right about one thing: I don’t want anyone to go through what I went through – and you acting like my not wanting to be used as an example in your tragedy porn somehow means I don’t is beyond the fucking pale. You don’t know shit about what I do to prevent sexual assault…but I guarantee that I do lot more than you.)

          • September 8, 2014 at 6:32 PM //

            While I am sorry you had to go through that, you’re comparing apples to oranges. Yes, the people who think acquiring these photos are perfectly fine, and/or place the blame solely on the victim, likely have similar views as those who abuse women (sexually, mentally and/or physically); but at the same time – apples and oranges are both fruit.

            Encouraging those who do take nude photos (or have other things they wish to keep private), to be security conscious when dealing with the internet, is something that will actually prevent this from happening. Telling women that they shouldn’t dress a certain way, or do anything else that makes them “ask for it”, is something that’s completely different – and not even effective.

            Again, I will reiterate. It is *not* the victim’s fault. But there *are* things that can be done to prevent it from happening. And again, I’m not talking about something special that only women need to do, to prevent the lecherous lack of self control by men. It’s something *everybody* should be doing. Preventing nudes from being leaked, is just a side benefit.

            All too often I see people just going about their days online, or with their phones, caring only about what’s easiest and convenient for them – not bothering to pay attention to what needs to be paid attention to, and thinking everything will be just peachy.

            And then their facebook gets “hacked”, or their email, or their gaming account, or someone gains access to their online storage, where pictures and documents they never intended to upload, are there – because they didn’t bother to either remember or realize that their phone/computer is set up to automatically upload their pictures and videos.

            Almost every account you have online, or what’s contained in these accounts, is valuable to someone, somewhere. You don’t leave your car or house doors unlocked, or hand out copies of the keys indiscriminately, and even when you do, you’re not about to leave something valuable in plain sight, so why do the equivalent online?

    • You’re right. Crime doesn’t operate by morals, nor ideals. No matter how long or how well we rant a man or woman should not have to do something, we don’t live in a world of that unanimous belief. We cannot trust a rapist not to rape, or a sex offender to be a good person. I’m always reminded of ‘Here, there be monsters.’ As a woman who has been targeted for much of my life that has been my existence. In my life, there have been monster. And I have fought – and failed – to protect myself at times. When I was raped, it was not my fault. Whatever cautions I did or did not employ, the offenders were the ones who chose to commit a crime against me. However, if my pain can serve as a warning to other young women, I’ll gladly allow it.

      That’s not me blaming myself or women. This is me saying, “It happened to me. It can happen to you, too. Here’s a few precautions you can take that might help you from being where I am now, waking up with nightmares I’ll never be able to fight off entirely.”

      Slut shaming and victim blaming have a close relative that is equally destructive – gender disloyalty. We hear that time and again when a new, well intentioned product comes on the market to stop rape. We peer pressure women into not using these products, because as a woman ‘we shouldn’t have to’.

      Some of the products are, in fact, crap and quite sexist, but not all of them. Certainly not fucking nail polish. I know some criticize it for giving false positives, but a sample of the drink could clear that up. I’d rather women go through drink testing than a rape kit.

      ‘shouldn’t have to’ I can’t stand that phrase.

      Bull shit. A sex offender shouldn’t offend. Until that bastard lives in our world on our terms, I’m going to keep urging women and men to be proactive against predators and aware of potential risk. And that is where the period goes.

      • “Bull shit. A sex offender shouldn’t offend. Until that bastard lives in our world on our terms, I’m going to keep urging women and men to be proactive against predators and aware of potential risk.”

        I agree with this statement. I have no problem with urging people to use caution and be proactive if we make it clear that violation is one person’s fault and one person’s only: the perpetrator’s.

        Unfortunately, many people go beyond just urging women to take caution, into blaming women when they are violated because those women didn’t take the (arbitrary, context specific) caution those people think would have been necessary to prevent that violation. Doing so shifts the burden of blame onto the victim, not the sex offender.

        This victim-blaming is compounded by the fact that, in the wake of well-publicized news stories about sexual violence against women, the commentariat often address what women can do to prevent violence far earlier and far more often than they address how we can better educate about sexual violence and how men can help prevent gender violence. Even if it’s unintentional, a clear message is sent: it is the woman’s job to prevent rape, not society’s job to teach men not to rape, or, indeed, the rapist’s job not to rape.

        That is what people, myself included, have a problem with: not people offering well-meaning security advice, but people who – after the fact – claim that not taking that security advice is what led to the victim’s violation, or who put the onus on women and other minorities targeted by violence to stop that violence. These people, unintentionally or not, make the victim at fault by addressing the victim’s actions as the first and foremost reason for the attack.

        (I’m sure you know all of this, but I wanted to reiterate for those reading the comments and who aren’t aware of why anyone might push back against the proliferation of security advice to women.)

        • I know that far better than I would like, although no deeper than any other rape survivor. After my attack, I was treated like a slut by the detective who responded. He summarized my case to the DA before I was even allowed to make a formal statement. Because of him, the DA wouldn’t pursue charges. When he told me, he also said, “Sometimes good people do bad things and try to cover it up.”
          He so thoroughly humiliated me and shamed me, I almost believed that I thought maybe he was right. Maybe I didn’t do enough, because I didn’t scream and I didn’t fight back. I was on medication for migraines and just as I got home one night, the medicine kicked in. My neighbor took that as an opportunity to force his way inside. I was drowsy and couldn’t fight back, and I knew my roommate was safe as long as I didn’t scream because her door was always locked.
          I don’t remember most of what happened, and what I do remember still gives me nightmares.

          I know to my core the depth to which slut shaming can affect a victim. It can even make us question who erred first, us or our attackers. It wasn’t until later when my case was reopened that I finally began to feel like a person, again. The police chief apologized, the new assistant DA apologized, and I think that was when I finally started to heal a little. The detective was removed from the unit and given sensitivity training, and I sat down with the chief of police and came up with a list to make sure what happened in my case didn’t happen, again.

          What I am seeing happen lately is any product or suggestion for women, no matter whether it is good or bad, is being attacked as shaming/blaming. I’ve been accused of it just posting a link on several occasions. We need to better focus our offensive against victim insinuations towards the ones actually making them, and not just anyone who happens to speak on the subject. Awareness is a wonderful thing that I am proud to be a part of. I don’t want to see it become a poison that harms the cause by silencing all voices in the effort to challenge select voices who do place the onus on the victim by suggesting we anticipate every unforeseeable attack. .

          If someone talks about the subject poorly but has a good idea, we should educate, not vilify, them. Not every product or suggestion is an appropriate platform against this mentality. To treat each as though they are hurts us in the long run. Some of these people really are just trying to help.

          Now, if they’re part of the ‘she asked for it, looking like that and all’ crowd, well, then, fuck ’em and feed ’em fish heads.

    • I agree caution is good. But we should also work towards a world where “driving while black” isn’t treated like a crime by police and where men (& women) don’t engage in sexual assault.

      It depends quite a lot on how the advice toward caution is given too. Me, as a white person, would be out of line to give you advice in how to interact with police. I think there’s a difference between giving good advice & victim blaming.

    • “While it shouldn’t happen, life is not fair and certain people are violated in ways not everyone can appreciate… It’s not fair, but it happens.”

      Nobody is arguing otherwise. The problem is, though, that often “life is not fair and certain people are violated” gets twisted into “life isn’t fair and that means trying to end those violations is pointless.”

      “It is dangerous to tell people that everything is equal and they should not have to worry about specific things.”

      Urging people to take caution is all fine and good. Educating people about inequality and how it contributes to their chances of being victimized is a necessity.

      Perpetuating the idea that it is the victim’s responsibility to not “get” violated isn’t. Telling a victim or commenting on the story of victimization with “it is idiotic not to seek the best possible protection” is blaming the victim. It is transferring the guilt from the perpetrator to the person they hurt. It shaming people who have already suffered into believing that they have brought that suffering on themselves, while at the same time exonerating those who made them suffer of any responsibility.

      If you cannot see how that contributes to the perpetuation of violence – against women, against Blacks, against other minorities – then I’m really not sure what else to tell you, other than “You’re wrong.”

      But maybe I’m being too hard on you. Maybe you don’t blame victims of violence. Maybe you *are* just trying to keep others safe.

      Here’s a test:

      When people do not worry about specific things, and are violated, is your first thought “they should not have been violated” or is your first thought “they should have done x-,y-,z- to prevent that violation?”

      If B: then yes, you are victim blaming, and none of this “but its for their own good!” makes that any less reprehensible.

    • I think there’s a valid point here, somewhere, I need to think about it a lot more first before I know what it is. I think you are missing the point of this article, victims aren’t to blame for what criminals do. Everyone already is cautious, most people already do what you suggest and criminals still hurt and destroy lives so we have to stop looking at the victims and do something about the criminals

  • Oh, man. Thank you for this. Had to shut down a conversation/start a ‘discussion = fight’ with someone I love because of this. Don’t think I convinced him, either that he was totally wrong and being an asshole about it. But this right here. This is what I meant to say. There are days I hate the world with a little too much fiery passion, but apparently there’s some good company in this outrage-hell I seem to be inhabiting these days. Thank you.

  • Although the sentiment of the piece is spot on, the amount of hyperbole and bad rhetoric with false analogies undermines your points. ‘Stealing’ someone’s wallet or credit card information DEPRIVES a person of physical goods. That’s theft. This is a gross invasion of policy(absolutely, without a doubt, no argument here), but it is not stealing; there is no deprivation.

    • There is currently a widespread problem of women’s naked photos being stolen off their computers– not the internet, their private files on their computers– and phones and being published publicly including their names, addresses, and employers, sometimes even emailed directly to their employers. The frequent result of this is for the woman to be fired, maybe also socially ostracized, and charges brought against the hacker are almost never successful. Being deprived of employment or social acceptance because someone else *stole* something from *you* is definitely a form of deprivation and makes the analogy sound.

    • This is a joke, right? Because the people who stole the photos did deprive the victims of something- the right to share their bodies with people of THEIR choice.

      An invasion of policy? Sure, but also an invasion of PRIVACY. It is STEALING. The thief didn’t go and hack his own account and distribute his own photos. He purposefully TOOK someone else’s photos. That’s stealing.

      • “The people who stole the photos did deprive the victims of something- the right to share their bodies with people of THEIR choice.”

        I just wanted to say that this is the most elegant summary of the issue – and the gap of understanding surrounding the issue – that I have seen in the wake of the news. Brava, and thank you. I’m off the memorize that line now.

      • Word of advice: Words have specific meanings. You can’t just pick a word because it sounds more important to you, without caring about its definition. Invasion of Privacy is not theft, it’s Invasion of Privacy. But here’s the thing – both are just as serious, and just as wrong. So please, change your perspective, not the definition of words and phrases. 😉

        • You want literal? Okay.

          Invasion of Privacy = hacking into someone else’s iCloud and LOOKING at photos that don’t belong to you.

          Theft = Invasion of Privacy then TAKING AND DISTRIBUTING the photos from someone else’s iCloud.

          No change in either perspective or definition.

        • Using synonyms doesn’t change anything. Theft is taking something that doesn’t belong to you, thus depriving the owner of it. You can take shoes, you can take cakes, you can even take film and actual photographs. But you can’t take digital media, you duplicate it – copy it. The owner still retains possession of it, and can still use it.

          Accessing a computer system that you are not personally authorized to access, is a crime. Invasion of privacy is also a crime. Hosting copies of materials that you do not have permission to host, is subject to a DMCA takedown notice, followed by a lawsuit, if you should not comply.

          No taking, no theft and no stealing.is taking place.

    • How is credit card information ‘physical?’ By that logic, the digital information of the photographs is also physical, thereby constituting its illegal download as theft.

  • I agree with most of your points here! Great article! However I do disagree (respectfully) with some of your analogies. First let me say that i am in no way blaming the victim. Now, These photos were stolen from icloud accounts… an Internet location remote from the physical control of the user. In a world where the nsa listens to our phone calls and has access to virtually unlimited data on us, it is not exactly a stretch of the imagination that someone might be able to see these things. It is not right, it is not moral, but it is possible. Placing such faith on cloud security, especially for someone of fame and whose career depends on public relations, may not be the smartest of moves. Is it their fault that someone went out of their way to bring them trouble? Absolutely not. Could they have protected themselves better? Probably. I don’t drive without my seat belt just because it is a crime to run red lights, i dont walk around with my life’s savings in my pocket with confidence simply because it’s illegal to rob someone, and you can bet that if I’ve got sensitive pictures of myself or others, they aren’t going to be backed up on the cloud, because it is just ugly our there folks.

    All that being said, if someone runs a red light and hits me, robs me, or steals my data I am being violated and legal action should be pursued!

    • If your bank data gets stolen or hacked, the first question out of everybody’s mouth is, “Why didn’t the BANK have better security?” But if you’re a lady and have nakey-piccies stolen off your phone, the first thing out of everybody’s pie-hole is, “Serves you right for taking nakey-piccies in the first place.”

      If you are not blaming the victim, why then do you not mention *anywhere* about holding the *company* responsible for its security failure? Why is it not APPLE’S fault for not making ITS iCLOUD safer?

  • I think there are three types of people saying these things, with varying degrees of stupidity.

    1. People who hate sex or hate women, and who therefore want to blame them not primarily for having their pictures leaked, but for having pictures at all. Screw these people.

    2. People who have always distrusted the technology, and are now saying I told you so. Fairness to these people – they were right, the internet isn’t secure. (“You’re not wrong, Walter…”). If you keep your money under your bed and never use a credit card at Target, etc., then, yes, you told us so…

    3. People who are advising on what to do going forward. If you take nude photos, or have bank information, etc., you may want to find a more secure place – fair enough. Maybe an over-reaction, but fair enough.

  • This is awesome, Chuck. The main message we get all the time is that it’s all up to us. Women, in particular, get that message. You have to be careful. Don’t walk by yourself in the dark. Don’t wear revealing clothes. Don’t do this, don’t do that. But the thing we never hear is (or never used to — now this is changing) women should be allowed to go out in the dark, wearing shorts, and it doesn’t mean they’re trying to get assaulted. That is something we, as a culture, need to hear way more often. Because we’re trying to evolve to a kinder world in which people don’t treat each other savagely. And yes, we ARE careful, but bad things still happen.

    I tried to have a conversation with one of my male friends about why women might act nervous if he walked up behind them at night. He felt personally offended because, hey, he’s not a rapist. I tried to explain that we can’t recognize rapists. They look pretty much like everyone else. They’re not raving, drooling, ape-like creatures with arms that drag on the ground. They are our next door neighbors, or our cousins or cute boys we might want to date. They sometimes look like Clark Kent or Peter Parker. I tried to use a metaphor about how in a series of sheds, some contain hungry lions and some contain treasure, and some contain chocolate bunnies. But you have to approach with caution you can’t necessarily tell which is which, and because LIONS are in some of them and they will eat you. This didn’t work for him. He expected women to act totally normal and calm and welcoming unless there was a reason not to.

    So there is basically nothing we can do that will not get us told we’re doing it wrong.

  • People should be allowed to tell others it’s not safe to walk down dark alleys without being accused of blaming mugging victims. There are about a million gradations between “blaming the victim” and pretending that being a victim absolves anyone from, God forbid, LEARNING from bad experiences in some little way.

    • Part of the problem is the arrogance of assuming that these people need you to warn them about this. No one takes a random voice’s advice. And there’s a difference between telling someone a helpful warning BEFORE something bad happens, and after it’s already happened.

      Look, no one in hindsight looks at their broken in door and goes, “Huh, I wonder if my security was sufficient to prevent a robbery.” Thus, no one needs strangers to educate them.

    • “People should be allowed to tell others it’s not safe to walk down dark alleys without being accused of blaming mugging victims.”

      Sure, but the difference is HOW and WHEN you tell someone. Letting someone know that hey, that alleyway doesn’t look safe, maybe you should take the better lit major thoroughfares up ahead, is one thing.

      Standing over someone while they’re dazed and bleeding in the alley and dialing 911 while saying “Hey man, you should have known not to do something so stupid, so I’ve got no sympathy for you. Maybe you’ll LEARN something from this.” is quite another.

      The people who criticize women who were violated in the wake of thefts of private images are doing the latter. They are not being “helpful,” they are being smug.

      If you can’t see the difference, then maybe you should avoid trying to be helpful.

    • (Also, I’m really hoping you didn’t mean your comment, this way, but the idea that a victim is requires to “[LEARN] from bad experiences” makes me nauseous.

      I’m a survivor of sexual assault, and here is what I “learned:” I learned that I can’t trust men, no matter how close I am to them, not to violate me. I learned that I can’t trust women, no matter how close I am to them, not to blame me or defend the men who have or might violate me. And I learned that I can’t go on the internet without encountering at least one person, every single fucking day of my life, who feels obliged to explain to me why my violation and the violation of other women is somehow our fault.

      Is that what you wanted me to learn?)

  • Also, it’s not pedantic to point out that the analogy is God-awful. Shoes you can’t wear in public are useless. How many people’s enjoyment of their nude pictures is predicated on being able to access them from anywhere?

    Here’s the crappy Internet Outrage cycle: something happens, person makes terrible argument/analogy, people point out that it’s terrible, first person assumes that everyone pointing this out must disagree with the underlying premise. That’s crap.

    Being right in principle doesn’t magically transform sloppy arguments into good ones. That encourages bad thinking, and bad thinking will make it harder for people to hear the parts of your argument that make sense. Do not brush this aside as pedantic or unnecessary; it is neither.

    • I guess it’s also not pedantic of me to point out that you’re basing your analysis on faulty information.

      “How many people’s enjoyment of their nude pictures is predicated on being able to access them from anywhere?”

      Several of the women involved have stated that the pictures stolen were not stored online anywhere, nor were they taken or stored on their smart phones (in Mary Elizabeth Winstead’s case, the photos were apparently taken a decade ago, before widespread use of either). Now, it’s quite possible these women are mistaken, but if not, then it means that private devices without a constant cellular connection were hacked. So not all of the nudes stolen were “able to [be] access[ed] from anywhere.”

  • Alright, Axe-grinding time.

    Are those who insist on blaming the victim, because she took nude photos, promoting “rape-culture”. Yes.
    Are those seeking to defend themselves, merely attempting to convince themselves they shouldn’t feel guilty over getting something they wanted, Yes.
    Is it wrong? Oh, most certainly.

    Is it theft? No. One million times, no.
    Invasion of privacy? Yes. Violation of personal copyright? Yes. But not theft.

    Theft does not just mean making a copy of something that doesn’t belong to you. You have to actually deprive the owner of what you’re taking, for it to be theft. If you take those shoes, the owner is deprived of their shoes. Same goes with the cake, or any other analogy that you used this article.

    If we’re talking piracy, then it’s a derivative of theft, called “theft of service” – or basically what one would be charged with if they were caught watching a movie in a theater, without paying for a ticket. In that case, you’re depriving the owner of the money they require, for you to partake in that entertainment.

    The closest example there is, in the real world, to this definition of “theft”, is taking a photograph of someone without their consent. Yes, various civil and criminal charges can be brought against you – depending on how you used it, or where you were when you took the photo, but the act itself is not theft – because you’re not stealing their image.

    The people who did this, unlawfully accessed a service in a manner they were not permitted to, and violated the privacy of the victims. Further, any site that would post these photos, are violating the victims personal copyright by posting them without authorization from the owner. It’s not right and it’s not justified; but it’s not theft.

    • Funny, companies who have files copied have no problem calling it theft. That’s what piracy is, after all, and no music or film company takes that one calmly. But also, nobody blames them for making their films and music available in digital format.

      If the cloud still holds deleted photos, then part of this is on Apple. If I took a photo and deleted it once I was done with it, I would not expect zombie versions of it to live on forever in a part of the internet I never asked to back up my photos.

      H

      • Sorry, I missed that last part. The trouble here is that convenience and security are often at odds. For instance, if you’re given the ability to “undelete” a photo, well then – those who gained access to the account would have that ability as well.

        The safest bet is to simply disable the automatic uploading to the cloud. Regardless of the security of the service, or your own security consciousness, as soon as anything is online, the chance of it falling into the wrong hands is exponentially greater.

        While there are situations where the benefit outweighs the risks – such as online banking, there’s no real benefit to having everything you take a picture/video of to be automatically uploaded. Don’t get me wrong – online storage is a great thing; but it should be used on demand, not by default.

    • @chimbondasgloves
      Hence the reason for saying it’s an invasion of privacy. Words shouldn’t be applied to situations, just because they sound more severe to the one using them. Just because you think that “theft” sounds more severe than “invasion of privacy”, doesn’t mean that one is less of a crime than the other.

      @Heather
      As I mentioned, piracy is considered a “theft of service” – and it’s not because of the act of copying/downloading it, but rather doing so for free – without paying the owner for the right to view/listen/experience it. Unlike in this case, the owner intends to make the work available to the public for a price. If any of the hacking victims actually intended on selling these photos to the public, and then were distributed freely, then that *would* be theft of service. But, since they obviously didn’t want the public to see them, it’s invasion of privacy.

        • “Taking” and “Duplicating” aren’t synonyms. The former requires that you take possession of the actual object, while in the latter, the actual object remains in possession of the original owner.

          To use the example in the blog entry. If you walk into a bakery and take a cake, you’re depriving them of said cake, so yes – that is theft. If, on the other hand, you walk into a bakery with your own baking utensils and your magic portable oven, and make a copy of that cake, you’re not taking the original. So, no – not theft.

          If you walked up to someone on the street, and took out your sewing kit, and your supply of leather and rubber – and proceeded to create a copy of that person’s shoes. it wouldn’t be theft – because the owner still has their shoes.

          So, if you see a picture on the internet, and use your computer to make a copy of it, you’re not taking it. You’re duplicating it. If I went to Google images, and started downloading every cat picture I could find, those same cat pictures would still be there, because I’m not taking them.

  • A few years back, someone broke into our apartment in San Diego. They stole all our computers. When the police came to take the report, it was brought up that the thieves came in through an open window in the kitchen. We were told, basically, that we “got what was deserved” and hopefully we had “learned a lesson”. That lesson being “you left your window open, so the thieves had a right to take your stuff.”

    Nope. That’s wrong. Those who stole from us had no right to steal from us. Period.

  • The assumption that anything on the internet is secure is a false one. The internet is the wild west and the security peddlers have sold us a bill of good. Nothing is really secure. The internet was built in the beginning for transparency.

    How many credit cards have to be stolen, how many government secrets stolen, before we realize that security is a joke?

    When you realize anything stored in the cloud, anything shared via the internet, anything on your phone is potentially public, then you understand the scope of the problem. It’s a shame, but that is the reality.

    • That’s true about literally everything though.

      I can break into your house easier than I can break into your computer, but you’re not going to argue that the next B&E in your neighborhood is because ‘The world is the wild west and nothing is secure.’. That literally everything is ‘potentially public’ just because someone can steal it from you. It’s true, but meaningless, so you don’t say it to the person who just got their car stolen and you shouldn’t say it to the person who just had their photo’s made public.

      Your car are no more ‘potentially public’ than your secured cloud storage is just because I have the ability to take them both from you.

  • At the risk of getting tasered, I offer this analogy: taking nude pictures with your phone is analogous to walking through a ghetto at night. Yes, it is absolutely wrong for someone to mug, rape, kill someone else. It is also your responsibility to not go into a dangerous area unless you’re willing to take that risk of getting mugged, raped, killed. The same goes with anything you put on the internet. The probability is high that you will get hacked or your stuff stolen. While it is absolutely wrong for anyone to hack your account or steal your stuff, you take a risk when you put something on the internet. If you’re not willing to accept the consequences of taking that risk, then don’t put it on the internet.

    You want to police the internet, catch the hackers, and people who steal stuff? Good luck with that. It’s a huge ongoing problem that’s been around since Yahoo was only a directory and had the best search engine. Welcome to the real world wide web.

    • Hmmm, not convinced at your analogy. Some people want to take nude photos – most people don’t have an old fashioned film camera nor (to be extra safe) their own darkrooms (you wouldn’t want to share those images with the one hour photo guy, now, would you).

      Even if you use a digital camera (rather than a phone), chances are you’re going to upload them to a computer. There is every chance that the computer is set to back up those photos to the cloud somewhere (yes, I get that you can override that but not everyone is going to either know or think of that). So you say that ‘taking nude pictures with your phone is analogous to walking though a ghetto at night’ – but for many people, not being able to take pictures on their phone or otherwise prevents them from taking pictures at all.

    • “I offer this analogy: taking nude pictures with your phone is analogous to walking through a ghetto at night. Yes, it is absolutely wrong for someone to mug, rape, kill someone else. It is also your responsibility to not go into a dangerous area unless you’re willing to take that risk of getting mugged, raped, killed.”

      I see.

      Let me offer another analogy: one in four women in college or graduate school will be raped or face and attempted rape during their academic career. Should we tell young women that it is their responsibility to not go to college, and that by doing so they put themselves at risk and so should be willing to “accept the consequences” of pursuing higher education?

      And no, that’s not any different than the analogy you just offered. You are proposing that there are limits to where women can go – and limits to the level of privacy women can expect, even in their own homes and using their own electronic devices – and that transgressing those limits makes women in some way responsible for their own violation.

      (And what of the people who live in that “ghetto?” I guess they need to take responsibility and not live in such a dangerous place. Right?)

  • for all the people downplaying the nature of this crime and claiming that anyone stupid enough to trust internet security deserves what they get –
    do you make internet, credit card purchases?
    do you use internet banking?
    do you store your current work-in-progress on a cloud, dropbox, your own computer connected to the internet?
    so i guess its ok for me to steal said WiP and spread it everywhere.

    but wait, you say, my WiP is my income, my livelihood, and therefore such a violation is definitely theft and a serious crime. we’re talking about personal photos here, which is invasion of privacy, not theft.

    need i point out that these woman build their careers in part on their appearance? their bodies are highly valuable assets, and if they appear nude in a movie they are well paid for it.

    from the other end of the spectrum, stealing and disseminating nude photos of anyone is equivalent to peeping tom-ism, and sexual exploitation on a massive scale – making this whole thing a sex crime.
    everyone has pictures of their children nude in the bath, often these days stored on a computer or cloud.
    is it ok for me to steal said photos and spread them across the internet for the enjoyment of all and sundry?

    somehow i think not.

  • So, a lot of people have already told you how much you rock for this article… Now you can add one more to the list.
    There is so much YES! here I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to say anything else. Thank you.

  • Amazing article! Thank you for this!

    I’m going to link to this the next time I get overly frustrated by yet another person who doesn’t get it.

  • Can we just take this rant and shove it up the NSA’s ass? I mean, they basically raped our private information from us and masturbate to it whenever they want. It’s a crime to steal the nude photos and a crime to post them online. By the same reasoning, it’s also a crime to take any other information we want private and put it on a database–even one that is (purportedly) outside public access. I don’t care if there are only certain conditions under which they access that information–I DON’T WANT IT IN YOUR SNOOPING DATABASE.

  • Rape is not always someone in a ski mask with a knife jumping out of the bushes, targeting only little white women wearing sundresses. No more blaming men and women who are victims..

    Frankly, there are too many people who don’t understand what rape is and the consequences. We need to educate everyone that Yes means Yes.”Yes” said by a sober adult, is consent. Anything else is a no. . Any one under 18, anyone under the influence of something-No. Silence is “no” and “No” definitely is “no”

    Thank you for writing this. I think the message of “this isn’t okay. This is unacceptable and unlawful behavior” needs to be said, and I’m glad you did. 🙂

  • This. Thank you for putting into words. “She’s high-profile, she should know better.” Bullshit. A thief is a piece of shit no matter who they’re stealing from. I’m relieved to see I’m not the only one who feels this way about it.

  • Yay, love what you’ve said and I totally agree. If I want to I should be able to do anything with my phone/camera that’s legal and consensual without having to worry about some unprintable degenerate hacking in and stealing my stuff. I don’t actually want to take nude photo’s but I should be able to do so should I want to safe in the knowledge that they’ll never get out unless I want them to.

  • Umm, I’m sorry good sir, but one shouldn’t make pissy complaints about those who interject “FALSE ANALOGY’S” on your twitter account, when you’re also responding with false analogies yourself. You’re comparing the stolen nude photos in question to rape. To RAPE. Stealing is stealing. Rape is rape. Yes, they’re both crimes, but intermingling the two as if they’re the same, and accusing others for making judgments on those who disagree with the act of taking nude photos of themselves privately just makes you look ridiculous. And in case you’re wondering, it doesn’t make those people “sexist,” nor does it make them contributors to rape culture. I realize what you’re getting at, you want to put greater emphasis on the “theft,” and less on the victim’s in question. That’s all well and good, but labeling someone as “sexist” for disagreeing with a specific action, (one that they feel is morally questionable based on their own experiences), doesn’t make you any better than the most childish of trolls. People are free to make their own subjective judgements of others. Some are misguided and misinformed, but they are subjective nonetheless. I urge you to be more considerate of the opinions of others.

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