You know you’re at @erinmargrethe’s house when…
These people saying that the hacked women simply should not have had naked photos are buying into a mentality that begins its inculcation into many of us in childhood. A mentality that I’ll call “Share it With the Class.” This mentality operates as though once people become aware of a private thing that they’re curious about, their awareness of its existence means that it should belong to them too. At first, it sounds like this:
"Beth, if you’re going to invite one person to your party, you have to invite everybody."
"Matthew, I see you’ve given Jose a fruit snack; I hope you brought enough for the whole class, young man."
"Um, Amber? I hope you don’t mind that note being read aloud to everybody, young lady!"
In adulthood, we are granted a tad more privacy from those around us since we have fewer people actively in control of our actions day-to-day and by actively I mean in-person-people monitoring what we say and do. But even in the workplace, where what we do with our hours is clocked and guided, there is still always an underlying layer of privacy that you don’t share with those who Want To Know. Your boss doesn’t know that you text about weekend plans or deleted that email on purpose or took an undocumented break or bought some shoes online during work hours or read a book during work hours or played a pointless-but-engrossing game on your phone or posted to Facebook about how annoying your boss is. But even though this stuff is undeniably part of who we are and what we do, there is still an argument against the victims of any kind of unwanted exposure, unwelcome sharing of info, uninvited exploitation which implies that had the victim lived their lives in constant self-protection of the worst case-scenario, they would not have become a victim.
Don’t do ANYTHING you wouldn’t want EVERYBODY to know about and you’ll be safe from being revealed!
To this I have to say: Sure, actually! But also: COME ON.
We are all deliberately careful about some risk, but not all risk. Taking an intimate or private part of ourselves out of our brains and putting it somewhere else, anywhere else, carries with it the risk of exploitation, but in one case or another, we all choose to bring it out anyway and hope for the best; the best being: we will still be in control of where whatever-we-brought-out goes, and how it is used, and by whom.
Now, the fact that this isn’t, like, a hacker releasing all these women’s personal phone numbers is why there is condemnation. Taking NAKED SELFIES (coming to HBO, September 2019, probably) is not something that everybody has done and so the people condemning these women either
A: Do not take or share naked selfies
B: Do not have a platform that fame or certain types of power provide
If this exploitation didn’t involve S E X, an element of human nature that is most intimately wrapped-up and tangled with “blame the victim” logic, would we be blaming the victim? Because everybody keeps personal information somewhere other than just in their heads, information that they wouldn’t want to give to All of the Public. Which means e v e r y b o d y is at risk of exploitation. These women who have been currently and infamously exploited are no more “at fault” for their own exploitation than you are if you have:
- Passwords in the Notes app on your code-protected iPhone
- Clicked “save password” on any website ever
- Written private feelings in a journal or in a document on your computer
- Kept a spare key in a hidden spot
- Sent a text message that you wouldn’t want everyone to read
- Not paid the extra $7 to “protect your tickets” on Ticketmaster
- Used an Uber
- Put your place on Airbnb
So then, which of us can cast the first stone? Not-a-one, I tell you. Not-a-one.
And I hate that this conversation has made me resort to biblical quotes, but it seems that it
source - Common Struggle, http://csau.org