“It is not a scandal. It is a sex crime. It is a sexual violation. It’s disgusting. The law needs to be changed, and we need to change…Just because I’m a public figure, just because I’m an actress, does not mean that I asked for this.”
In September, the Apple I-Cloud was hacked. The only reason the public knows: nude photographs of female celebrities became available on the internet. One of the victims, Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence, finally responded to the “scandal” in the November issue of Vanity Fair. The electronic version of the article became available last week (Oct. 8).
This is the first time she has spoken about the incident. “I started to write an apology, but I don’t have anything to say I’m sorry for,” she stated. Her response was powerful and echoes what advocates have been telling victims of sexual assault for years – it is not your fault. Your clothing, your intoxication, your previous sexual relationship(s), or your profession do not mean that you consent to violation of your bodyright, or your ability to control your body or how it is seen.
Women need role models like Jennifer Lawrence. Women who will defend their own choices – remembering that they SHOULD and DO have a choice. “It’s my body, and it should be my choice, and the fact that it is not my choice is absolutely disgusting.” The culpability for the leak should not be placed on Lawrence or any of the other female celebrities who were hacked. Lawrence took the photos for her long-term boyfriend while they were in different areas. They were distributed for his use only.
Legally, it is a criminal act to view child pornography. However, criminal remedies are limited for adults who voluntarily took nude photos. “Revenge porn,” or websites that allow spurned partners to post photographs of their unconsenting exes, remain legal in most states. While Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-CA) intends to introduce national legislation to criminalize this activity, nude photos should still be approached with caution. The only way to know that your naked body will not be posted on the internet to be seen by anyone who searches it is to not take the photograph in the first place. But, as an adult if you make an informed choice with someone you trust – it does not mean that you should be victimized later because of that choice.