June 23, 2024

If you’ve been on social media recently, you probably heard about the “leaking” of nude photos of many female celebrities. Although multiple women were targeted, Jennifer Lawrence, who plays Katniss Everdeen in “The Hunger Games,” has taken the brunt of the criticism.
A quick Twitter search of her name brings up some disgusting comments like @howe007’s “On one hand I feel bad that Jennifer Lawrence’s nude photos were leaked. On the other hand, well.. that hand was busy.” and @kennytarmac1’s “THEY FOUND THE BODY OF THE HACKER WHO STOLE JENNIFER LAWRENCE’S PHOTOS. HE’S THE FIRST MAN EVER TO BE ‘HIGH FIVED’ TO DEATH!”
Comments like these perpetuate the blaming of victims of sexual assault and sexual crimes. In this case, it is very important to realize that Lawrence’s photos were not, in fact, leaked; they were stolen from her personal iCloud account.
Someone hacked into her account, stole the photo files, and posted them on 4chan.org, a site with many online messaging boards. From there, the photos were posted to many other sites. Although Lawrence took these photos in private, her intimate photos are now on the internet for anyone to see. She is currently working with the FBI, Apple, and Twitter to remedy the crime.
While the concept of victim blaming is not new, a strong response against it is. Emma Watson tweeted “Even worse than seeing women’s privacy violated on social media is reading the accompanying comments that show such a lack of empathy.” Lena Dunham also responded by posting “The ‘don’t take naked pics if you don’t want them online’ argument is the ‘she was wearing a short skirt’ of the web. Ugh.” Even in 2012, around the release of Les Miserables, Anne Hathaway told Matt Lauer “I’m sorry that we live in a culture that commodifies sexuality of unwilling participants” after a tabloid photographer took and released a photo of her exiting a car without wearing underwear.
Although the illegal release of Lawrence’s and many other celebrities’ photos is disgusting and tragic, the conversation and outrage that followed shows that many people are fed up with society and the media’s treatment of women. To constantly abuse and blame women for acts that are committed against them — against their will — is ridiculous. Hopefully, with these outspoken celebrities and more backlash against acts and “leaks” like this, there will be a reduction in the destruction of privacy.

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