The Sexual Violence of Non-consensual Nudity

Nude pictures of Jennifer Lawrence and several other young female celebrities were leaked on the internet today. That one sentence will elicit several responses. Some people will rush off to Google, to sate their curiosity. Some people will gleeful denounce her as a “slut” or think something to the effect of, “Well, she shouldn’t have taken them if she didn’t want people to see.” And only a very few people will feel sympathy for her, and recognize what distributing nude photographs without the subject’s express consent truly is: sexual assault.

The subject of nude selfies isn’t new. It’s been covered from so many angles, it’s practically a dodecahedron. Underaged girls sending their underaged boyfriends explicit photos of themselves have been accused of producing child pornography. Men sending unsolicited pictures of their genitals via text message has become so commonplace as to become the new normal. And if there’s a hot young actress or singer who hasn’t yet bared her body to our collective gaze through traditional media, there’s almost always discussion of how she’ll look “when her nudes leak.” We’ve become a society that feels entitled to the nudity of others; consent is not required, just as long as we get our fill of flesh.

The moment Lawrence’s private photos went on public display, social media erupted. Some Twitter users praised her body. Some criticized her figure. Neither seems an appropriate reaction to a gross invasion of privacy. Others bemoaned the low quality of the photos; this line of reasoning implies that if Lawrence was going to pose in the buff, she should have had the courtesy to provide us with the highest calibre revenge porn.

An overwhelming majority–mostly male–responded with images implying that they had ejaculated upon seeing the pictures, and jokes about uncontrollable masturbation. Confusing their personal sexual gratification for a genuine compliment seems to be the particular forte of heterosexual men. Some excitedly shared those images, but announced that they’d lost respect for the actress for taking the pictures they were so shamelessly enjoying.

Victim blaming runs thick in situations such as these. “If she didn’t want those pictures on the internet, she shouldn’t have taken them.” In other words, the price of these women’s private expressions of sexuality and joyous celebration of their bodies is public humiliation. Very little is said about the people stealing and releasing these photos, beyond the occasional words of gratitude to them for serving up what we are presumably owed.

“Don’t send nudes,” we tell our daughters, rather than telling our sons, “Don’t violate the privacy of a woman who trusted you enough to share herself with you in a playfully sexual context.” We don’t teach our children not to revel in revenge porn, we teach them to put boundaries on their sexual expression, to hide their bodies away, because that’s where the real shame is. Baring another human on a public stage for ridicule and critique is an excusable, even understandable, action.

We don’t tell our sons, “Don’t send people photos of your penis if they haven’t told you they’re okay with it.” It has become commonplace for men to send photos of their genitals in misguided attempts to woo potential partners, or to retaliate against some perceived wrong a woman has inflicted upon them. Why these men see romance and spite as two scenarios deserving of the same response is never examined. In fact, many men seem utterly baffled when their advances aren’t welcomed. “What do you mean you don’t want to see my penis? What are you, some kind of uptight feminist? Some kind of lesbian?”

Perhaps the most offensive aspect of our conflicting attitudes toward nudity and the importance of consent is that while women are derided for their own exploitation, the actions of a man forcing images of his genitals upon his victims are utterly erased when the tables are turned and his behavior is exposed.

As with all cases of sexual violence against women, we look so hard for ways to place responsibility on the victim, or to minimize the harm done to her. “It’s not rape rape,” people will argue. “It’s not like it hurt her.” Having aggressive male sexuality forced upon them is something women are expected to ignore, no matter how degraded they feel. Seeing their bodies thrown on the pyre of public scrutiny is something they deserve, their nude photos the scarlet letter that will brand them for the sin of having sexual urges or confidence in their bodies. “It serves her right, for treating a nice guy like dirt,” we say of revenge porn. “She was a bitch,” is accepted as reasonable justification for inflicting sexual harm.

Sharing photos of naked partners who did not consent to the release of their image, or sending explicit photos to people who did not consent to view them, is sexual violence. If a man walked up to a woman on the street and exposed himself, he would be arrested. If someone broke into another person’s house and took something that didn’t belong to them, it would be theft. A man who bragged about spying on a naked woman and masturbating while doing so may find himself on a public registry of sex offenders. Until we consider the violation of our digital privacy on par with the violation of our physical spaces, we perpetuate a cycle that encourages us to view female sexuality with scorn, and overt displays of sexual aggression from men as normal. There are only three appropriate responses to this problem: disgust at the perpetrators, unconditional support for the victims, and refusal to reward with praise and attention those who find entertainment in the exploitation and humiliation of women.

57 thoughts on “The Sexual Violence of Non-consensual Nudity

  1. I always feel disgusted when I hear/see of someone’s nude photos leaked. It’s one thing if the person who the photos are of has “leaked” them. It’s another entirely when it’s not that person doing it. And in the second scenario (which is sadly more common than it should be) is distasteful. Now, personally, I don’t like or care about Jennifer Lawrence. But even so, this disgusts me that someone felt the need to put out her nude photos for whatever reason they felt they had. Unless I get express permission from the person, I won’t post photos like that of people. Even if I’ve tied them up in some pretty rope bondage. Unless they tell me “yes it’s ok to post here and here” or “Please post them here” I’ll just put them into a private folder onto my computer and email them copies. Basically, I’m 100% agreeing with you right now Jenny.

  2. Thank you. This is pretty much exactly what I have been saying for years, and yet you have put it so, so eloquently. Thank you for these words, I’m going to go share them now.

  3. When there are any nude photos leaked without consent, I always feel sympathetic and sad for whoever is in the photos.

    I am a heterosexual male. I despise the people who think it’s acceptable to do such a thing. It’s always totally disgusting to me, every time. I don’t how J Law feels at this moment, but I imagine this has made her utterly miserable.

    Not to mention the coward(s) who hacked her computer in the first place. They did so because 1. they didn’t think they would be caught, due to the Internet’s anonymity and 2. because it’s “amusing” or “attractive” for this to be exposed. I hope they are arrested and thrown in prison for this humiliation. Bastards.

  4. Thank you so much for this article. Honestly, it’s so reassuring to read something this enlightened when the majority’s first response to the story seems to be “Did you see the pics? What do you think of her boobs?”
    As someone who lives in fear that her nudes might wind up online (or might even already be online) thanks to something awful that happened, it’s very comforting to find at least a small pocket of decent people amongst a disconcerting majority who respond to things like this with masturbation and then describing said masturbation. So yeah… Thanks. A lot.

  5. There are only three appropriate responses to this problem: disgust at the perpetrators, unconditional support for the victims, and refusal to reward with praise and attention those who find entertainment in the exploitation and humiliation of women.

    I might have to frame this, Jen.

    I hadn’t heard of any of this until I saw your post, but all I feel is disgust at whoever would do this.

  6. I hadn’t heard about this yet, but thank you for writing this post. I find it completely disgusting that our only response to situations like this is the criticize the woman who’s photos were posted. The question of who leaked the photos in the firs place is never even asked, because who cares – there are naked photos to be looked at. And then the woman in the photo is criticized as though men everywhere aren’t masturbating to it.

    I also take issue with the criticism couples get for consensually “sexting” one another, but I guess that’s a discussion for another day.

  7. That’s exactly what’s wrong. You are spot on, Jen. Sexual violence is an invasion of sexual privacy and not just rape or assault, Ive been telling everyone this for the past 17 years that I have lived, and everyone calls me a “stuck up feminist” ( I take it as a compliment). People just don’t seem to realise the injustice of victim blaming unless it happens to them.

    I think you should watch the Indian Independence day speech by our Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He has said the exact same things about what we should tell the boys.

    I love you, Jenny. You’ve just proved that You are the best person to be my role model.

  8. I love this post. Such a good response to an absolutely disgusting event, and the overall way American society views women. Thanks for writing it. I have so much sympathy for Jennifer right now, along with the other women targeted by the lowlifes who think they’re entitled to women’s bodies. Hopefully they face repercussions for this.

  9. Thank you for writing this. It needed to be said. You mentioned the mostly male audience talking about fapping to the pics. I’d like to point out the again MOSTLY MALE (actually I didn’t see one woman say this), calling the hacker a “hero” for this. No, he’s not a fucking hero. He’s a misogynist asshole who needs to goto prison.

    The same assholes who worry about doxxing on a daily basis are the ones gleefully passing around these photos.

  10. ““Don’t send nudes,” we tell our daughters, rather than telling our sons, “Don’t violate the privacy of a woman who trusted you enough to share herself with you in a playfully sexual context.” ”

    So much this! I hate that we consider it reasonable that we place these restrictions on women. That women should always be afraid of violation and if violated should be punished for it (it also pisses me off that if nude photos of me were ever published publicly, my biggest problem would not be the invasion of them being seen by people they were not intended to, but the very real risk that I could lose my job and not get hired in the future because of them). Why should my sexual be limited because other people might be assholes? Why should my career be put in jeopardy if someone else violates my privacy? And why is it expected that I live my whole life as if no one can ever be trusted just because sometimes trust is violated? Not everyone should be trusted and sometimes we trust the wrong people, by why is the reaction to that to suggest that a woman is in the wrong if she ever trust someone enough to share nudes with? Not to mention just being nude around because this mentality at one point left me afraid to be naked around someone who had a smartphone nearby because what if they take photos of me while I’m naked without me knowing, or what if they secretly are recording me on their phone. Why am I responsible for somehow preventing that behavior on their part?

    1. This. So much this (and Jenny’s article – on point as always). How about being terrified of sharing a nude photo with a completely trustworthy significant other and having that photo hacked out of their phone. (Not unbelievable, as my SO works in games, and they have been having a real terrible week with their treatment – hacking/Doxxing – of women).

      If we get hacked, its our fault. If we took the picture ourselves, its our fault. If someone hacked our web-camera and took the photos of us, its our fault for not putting tape over the camera lens (if on a mac, stupid built in web camera) or disconnecting the usb.

      (Oh god I just remembered how up-skirt shots are our fault for being in public – if we didn’t want pictures taken of us why did we go into public where its totes cool to take pics of strangers… without their permission…. under their skirts…) I just. I think I’m done with the internet, and modern society right now. I think I’m going to go live in the wilderness somewhere.

  11. I personally find RATs and Revenge Porn terrifying. There should be laws in place to protect us, but as always, bureaucracy is *decades* behind the times. The internet is the wild west: lawless, cruel, and violent. And something that *should* be taken seriously by law enforcement. Cause you’re very right Jenny, it *is* sexual violence.

  12. When I heard about this, my first thought was I wonder if Jenny is going to comment about this and I’m so glad you did.

    Someone else feels the same way you (and everyone in here) you do. http://m.dailylife.com.au/news-and-views/dl-opinion/this-is-why-you-shouldnt-click-on-the-naked-photos-of-jennifer-lawrence-20140901-3eo6s.html

    It’s absolutely deplorable. But the sad truth is knowing that someone can hack into your account/computer long after you delete those photos (and this actually happened to one of the actresses named on that list) I would never in a million years take photos of myself naked or make intimate videos with me and my SO. It’s too risky. But if that’s what men and women want to do, they should not be subjected to the humiliation and sexual assault they recieve. What a sad world we live in that we do not have autonomy of our own bodies and who we wish to display and share it with.

    1. Who gives a fuck? Try the approximately 100 women on the list, their sexual partners, and the thousands of other victims of similar crimes.

      Sick of this bullshit.

      And the people saying it doesn’t matter because the women are celebrities or have already put out consenting nude/partially nude images ignore the fact that despite celeb status, these women and their partners are human beings deserving of their intimate privacy until they give us permission to view their bodies. Prior permission is not infinite permission.

  13. I am so sick of people using lame analogies to support their point that the victims’ were stupid and asking for it. Some guy on another forum said this was not akin to having your locked home broken into but rather putting your items on your front lawn. What a load of crap. Hacking is not something the everyday joe knows how to do. It takes some effort….same as breaking into a locked car or house. THAT is the analogy. It is a CRIME. Period. And don’t get me started on the gross comments all made by the horny men. Damn depressing.

      1. Yes, I wouldn’t have the first clue how to retrieve a long deleted photo. No one I know would. And that guy was trying to say it is exactly the same thing as strolling up and taking something laid out in plain sight on the front lawn??? Insulting and completely ridiculous!

        1. How is stealing something off of someone’s lawn NOT illegal!?! This analogy makes no sense, I’m pretty sure theft is theft and still illegal, just as this should be.

          1. Yeah, that’s the extra stupid part of the analogy. Not only is a photo you have to hack someone’s computer to acquire much, much more analogous to an object you have to break into someone’s house to acquire, but even if it were more similar to an object sitting somewhere on the owner’s property that’s easily accessible, taking it is still exactly as illegal. No one says, “Oh, this WOULD be grand theft auto, but the owner parked their car in their driveway rather than putting it inside their garage. I guess if they didn’t want someone to steal their car, they shouldn’t have had a car! Stupid slutty car-owners!”

            I really feel for the women this was done to. I don’t care how rich and famous you are – having your privacy violated like this has to suck enormously, and having a bunch of douchebags blame YOU for being victimized (often while they’re actively participating in victimizing you) is just the icing on the shitty, shitty cake. :(

    1. The problem with these analogies is also they don’t work. I’ve heard sexual violence compared to not locking your doors to your house. I mean, there is a lot wrong with that analogy most of which is that women’s bodies are not possessions. Bust still- last I checked it’s still a crime when to take things from someone’s home even if they forgot to lock the door!
      It’s still theft even if you leave it on your lawn! In the winter I have been known to leave my snow shovel and salt on my front porch, I’ve left a welcome mat sitting right outside my front door, and I know other people who even *gasp* leave chairs, benches, tables, and little lawn gnomes on their porches and in their yards! And it’s still theft if someone comes along and takes them, even if they were just sitting right there in your front yard.
      Fuck, we had storms here that caused massive flooding and police said that they were not giving any warnings to people taking things from other’s trash- it’s not even legal to go to the trash someone put out on the curb and pick through it and take what you want!

    2. I’m with you. I’m getting so sick of women continually being punished for being sexual beings. We can’t flirt or wear short skirts or do anything really without the blame being put on us because some asshole sees our behaviour as a permission slip to do whatever he wants. We’re either frigid, paranoid (probably lesbian) bitches or sluts. Welcome to rape culture!

      I’m pissed. I just had the most frustrating conversation with my mother about this exact topic. When I asked her if she’d read about Jennifer Lawrence’s nude pictures leaking, the first thing she said was ‘it was stupid of her to take them in the first place.’ When I pointed out that this was victim blaming, my mother insisted that it wasn’t. It was about ‘taking responsibility for your actions.’

      As if some hacker stealing your private property and putting it online being a possibility negates the fact that Jennifer Lawrence is not responsible for this whole thing. She did absolutely nothing wrong. She’s the victim of a crime. She wasn’t ‘being stupid.’ Just like driving your car and getting hit by a drunk driver isn’t ‘being stupid.’ But encountering a drunk driver was always a possibility! So clearly it’s the non-drunk driver’s fault for getting hit. Shouldn’t have gotten on the road in the first place. How stupid.

  14. I’m so glad you wrote this. I’ve been meaning to write something about this whole thing, but you’ve basically done it for me, but better. If only the world was filled with people like you! Tegan xo

  15. My senior year of college, I was at a frat formal with my now husband, then boyfriend, and someone took a picture of our group at our table. From the angle he took it, turns out you could see into my halter dress and bra, and down right at my chest, nipple and all. Instead of deleting the picture, or just sending it to me and said boyfriend, he sent it out to the entire fraternity (faculty advisor included) with a red circle around my breast, in case anyone missed it.

    When confronted (which was over and over, since a lot of the brothers were pissed, since they were my friends), he kept saying he thought it was OK since he didn’t think me and [boyfriend now husband] were that serious…

    I’m not sure why I bring it up, it’s not like millions of people saw nude photos, but I guess because I can relate in a way to that moment of betrayal and helplessness, and loss of privacy. I still don’t know for sure how many people saw the photo, or where it is today. All because some dickhead thought it would be funny to violate my privacy.

    1. Aaargh Jo-Ellen. I’m so sorry to hear you had to go through that. How utterly degrading and just plain horrible for you.

      The bit of your story that actually made me scream with rage was: “When confronted (which was over and over, since a lot of the brothers were pissed, since they were my friends), he kept saying he thought it was OK since he didn’t think me and [boyfriend now husband] were that serious…”

      This makes me want to hit things with hammers. So basically, what he’s saying is that it doesn’t matter how YOU feel, it’s the fact that he’s violated your boyfriend’s “property” that’s the problem, and since he didn’t realise your boyfriend was serious enough to have an “ownership” claim of you, it was an honest mistake. Because unattached women are ownerless objects, so it’s perfectly OK to use them like public amenities.

      I feel sick.

      1. Exactly. That was something that bothered me a lot too, even at the time, and moreso now as I’ve gotten older and wiser and grown up. Who cares who I was? You just don’t do that…I took him through the campus hearing board process, and he was suspended and a few other sanctions, he had to delete the picture, and “instruct” others to do the same, but who knows? I know it’s out there. Always will be. And the same goes for all the recently leaked photos.

        Even almost 6 years later I still get SO ANGRY thinking about this. And I imagine that’s how all these women feel also, and will continue to feel.

    2. The idea that this dude figured it was okay, just so long as you weren’t owned by anyone with a dick, is so disturbing on so many levels.

      1. Right? That it was fine, since he didn’t think we were “that serious” made it OK in his book…

        In some ways though, I’m SO glad it was me, and not someone else. I was very involved in the sexual assault awareness group on campus, the sexual communication and women’s safety group, the mental health counseling group, and was very close with the director of women’s programs (at school with a whopping 600 women, not hard) and the student health and counseling center…so I had lots of resources, took him through the campus judicial hearing board, and he was suspended and a number of other sanctions.

        Through the whole hearing, he still maintained he didn’t think he was doing any harm…

        1. Well done for taking action against him, though it sucks beyond belief that he still couldn’t understand what he’d done wrong after all that.

          I’m sure many of us have been in the situation where a man whistles or makes a lewd comment at us, only to spot that we’re with our boyfriends or husbands and immediately say ‘oh, sorry bro, I didn’t realise’. It’s sickening that so many men will respect another man enough to stay away from ‘his’ woman, but have absolutely no respect for the woman herself.

          1. Exactly. Great comparison. Like, apologize to ME, not him. I’m the one you’re offending, or hurting. Sure, he was hurt in the process too, but because he saw what it did to me, not because I was some sort of property and his right to my body was violated.

    3. “When confronted (which was over and over, since a lot of the brothers were pissed, since they were my friends), he kept saying he thought it was OK since he didn’t think me and [boyfriend now husband] were that serious…”

      This is indicative of the thought processes far too many people have. It doesn’t matter if you were serious with your boyfriend or not. Your boyfriend has nothing to do with it. You are a human being with rights, and that smug pissant who felt it was ok to take that picture denied your agency and right to privacy as a human being. So sorry you had to deal with that crap.

      1. Thank you. I hope he’s grown up and matured since then, and really realized what he did, and why it was so wrong. But, I doubt it. I never got a formal apology (which was one of the sanctions the fraternity put on him…), and I think if he really felt remorse and understood his wrong doing, he would have formally apologized.

  16. There are so many things about this situation and others like it that are wrong. It goes beyond the Beavis and Butthead style comments (ehhhehhhehhheh, boobs!) and the “she deserved it” crap. What the hell happened to any sense of decency or respecting anyone’s privacy? It’s not just this either–this past week alone someone found out where Benedict Cumberbatch lives and published his address for all, JP Morgan/Chase announced they’d had a security breach and now this (and I’m sure there are many others). The only people who managed to do anything in private were Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie who SOMEHOW managed to get married without anyone finding out. Perhaps they need to be the ones advising companies on how to keep this stuff from happening. Because apparently respecting privacy went flying out the fucking window at some point. I know that I am getting damned sick and tired of having to be on the defense for every thing I do, say or even think because there is someone out there who is trying to get around any protocol to do something like this, rip someone off financially or just be a jackass in general. It’s getting very old. I’m on the verge of just digging a bunker, tossing my computer and becoming a hermit.

  17. Thank you so much for posting this, Jenny. It only took me about 30 seconds of reading comments on a news article about this before I wanted to hurl my computer at the wall, but reading your article has reminded me that not everyone in the world is a brainless moron and helped me to calm down a little.

    I am beyond sick of reading ‘sympathetic’ comments which condemn the actions of the hackers but then follow up with some santimonious bullshit like ‘but if you really don’t want nude photos of you on the internet, you shouldn’t take them in the first place’. As a statement of fact I suppose that holds true – if the photos don’t exist then no one can see them – but it’s about as helpful as saying ‘of course, if you really don’t want to hit by a reckless driver then you should never cross a road’. The hackers and the ones disseminating the photos are the ones to blame for this, and that is the end of it!

    1. It is also worth remembering that it is possible to have never allowed someone to take a sexual photo of you in your life and STILL find “incriminating” images of yourself floating around. Plenty of unscrupulous individuals will do things like take upskirt shots, hack into laptops to use the webcams, film or photograph their partners without their consent, put cameras into public washrooms…the list goes on. That’s without even accounting for the fact that anyone with a pirated copy of Photoshop and a clear picture of your face can make their own pornographic images even if you’ve never been naked in your life.

  18. THANK YOU!!! I commented on someone’s post on social media that the person who leaked these photos are not just hackers, but sex abusers, and was mansplained to that “no, the person is just a hacker.” Thank you for this post.

  19. I find the actions of the people who leaked these photos to be deplorable. They didn’t care whether the celebrities consented (which they didn’t) and violated their privacy. They treated them as things, rather than as people with rights. Far too many people-especially men-feel they are entitled to women’s bodies, and this yet one more example of the disgusting Rape Culture we live in.

  20. My husband and I spend a lot of time apart because of his job, so yes, I send him a little something now and then to brighten his day and let him know I’m thinking of him. The thought that those private photos, that are completely appropriate in the context of our relationship, could be leaked and turned into something dirty and wrong by asshole hackers, is deeply disturbing. This is just like what happened to Scarlet Johannsen. It’s got to be so humiliating when the world is already dissecting so much of your life/body all the time! I really feel for these girls, thanks for the post!

  21. Thank you so, so much for writing this. I was somewhat losing faith in some of my “safe” internet spaces (btw, your site, absolutely, positively, one of them and thank you for being an island of sanity, wit, and honesty!). Jezebel actually freaking LINKED to the pics in question, and when called out the retraction was “I originally included a link to an Imgur album of photos. I took it out because nah.” Not that Jez has been particularly good lately… but for me this was a tipping point. Anyhow. Sorry, side rant. What I’m trying to say is you rock, thank you for being articulate, intelligent, and compassionate.

  22. Why is it every time it read an article about this men are slated as an entire race for the actions of a few complete morons.

    Don’t forget there were pictures of Kate Uptons husband uploaded too. I’m sure he’s just as sickened as the female victims. This unknown hacker could be a female after all.

    As for portraying men as sex crazed rapists that throw there penises into every text to a female is awful.

    There are plenty of women out there with nude photos of their partners too. It swings both ways.

    There is no condoning what has happened and it is totally sickening, but I don’t feel that all men are to blame as you are suggesting.

    Here is a link to another article about this matter that really hits home and does not need to create a complete gender divide.

    To put it bluntly if your going to be a bastard, you’ll be one regardless of what gender you are.

    http://elitedaily.com/women/4chan-nude-photo-leak-scandal/735931/

    1. I heard a really good answer to this type of thing today. If you were at a swimming pool, and you were in the water, but a bunch of people were running around the pool deck and the lifeguard yelled, “Hey! No running!” would you immediately yell back, “BUT NOT ALL OF US WERE RUNNING?” No, of course not. Because you know that it doesn’t apply to you. So why, when women say, “Hey, there’s this problem with men,” even when the physical, sexual, and emotional abuse of women is overwhelming perpetrated by men, that men and women who don’t recognize their internalized misogyny rush to point out that not all men are doing it? We’re not stupid. We know all men aren’t doing it. The fact that you’re saying “a few” men are abusive toward women, and your reaction is to move the focus of the dialogue from the abuse of women to defense of men, means that to you, working towards safety and equality for women is less important than ensuring men be allowed to continue these harmful behaviors.

      1. I love the pool example, and at the same time I’m utterly convince my daughter would yell back that she wasn’t running because OMG she’s that kind of person and I may go insane dealing with it.

        I just had to vent somewhere, plus it is a great example.

    2. “I don’t feel that all men are to blame as you are suggesting”

      Could you please point out where exactly in the article Jenny suggests that?

  23. I’m coming a little late to this party, but there’s a disturbing sense of ownership that we as a society feel towards all celebrities, like it’s our absolute right to know everything about them. When nude photos leak, it’s not viewed as “naked woman exposed against her will,” but as Christmas come early, the granting of gifts before we expected to receive it.

    It’s the same force that makes us feel we have a right to medical info about celebrities in rehab, baby pictures on the second day postpartum, mug shots from an arrest in a club, or selfies with them in a restaurant. They’re “our” celebrities. We paid for them, now we earned their constant and never-ending performance that is “life”.

    There’s a lot of gross sexism in it, too, in the way that we blame the women for “allowing” it to be stolen. (The Kate Middleton topless photos were a particularly galling example: well, if she didn’t want pictures of her all over the world, she shouldn’t have taken her top off outdoors, miles into a private property with trees around it, where any really lucky journalist with a telescoping lens and no moral compass could see.) But I think the publication is more about how we see celebrity than how we see women.

  24. I have literally read every one of ur post starting from the 50 shades recwps, i have no recollection of how i came across the recapse, or your blog, but i have been on a month log journey to this post, thispost!! I love you! I never ever thought id find a writer i so totally agree with, always. Thank you so much. Youve encouraged me to start writing again. I stopped when i became depressed again after my emotionallyabusive ex dumped me. I loved your selfesteem post, and the daddy abandonment issues. I really dont feel alone anymore. My biodad abandoned me as a fetus, and my stepdad pretty much dif the same after my mom got the restraining order, and its not my fault, its not my fsult hes a shitty dad. Its not my fault he doesnt love me, and im rambling. You helped open my eyes. I still have my problems, and illnesses, but your words have been a fountain of emotional support. Thank you, Jenny.

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