My Thoughts On The Whole Photo Leak Conundrum

85th Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals

In case you can’t tell which actress is in the photo above, this is Jennifer Lawrence, known for films like Hunger Games and American Hustle. Just to bring you up to speed, in case you live in a cave or under a rock, some photos of her, which had been intended only for her boyfriend to see, were leaked for the public to view. She did an interview with Vanity Fair in which she finally spoke out about how she felt and what she thought about this whole thing and you can find what she said about this here.

So, before I start talking about this I feel like I need to have a disclaimer. So, here it is:

DISCLAIMER. I think it is horrible that someone hacked into her phone or whatever/however the leak came about, and I do feel for her in that someone shared something private that she had not intended for the world to see. Everyone should have the right to privacy, and it is an injustice that she was stripped of her privacy when someone thoughtlessly shared it without her permission.

Having said that, there are a few things I take issue with, and thoughts that I have on this. First of all she says, ” I was in a loving, healthy, great relationship for four years. It was long distance, and either your boyfriend is going to look at porn or he’s going to look at you.” A couple things about this comment. OKAY, I get that men are visual and that there can certainly be temptation to help a brotha out or whatever, but I think that it is kind of sexist to assume that a man could not simply leave himself to his imagination and that if he doesn’t have some juicy photos of you then it’s a foregone conclusion that he will be looking at porn. Porn is definitely a huge problem in our society, and I know that there is a huge issue with men looking at porn to fulfill needs….I don’t know maybe I am delusional, but I can only hope and pray for my future daughters and that I will raise a son who values his future wife, and women all over the world enough to not view those images and videos on the web. Then there is the part where she says, “It is not a scandal, it’s a sex crime….Anybody who looked at those pictures, you’re perpetuating a sexual offense. You should cower with shame. Even people who I know and love say, ‘Oh, yeah, I looked at the pictures.’ I don’t want to get mad, but at the same time I’m thinking, I didn’t tell you that you could look at my naked body.'”  So, first off, it rubs me wrong when I read this first part because I guarantee you if you asked someone who has been raped their thoughts, I would be willing to bet they would say this is totally different, and while we all know that NO ONE ever asks for these kinds of things, however to compare rape to the photos that you took yourself being leaked to the public are so drastically different and while I do agree and believe that it is a crime to go onto someone’s personal property, such as their phone or computer and leak something that was intended for one person is wrong, it is in no way the same as a sexual crime like rape, molestation, sodomy, child pornography, and so on and so forth. Secondly, I saw someone post on this issue that said, ” Why don’t we look at it this way, if someone took your phone and printed all of the pictures and posted them in the lobby of your church would you be embarrassed, would you be ashamed and run and hide?” I will take this a bit further for people who might not be a Christian, or for you non-church goers. How would you feel if your grandmother or mother saw the photos you have?!? Would you be totally comfortable giving over your phone or computer to your mother or grandmother to have a little look-see?

Furthermore, I don’t want to come off as to harsh, however I feel like this needs to be said, in the day-and-age in which we live it is safe to know that all of us know that we live in a sex-crazed world where it is constantly perpetuated and every where that we look. It’s in the TV and movies we watch, the lyrics to the songs we hear, the billboards, magazines, clothes that we see. It’s permeates our entire culture. We tell our 5 year old girls, “SHAKE YO BOOTAY” to a song and think it’s adorable to place 2 year old’s in bikini’s and while it may be cute in the moment, we are continuing the cycle and surprised when 16 year old’s pop up pregnant and have sexuality oozing out of every pore. AGAIN, AGAIN, AGAIN, I am not saying she was asking for this, and no one ever asks for these things. However, as an actress who has played in films and knows the culture of Hollywood, and played a part in the raunchy film American Hustle (I never saw it but a friend of mine said it was raunchy, or at least the character she plays is) can she really be so surprised and outraged by the actions of others? When you back a pit bull into a corner and get aggressive with it time and time again are you really surprised when it bites back?!? She lives and is in the spotlight constantly, and knows what the tabloids and paparazzi can be like so she should be even more vigilant and mindful of what she is putting on her phone and computer. Again, I know that she has rights and should be able to do what she wants, however she also, like all of us, knows that our actions can have consequences and while we wish we could account for other people’s actions we can not. Unfortunately the day in age we live in is one in which we must constantly be on guard. I know you are all saying, and even I am saying, “BUT THAT’S NOT RIGHT! IT SHOULDN’T BE THAT WAY! WE NEED TO CHANGE THIS!” To which I give a resounding amen, lets do it. I wish for a time where a woman (not me) could walk down a dark ally at night in a bikini, or heck even in a turtle neck and blue jeans to their car, and not fear being attacked. But reality is, as of right now, this is not the world we live in and so we must, as reluctant as we might be, constantly on guard and careful of what we are doing.

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