216647-7af7.jpg

The Nude Celebrity Photo Scandal and the Value We Place on Sex and Sexual Expression

By Emily Chambers | Think Pieces | September 3, 2014 | Comments ()

By Emily Chambers | Think Pieces | September 3, 2014 |


216647-7af7.jpg

If you aren’t tired of hearing about the 4chan celebrity nude photo theft, or if you still feel that this type of massive violation is worth discussing because of its larger social implications, walk with me for a bit. Because I don’t think we’ve adequately discussed one of the important elements of the theft (and a lot of the resulting comments about it): the value that we place on sex and sexual expression.

A lot of response (including Ricky Gervais’) has been “The hackers are at fault, the celebrities shouldn’t be blamed, yadda, yadda, yadda, BUT DON’T HAVE NUDE PHOTOS ONLINE. It’s just common sense.” Several of the comments have even explicitly stated “Don’t ever take nude photos.” In addition to this being blatant victim blaming (Yes, it is. No, I’m not explaining this again.), it’s also wildly out of step with how we treat any other theft. The police don’t question your decision to collect comic books or Beanie Babies or Duran Duran albums. If your possessions are stolen, they investigate. The end. Period. They might not investigate it well, and your items might not be returned. But they don’t tell you that it was stupid to have those possessions in the first place. Because we as a society by and large don’t judge a theft by the value we individually place on an item.

Let’s play a quick thought experiment. Here are a list of items which I don’t value: large boats, expensive jewelry, personal vehicles which are not cars. But if a friend told me that someone had stolen their diamond encrusted yacht with a two motorcycle garage and my response was “Those things are all dumb. You should have known better than to have them. Of course someone would take them eventually. It’s just common sense,” do you think they’d think I was right? Or do you think they’d call me an asshole?

“But wait,” my imaginary rich friend might say, “physical items are harder to steal. Keeping my boat locked in the marina should have prevented the theft!” Fine. Let’s say instead of large number of photos, the hackers had stolen and published personal emails. Notes to friends or lovers hashing out a fight. Venting tirades to parents about a shitty day at work. Snarky emails about in-laws. Are celebrities allowed to have those? Is it ok for those items to be stored in the Cloud? Should they also expect that those would be hacked and published because “nothing is private on the Internet”? Would we tell them not to engage in this type of communication? Or would we have recognized that they are free to a certain degree of privacy even if we don’t like all of the things they said in those emails?

When people say “it’s stupid to have nude photos because you don’t need them,” they aren’t saying that the photos themselves are valueless. We know that they have value because the hackers stole them to sell. And we know they have value because we know plenty of people want to see them. When people say “don’t take nude photos” what they mean is “I don’t value your right to this form of sexual expression.”

And we do this all the time when it comes to sex. For being one of the fundamental forces of life, we sure don’t think it should be prioritized. Divorced your wife because she refused to have sex for the past 10 years? You’re the asshole that broke up your family. Chose not to date that super nice guy because his sexual repertoire didn’t click with yours? You slutty bitch. Thought you could expect a reasonable amount of respect for your private photos? Joke’s on you, tramp. We (mostly) all want sex. We use sex to sell products. We’ve got an insane pornography industry. We understand that sex is important to our emotional and mental well-being. And then we tell people any value placed on or expression of sexual desire is bad and wrong and they shouldn’t have done it in the first place.

Why would a celebrity take a nude photo? Because they wanted to. Because it’s fun and sexy and a little bit dangerous. And mostly because it’s none of our goddamn business.

You don’t have to value nude photos. You don’t have to value whatever gratification, sexual or otherwise, these celebs got from taking them. But the lack of value you place on them is completely irrelevant to the conversation. Other people had things in their possession in a reasonably secure manner. Someone else came in, stole them, and used those items to injure and degrade the original owner. The victims don’t need your value judgment, your advice, or any of your bullshit comments on “common sense.”



Get entertainment, celebrity and politics updates via Facebook or Twitter. Buy Pajiba merch at the Pajiba Store.

Adam Levine's Impression of Michael Jackson Singing the 'Sesame Street' Theme is N-U-T-S | Cee-Lo Green Can Stick His Rape Tweet Non-Apology Up His Ass




Continue Reading After the Advertisement

Bigots, Trolls & MRAs Are Not Welcome in the Comments




Advertisement




The Pajiba Store


petr-store-pajiba.png






Privacy Policy
advertise