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September 03

Bad Puns & Sex Offences

By Ella Miista
Rule 34 of the Internet states if there's something, there's also a porn version of it. Yet that's not enough. Cue bad puns to justify sex offences. Over the weekend someone with far too much time on their hands took it to themselves to leak over 200 private images of mostly very famous women. Quite a few of them were nude – pictures intended for their boyfriends and husbands. Right, ok. So we can see nude pictures of extremely attractive women? It’s not exactly different from any other day. The difference here is that these women have not made their bodies a public property. Naked pictures have been posted against the subjects will before, whether they’re famous or not. Done by a pitiful ex or some horny loser who knows how to use a computer, it’s never ok. What’s been dubbed as ‘The Fappening’ isn’t just a gross violation of privacy. It also comes with a mind boggling level of entitlement. People sometimes go along with the masses without considering what's right and what's not. We've all gotten caught in the moment and not thought about the consequences of our actions. I wouldn't want to write those people off - maybe they're not an awful human being by default. But, if someone does take a moment to think and points out, actually, it's a really terrible thing, this excuse is no longer valid. Someone's done all the thinking for you and the general consensus is that it's wrong. If you're complaining about the lack of pictures, still on a quest to get off to a picture of Jennifer Lawrence - congratulations. You're an entitled arsehole. It goes without saying that fame comes with a burden. A celebrity is probably aware every single thing they do will be scrutinised. Sure – it must suck having to run everything by your publicist to avoid creating a public uproar. Going out sans makeup or gaining the tiniest bit of weight being the favourite topic of tabloids would be rather annoying. It’s par for the course though. Their complete sexualisation to the point of becoming public domain should never be expected. Like Lena Dunham said, the person who stole those images is not a hacker but a sex offender. Reddit and 4chan both generate endless content, some of it incredibly fascinating. On paper they both stand for free speech and privacy, too. Just in reality it gets adjusted to their convenience. Good privacy means governments can’t read your emails or see your pictures. Bad privacy means no access to someone else’s private images. Freedom of speech is good only if it’s in unison with their opinion. A few years ago Adrian Chen wrote an article for Gawker on Michael Brutsch. He's the infamous redditor Violentacrez who ran the subreddit r/creepshots. Aptly named, it featured images of women taken without their knowledge or consent. What followed was a reddit wide ban of any links to sites related to Gawker. Outing him was obviously the worst thing to happen since Hiroshima or the holocaust. Privacy should only apply to those marvelling in a big cosy pile of misogyny. Both sites are user generated so there isn't only the one opinion but unfortunately this is the majority of it. For reference, see the below graph comparing r/funny - its most popular subreddit - to r/fappening. The latter is the place where crying men go to complain about the pictures being removed. CJe3J0u Leaving aside the fact r/funny isn't that funny at all, in an ideal world this could be posted on r/WTF - the sub for the most shocking content - and it would be voted to the top. Only in reality it wouldn't. WTF, right? Both the idea of this god given right as well as the lack of understanding are symptoms of rape culture. Of course a nude picture isn't as bad as rape. The two can't be compared. Regardless, both are forms of sex offence. To argue this attention is flattery is dangerously close to saying rape is a compliment. Maybe fearing a cosmic revenge, redditors went on to donate money to Prostate Cancer Foundation to redeem themselves. There are too many dick jokes waiting to be made, but the charity went on to refund all donations. “We would never condone raising funds for cancer research in this manner. Out of respect for everyone involved and in keeping with our own standards, we are returning all donations that resulted from this post,” their statement read, referring to reddit’s appeal. Look, a charity didn’t want the money because they found the way in which it was raised wrong. It's not enough to make people think. Instead some witty wanker went on to say, and this is a direct quote, “Since the PCF has returned donations I say we instead donate to water.org. Water is a fundamental human need and right and, since we all seem to be thirsty motherfuckers, it seems like the place to go.” Donating to charities is a wonderful thing to do but it's not a way to redeem oneself. Doing one good thing doesn't void doing something bad. The fact there's a presence of guilt is good, but it's not enough. It's still just to make oneself feel better. The wellbeing of these women isn't even an afterthought, and that's not ok. The features image of Jennifer Lawrence is really the only one those on r/fappening should be looking at.
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