Be the Change: Let the Leaked Photos Fade
By Alexa Day
It’s been a tough week for sexy news. Part of the trouble is that my social media feeds have been jammed with the news of the recent celebrity photo leaks and then jammed with reactions to the celebrity photo leaks. Perez Hilton posted some of the photos, removed the photos and then apologized for posting the photos. Fakes and alterations of the photos turned up everywhere. Blog posts debated whether it was right or wrong to actively seek out the photos (which seems to me to be an obvious question, given the circumstances).
One post makes a racial argument of the fact that a person could still get to Jill Scott’s nudes with a simple search while Jennifer Lawrence’s had been removed. The fact that Jill Scott denied any actual nude photos was conveniently overlooked.
I hesitate to add to this discourse, in part because my frustration with the news drove me away from it, but I really just have one more thing to say.
At this point, the women whose photos were ripped off and then leaked seem to have stepped back from coverage of this scandal. News outlets and commentators still taking part in the fray are now more vocal about the leaks than the women who were actually wronged. That’s a problem. If exploitation of the photos for sexual and economic gratification was (and is) a problem, then exploitation of the leaks for support of various sociopolitical stances is also a problem. I do not have standing to be more upset about these leaks than the women whose privacy was violated. If they’re done with this, then I’m done with it.
If we want to live in a society where those who want to be photographed privately in the nude can do so without fear of public censure, I think we need to make that commitment to society today. If we want to live in a world where that kind of self-expression doesn’t cause such a furor, then we need to stop with the furor. We need to stop gawking. We need to stop judging. We need to stop searching and clicking and pointing fingers.
We do need to stop theft by punishing thieves, yes. But how much more is really necessary?
Please, let’s devote our energies this week to doing something sexy. Please?
And follow Lady Smut. It’s safe here. Promise.