Celebrity hacks and victim-blaming: Responding to 3 common claims

Jennifer Lawrence and other celebrities have had (nude) photos stolen. I noticed three, of many, recurring responses, mostly it seems from my fellow men dictating what women should do with their bodies. Cos, yeah: of course.

Others have said these things more eloquently. But here’s some responses to claims about celebrity privacy violations – i.e. nude photo leaks – that we need to keep reinforcing.

  1. “Who cares?”

Celebrities may be annoying to many; celebrity culture itself is to me largely horrible. Celebrities are not necessarily talented, merely people with a large audience. However, the key here is “people” – not monsters. Presumably we want a better world for people – thus if bad things happen to people, we should defend and support them. This isn’t about whether they themselves actually notice – but it does mean setting up an environment that reacts appropriately to when women have their photos leaked and aren’t berated as “sluts“; it’s about reinforcing a space, like the Internet, that doesn’t spread stolen information from people because they’re “hot”. After all, women who are not celebrities at all, have the same thing happen to them. [Read more...]

Nothing to fear because I have nothing to hide

“Only if you’re doing something wrong should you worry, and then you don’t deserve to keep it private.”

Daniel Solove tackled this argument in 2011. As he points out, people making this argument misconstrue many aspects about what constitutes (personal) security and privacy.

“This issue isn’t about what information people want to hide but about the power and the structure of government.”

Thus, how much a government knows and monitors is indicative of that country’s governance. Our inability to know what they’re collecting, how they’re viewing this data and what they’re deducing from it should be our main concern. It is Kafkaesque as well as Orwellian, though it is because of the former that we should actually be concerned. [Read more...]