Today’s news of several female celebrity nude pictures being leaked enraged me.
Not truly understanding why I was so upset I spoke with a friend on the phone trying to suss out what exactly was pushing me over the edge — why was I getting so frustrated over nude photos of celebrities being leaked by some pervy tech-geek on the internet? I, by all accounts, know none of these females personally… and it is not as if they did not intend to take these pictures (some might say it was very silly of them to have these photographs taken in the first place)….
but then it became clear..
While I may not know these ladies on a personal level I can most definitely relate to the patriarchal, entitled world from which this leak became a reality.
I think back to my own 13 year old experience of being cat-called (and attempted luring) by a 40+ year old man while on my way to high school in my high school uniform, the 60 year old cab driver who (when I was 16) told me to walk slowly to my front door so he could watch my ass, the old man in the mall who stopped my mom and I on a shopping trip to tell us a dirty sex joke, the middle age man who FILMED my friends and I walking out of a bathroom in a train station yelling after us, my friend who was certainly too drunk to consent and was violated by another “friend”, the story about my friend who was groped by a patron at her restaurant who paid her $50 to stay quiet, the 25year old man who took pictures of my little sister and her best friend on their walks home from school in their kilts, stories of NUMEROUS friends being drugged (some of which luckily made it home in time while others, not so lucky, got violated), the time at the bar when I was physically grabbed by two guys who tried to pull me towards them leaving bruises on my wrists for a week, the time, while in line for a bar, a guy reached up my skirt and violated me and then proceeded to do it to my friend while promptly fleeing the scene…(the list could easily go on).. all of these experiences left me feeling ashamed, vulnerable and so very angry.
This anger is something I know I carry with me. When I catch a man looking at me - I often react negatively and defensively. I worry about my sister, my cousins, my girlfriends, my mom, my aunts…I worry for girls. We grow up in a society that the stories I described are so commonplace, so expected that it is a part of growing up a girl.
Why are we so complacent with this? Why do I have to fear that the daughters of our generation will also be exploited and vulnerable and made to feel small? I don’t want my daughter to have to deal with a man three times her age catcalling her as she walks to school in her school uniform leaving her to wonder if she was asking for it by wearing her school kilt instead of the school pants. I don’t want my daughter to exist in a world where it is okay for men to be creeps and for females to have to accept it as reality and act accordingly. It is not okay. No one has the right to invade someone’s privacy, to cat-call, to grab, to rape, to abuse, to violate.
I think the leak of these celebrity nude pictures upset me because it is another example of entitlement and a lack of respect for the privacy of women and their right to CHOOSE. Men are not entitled to our bodies and these women were violated and exposed and are now made to feel ashamed, vulnerable and probably very angry.