Feeling Violated, Jennifer Lawrence Calls Photos a Sex Crime


Many people expressed outrage over the release of hacked nude pictures of numerous female celebrities. Jennifer Lawrence, however, rightly calls the cybersecurity leak of the private photos – which publicly exposed more than she ever intended and left her feeling violated – a sex crime. She also questioned the morality and decency of those who sought out the photos to sneak a peak. Good for her.

Voyeurs are people who spy on others while their subjects are naked for the viewers’ own pleasure, without the permission of the subject matter. Voyeurism is not a crime in some cultures, but in the U.S., it is an invasion of privacy to take pictures or videos when a person has a reasonable expectation of privacy.

The 24-year-old Academy Award-winning actress would be right in calling the publication of the nude photos a sex crime if she did not know they were taken. However, she willingly posed for them for a long-time boyfriend. The crime is that they were stolen. “It’s my body, and it should be my choice,” Lawrence commented. “The fact that it is not my choice is absolutely disgusting.”

Laws needed to be amended to truly make it a sex crime to publish someone else’s photos without their permission.  There is no doubt that Lawrence, Kate Upton, Avril Lavigne, Hayden Panettiere and others whose private moments were made public have a right to feel violated but the perpetrators.

Lawrence also lashed out at anyone who looked at the photos, knowing they were stolen. She has a point. If people were outraged enough to avoid the sites where they were published, would crimes like this stop? There certainly would not be any commercial gains to be had by the sites that published them. Many of the affected celebrities have threatened lawsuits against the sites and Google for leading people to them.

Feeling violated and disgusted that dozens of explicit photos of her were published online in a “sex crime,” Lawrence pointed a finger at anyone who looked at the shots and also could be perceived as “perpetuating a sexual offence. “You should cower with shame.” She even noted that people she knows told her they checked them out and she feels she did not give permission for people to look at her naked body.

When celebrities do scandalous or raunchy things, it sometimes makes one think “What do their parents think?” Lawrence expressed her outrage and angst over having to tell her father about the photos, which were made solely for private use. She said that calling her father to convey the news was “not worth” any money she earned as a star. “Anybody given the choice of that kind of money or having to make a phone call to tell your dad that something like that has happened, it’s not worth it,” she said.

The issue, as she noted, is about control. There is a difference between being naked in private or in public. Being a public figure does not mean that all privacy is voided. Public figures are entitled to privacy too.

Jennifer Lawrence needs to be applauded, and loudly, for expressing her outrage at feeling violated by what she feel was a sex crime, whether it technically is one or not. While others who were exposed in the hacking scandal have expressed some disgust, Lawrence raises feelings and emotions people can relate to and understand how valid her outrage is.

Opinion by Dyanne Weiss

Globe and Mail

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