And so to the biggest celebrity story of the week — the internet publication of naked photographs and intimate videos of 102 female celebrities, including Jennifer Lawrence, Kim Kardashian, Kate Bosworth, Selena Gomez, Kirsten Dunst and Ariana Grande.
At some point in the past month, the womens’ iCloud accounts were hacked into and the images posted on the website 4Chan, from where they spread across the internet with such ferocity, the only apt simile being “as rapidly as a whole bunch of pictures of hot celebrity women, naked”.
As productivity across the world slowed markedly — due to half of every workplace gathering in the corner farthest away from their line manager and googling “naked A-list ladies hurry hurry” — an interesting phenomenon was observable: a widespread belief that it was … all OK. That nothing bad had happened. There had simply been a visit from a jovial Porn Santa, who had given the world the gift it so richly deserved — Jennifer Lawrence’s tits — and now all that was left was to give thanks before googling “naked A-list ladies any new ones hacked?” and continuing with the day.
CW finds this whole thing fascinating — this continuing belief that things somehow “don’t count” if they’re on the internet. Threatening to rape and kill women on Twitter isn’t real harassment; stealing pictures of women and posting them on the internet isn’t a real criminal sexual offence.
If there’s one thing that would do this species a heap of good it would be getting out of the house and getting some fresh air in its lungs. And if there are two things that would aid our species, it would be finally getting its head around “the internet”. The internet is something invented by humans, for humans, where humans communicate with each other. It’s exactly the same as “the meat world”.
If, in the “real world”, someone broke into Jennifer Lawrence’s garden and watched her undressing they would, rightly, be branded a pervert, arrested for trespass, treated as a bit revolting and sentenced to a spell in jail and possibly a stiff course of Just Stop Being A Freaky Mad Pervert therapy.
It’s no different to criminally trespassing into her iCloud and looking at her tits, simply because it’s “on the internet”. It’s “the internet” — not “Imaginary Norulestopia where you can do what you like”. When you treat the greatest communication tool the world has ever known like that, you basically turn it into Donkey Island in Pinocchio.
CW finds it slightly dolorous, living in an era where there is a constant, global game in play to see the naked body of every famous woman. The attitude reminds it exactly of being in the school playground, where a certain gang of boys would try, every playtime, to reveal the knickers of the girls, even though the girls were crying and traumatised and eventually grew up to be angry goths.
It’s going to leave the last words on this subject to the mighty Anne Hathaway, speaking about up-skirt shots of her that were sold to tabloids in 2012: “I’m sorry that we live in a culture that commodifies the sexuality of unwilling participants.”
Right on, Hathaway. Because there’s a word for people who sexually commodify an unwilling participant.