lifestyle

This isn't just about nude celebrities. It's about women.

Jennifer Lawrence. She’s just one of the women feeling sick and panicked and exposed right now.

By MAMAMIA TEAM

Yesterday, the privacy of 101 famous women was violated in a depraved way that we’ve never before seen on this scale. Their phones were hacked and their intimate photos and videos were stolen. The headlines have been about J-Law whose photos were immediately released by the hacker who also published a list of 100 other celebrities, from pop stars to sportstars whose naked photos he claims to have.

All of these celebrities are women.

And that’s why this is not just a story about celebrities. This is not just a story about the merits of taking nude photos of yourself and whether that’s a dumb idea.  It’s not wannabe reality stars ‘leaking’ sex tapes for a bit of extra publicity. It’s not harmless fun. It’s not even fodder for a conversation with kids about sexting.

This is a targeted violation of each of these 101 women. This is about the mass humiliation and shaming of women, using their own bodies and sexuality as weapons against them.

Each of these 101 women is talented and successful in her field, whether it’s acting or soccer. And the underlying message this revolting list sends is: despite that, or maybe because of that, they deserve to be brought down, ridiculed, trivialised and exposed. Reduced to nothing more than their breasts and their genitals.

Kirsten Dunst is on the list.

In a way it’s almost a threat to women who dare to be successful. Your achievements are irrelevant. On the whim of an anonymous hacker you can be humiliated and shamed them at your most vulnerable and trusting, whether you’re famous or not.

And like any kind of sexual crime against a woman, this one is about power. This hacker is not just saying, “I have rad hacking skillz, hire me please”. He’s saying “I don’t care how powerful, hot, or successful you are. I don’t care about your privacy, your dignity, or your modesty. I don’t even care about you enough to tell you when I’m going to release photos of you naked. I have them in my possession and I’m in control here. You are mine.”

This is the ultimate example of a man possessing a woman’s body. Against her will, without her permission, and completely without consent, he has accessed photographic evidence of the thing men everywhere want to see: The objects of lust we as a society have elevated above all else. Her naked body.

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To be powerful himself, he’s taking away the control these women have over their own nudity and body. And taking away a woman’s agency to feel powerful as a man is the ultimate exchange of misogyny, isn’t it?

Because if it’s not misogyny, where are the dick pics?

As is Kate Bosworth

Men and women have the same phones and presumably, the same kinds of photos stored on them. This vile hacker could have criminally violated the privacy of anyone. So where is Ryan Gosling’s penis? George Clooney’s arse? Justin Timberlake? Michael Phelps? Kanye? Prince Harry?

And to those who say: there are far more pressing issues facing women in the world. Why focus on 101 of the planet’s most privileged women when 100 Nigerian schoolgirls are still missing? The answer is this; just because things could be worse doesn’t mean they can’t also be better. Making noise about one issue does not mean you can’t also be appalled by another.

As women, we are allowed – in fact we must – call out misogyny whenever we see it.

And in the case of Jennifer Lawrence and the 100 other women who are feeling sick and panicked and exposed and humiliated and violated right now as they wait to see if the hacker makes good on his promise to release more images and videos of them, this heinous act must be condemned and its perpetrator(s) punished in the real world.

Some are even calling this a form of misogynistic terrorism – a symbolic act against a few designed to instill fear in many.

And as we all grasp the fact that no matter how many times you delete words, images or videos from your digital devices, they live on, this hacker has indeed instilled fear in every one of us as we consider what it would mean if our privacy was so callously vandalised.

Because you don’t have to be famous to be humiliated. All you need is a phone and a naked body.

This is a sample of just some of the women who have been named on the list of potential victims. For the full list – click here.