The naked

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - EN­TER­TAIN­MENT -

Some com­menters have bris­tled at the com­par­i­son be­tween these “leaked” pho­tos and “re­venge porn” — but they ex­ist on a con­tin­uum. Af­ter all, it’s not just fa­mous women whose bod­ies are ex­ploited. What’s stop­ping an an­gry ex or some­one else you know from hack­ing into your iCloud? Women who deal with misog­y­nis­tic threats and ha­rass­ment on so­cial me­dia — like fem­i­nist gam­ing critic Anita Sar­keesian, who was ac­tu­ally driven out of her home — are of­ten told to “go off­line.” But it’s 2014. We all live on the In­ter­net. One can’t sim­ply “go off­line.” We bank on­line. We do work on­line. We con­nect with each other on­line. And that’s only be­come more true with the ad­vent of smart­phones. To that end, we need to stop treat­ing the In­ter­net as ex­cep­tional and start mak­ing it a safer space for women. All women. The misog­yny that ex­ists on­line ex­ists in real life, be­cause the In­ter­net is real life. Theft is theft, whether it hap­pens on­line or off. Vi­o­la­tion of pri­vacy is a vi­o­la­tion of pri­vacy, on­line or off. Ha­rass­ment is ha­rass­ment, on­line or off. How can we do that? Well, we can stop tak­ing what’s not ours to take, for one. And we can stop shar­ing and click­ing through on il­le­gally ob­tained, non-con­sen­sual pho­tos — which is frankly gross, not to men­tion un­nec­es­sary, as I hear the In­ter­net is rife with con­sen­sual images to ogle. We can hold so­cial me­dia plat­forms more ac­count­able for the ha­rass­ment that takes place on their sites. We can force com­pa­nies such as Ap­ple, which op­er­ates iCloud, the stor­age sys­tem on which many of these celeb nudes were stored, to take se­cu­rity more se­ri­ously. Whether we’re talk­ing about nude pho­tos or credit card num­bers, the ba­sic con­ceit re­mains the same: if we’re go­ing to live on­line, it’s not un­rea­son­able to ex­pect some sort of pro­tec­tion. But most of all, on­line and off, we can re­mem­ber one ba­sic thing: that women, whether they are celebri­ties or not, are hu­man be­ings, too.

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