Re­venge porn and sex sham­ing is for cow­ards

Post - - LIFESTYLE - Vanessa Goven­der: Un­fil­tered ●

WHAT is up with sex sham­ing and re­venge porn? Clearly there are some in­cred­i­bly ab­hor­rent and de­praved peo­ple walk­ing among us – por­tray­ing im­ages of ab­so­lute pro­pri­ety but, who, when stripped down to it, are noth­ing more than trash!

Sorry, did you think I was re­fer­ring to the peo­ple who make sexy videos of them­selves? Or those who take racy pics of them­selves to share with their part­ners? Not at all! What con­sent­ing adults do in the con­fines of their bed­rooms is no one’s busi­ness.

Yes, re­cent events show even politicians are spic­ing up their boudoirs and quite frankly, I don’t think our min­is­ter of Home Af­fairs owes any­one an apol­ogy. That his video got out is sad and sick­en­ing and is the work of a ma­li­cious cow­ard whose sole aim is to hu­mil­i­ate.

Take the re­cent case also, of a for­mer Lo­tus FM pre­sen­ter – a young woman who lost her job and had her dig­nity dragged through the mud be­cause a video she made for some­one was de­lib­er­ately leaked with the sole aim of hurt­ing her.

That some of us took great plea­sure from her degra­da­tion is an ab­so­lute in­dict­ment on the cal­i­bre of peo­ple we are. The only crime here is that some twisted so­ciopath shared it with oth­ers.

Okay, we are a con­ser­va­tive com­mu­nity, but let’s face facts, In­dian peo­ple are ev­i­dently hav­ing and en­joy­ing sex. And judg­ing from the num­bers, lots of it. Tech­nol­ogy has given us the tools to spice things up.

And so, what if a wife or girl­friend makes a sexy video for her man? And so what if a cou­ple de­cide to film them­selves be­ing in­ti­mate? If it’s for their eyes only, it’s none of our busi­ness. But to share im­ages or videos meant for you is a crim­i­nal of­fence, yes, even if she has dumped you and you are en­raged, it’s no ex­cuse.

Tak­ing in­ti­mate pic­tures of some­one with­out their con­sent an even big­ger crime and is the work of a des­per­ate creep. Men who de­rive their power from de­mean­ing a woman this way are noth­ing more than pa­thetic cow­ards.

It is my hope that the courts send a clear mes­sage, we as women may choose to share our bod­ies with you, but you do not have the right to dis­re­spect it nor do you have the right to share our bod­ies with any­one else.

Like rape and abuse, shar­ing and spread­ing sex­u­ally in­ti­mate ma­te­rial of some­one is a vi­o­la­tion of their body, their dig­nity and their hu­man rights. And for Pete sake, the rest of us need to stop vic­tim blam­ing.

We fo­cus on why and how could she send a video of her­self to some­one and we ab­solve these low lives of their de­spi­ca­ble be­hav­iour.

Send­ing some­one a sexy pic­ture or video of your­self is NOT per­mis­sion to dis­sem­i­nate it to oth­ers. It’s time to have open and frank di­a­logue with your kids and your­self. My best ad­vice, rather avoid, be­cause even the most sin­cer­est of lovers can turn nasty or there is also the hu­man er­ror of hit­ting send to the wrong number. But there are no two sides to sex sham­ing.

The nar­ra­tive of the South African, woman more espe­cially a woman of In­dian ori­gin, is fun­da­men­tally chang­ing. These are his­toric times. Ev­ery-time one of us stands up and speaks out we crush pa­tri­archy. We pave a path for our daugh­ters of to­mor­row, to­day.

Goven­der is a full-time mom and au­thor of the chil­dren’s book, ‘The Self­ish Shon­gololo’ and the ex­plo­sive me­moir, ‘Beaten But Not Bro­ken’. Goven­der is a for­mer award win­ning tele­vi­sion and SABC ra­dio news re­porter. Fol­low her on her so­cial me­dia han­dles – on her Face­book au­thor page, @Vanes­saGoven­derTed­der, and on Twit­ter, @Goven­der_V


LIKE rape, like abuse, shar­ing and spread­ing sex­u­ally in­ti­mate ma­te­rial of some­one is a vi­o­la­tion of their body, their dig­nity and their hu­man rights, ar­gues the colum­nist.

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