Let’s have a little conversation about nude photos/selfies, shall we?
Since virtually the dawn of photography, the camera lens has been pointed at nude women. That’s what we humans do when we invent a new technology: first we ask, “Can we use this technology for sex?” then we ask “Can we use this technology to hurt other people?”
Personally, I think the first question is a normal, natural progression for the introduction of almost any technology. In just the line of photography, think of how Polaroids changed the game; no longer having to get photos developed by strangers opened up what people felt comfortable taking pictures of. Same goes for at-home printers which can print more and higher-quality photographs than the Polaroid. Same goes for people scanning body parts on copy machines.
Humans have used and are using technology to sexually explore and express themselves, like it or not, so we have to adjust socially to the existence of nudes and sexual photographs between consenting adults that were never intended for public viewing.
While I acknowledge the existence and validity of asexuals, lots of humans like sex, and there's nothing wrong with that. There’s nothing wrong with not liking sex. There's nothing wrong with liking sex, and if all parties involved are consenting adults, who cares what they like?
It is a complete violation of human decency to release nudes to an audience for which they were never intended. It is a further violation of human decency to acquire those nudes by unethical means.
Can we use this technology to hurt other people?
Which brings me to the second question: “Can we use this technology to hurt other people?” This impasse is among the most disgusting parts of human nature. The desire to hurt, manipulate, control, get revenge seems prevalent in many humans, and I think the way forward as a species is to wipe out these characteristics in ourselves.
Nudes between consenting adults hurt no one. The release of nudes to a public audience is a horrific act, a sexual violation.
If your response to private photos being made public against the will of those in the photograph is, “wElL, sHe ShOuLdN’t HaVe TaKeN tHe NuDeS,” I would like to personally thank you for issuing the Red Flag that lets me and everyone else know you’re fine with sexual violation if you think it’s “justified,” which, newsflash: it never is!
Even if I accept the premise that taking nudes is a “stupid decision,” a “stupid decision” still does not justify sexual violation!
I can't believe I have to explain this
What consenting adults do is NO ONE’S BUSINESS, and if you’re okay with their privacy being violated because you didn’t personally like what they were doing, you’re on the wrong side of history. We’re trying to move past that judgmental nonsense as a society, mmmkay? And, I’m sorry, not sorry, but we’re leaving you behind.
Now, when I said, “the camera lens has been pointed at nude women,” I didn’t mean this technology acted autonomously, oh no. Let’s be real. Since virtually the dawn of photography, the camera lens has been pointed at nude women, by largely male photographers for the benefit of a largely male audience. And is there anyone alive who would actually, reasonably contradict the sexualization of women in advertising is prevalent in our society?
But since women obtained the technology to point the lens at themselves, people have been like, “wHy DiD sHe Do ThAt??”
Misogyny is a powerful force, and you don’t have to not be a woman to hold it. Any person of any gender can hold misogynistic views.
If you’re mad because a woman has taken a nude selfie but you acknowledge and accept, even tacitly, the sexualization of women for profit in our society, that’s a misogynistic view you've got yourself there, I don’t care what your gender is.
Representative Katie Hill
In the specific case of Rep. Katie Hill, there are accusations of sexual relationships with people with whom she had an inappropriate power differential. That is a whole different ball of wax. What I have been saying here is related to nude photos/selfies in general.
There is nothing wrong with sexual exploration and expression, even when that involves a camera. There is something fundamentally wrong with exploiting that exploration and expression, with degrading and shaming consenting adults engaged in consensual activities.
TL;DR: “Why didn’t she just not take the nudes/have better security/do things differently?” is the new generation’s “What was she wearing?” It’s revolting. Quit it.
*steps off soapbox*