Western Culture is Harbouring Female Hatred

Connie Basnett looks at the latest celebrity nude photos leak.

Emma Watson delivered an incredible speech at the UN yesterday launching the #HeForShe campaign, but a day later a 4Chan hacker has threatened to leak nude pictures of her next.

This comes just days after the latest scandal of nude celebrity photos, which was leaked onto the internet on Saturday. This time with photos of Vanessa Hudgens, Kim Kardashian and Olympic soccer star Hope Solo. The photos were uploaded to the website 4Chan, however they have been removed due to copyright infringement policies.

These photos are yet more examples of a much larger problem, the lack of respect for women in our culture. They are used to humiliate women with a complete disregard for the individual’s privacy.

These photos come only weeks after another collection of photos, which consisted of around 200 high-profile people including Jennifer Lawrence, Kirsten Dunst and Kate Upton, were posted on the 4Chan image sharing site on 31st August.

I am sure you will have seen the Twitter and Facebook posts regarding people trying desperately to take a cheeky look at Jennifer Lawrence in the nude and thinking it’s harmless now they are out there. Many have even criticised the celebrities, asking why they have nude photos of themselves anyway? No one knows why these individuals had these photos of themselves, but that is irrelevant. Lawrence and others could have had these photos shared between themselves and their partner in a committed relationship, nobody knows. But regardless, the images belonged to them, were stolen from their private files and were illegally distributed.


Here are just a few of the victim blaming tweets I came across:

connie article

If these photos were of men (which they never are), would there really be such a debate and controversy?  These tactics are used to attack, embarrass and even ruin the woman’s career. In a piece for The Guardian Professor John Naughton explains how he believes this crime reveals an uneasy truth, that large numbers of males appear to harbour a deep hatred of women. Many examples of this deep hatred can be seen with many prominent women being abused over the internet. Take a look at this previous Despatch Box post to read more about how prominent female figures have received rape and death threats over social networking sites such as Twitter. Yet the sites have failed to intervene effectively.

This disrespect for women extends past leaked photographs of celebrities, but includes all women. These types of invasive photo leaks by men is not a new phenomenon. We all know it already as revenge porn. It differs to the latest events as these types of photos are often taken and given with consent between two people, usually in a relationship. The photos of the girlfriend are later leaked by the former boyfriend on the internet for revenge after she has “wronged him” in some form.

Revenge porn and the celebrity photos are both used for the same agenda, both leaked by men and both as equally invasive. These photos are both used to humiliate women in the most intimate and personal way. A recent example can be seen by UKIP leader Nigel Farage’s former assistant, who found herself a victim of revenge porn after her boyfriend linked graphic photos of her to The Sun, who thankfully refused to publish them.

Justice Secretary Chris Grayling told MPs in July that the uploading of sexually explicit material without the consent of the subject was becoming a bigger problem in the UK. But revenge porn still is not a criminal offence in the UK.

These photos have contributed to a debate revealing hostility and disrespect for women and the need to tackle this problem in the UK and the US. This problem is not only shown through revenge porn and the recent celebrity nude photos, but this lack of respect for women can be shown on a day to day basis with women in work, on social media sites, girls at school and even in relationships.

Has this become even more that just disrespect, are we dealing with a cultural problem of male hatred to women?

By Connie Basnett


[Image Credit: UN Women]


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