Unless you've been living under a rock for the past 24 hours, you've probably heard all about the most recent (and most extensive) bout of celebrity photo hacking, involving Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton, and a long list of other female victims. While the real issue is the hacker, or hackers, who went to such efforts to expose these celebrities, we should make sure not to be part of the problem by clicking. Here's why:
1. The photos are private property.
Contrary to what seems to be the popular belief, the leaked photos of the stars are their property. If you wouldn't go to their homes, enter without permission, and take any of their other personal items, then you shouldn't consider doing it virtually either.
2. It's not a scandal.
Guess what? Celebrities are just like real people! As in, they have naked bodies underneath their clothing, too. Shocking, right? Nudity isn't that big of a deal unless people make it a big deal. The online world often seems to find nude photo leaks to be something of a fun spectacle for their own entertainment, but this isn't a scandal . . . it's a violation of countless women. Not so fun.
3. Clicking makes you part of the problem.
It doesn't matter how interesting people find leaks like this to be, the theft and subsequent release of the photos is a crime. Consider yourself aiding and abetting a criminal when you click — you become guilty by association and only encourage and validate the actions of the faceless (aka cowardly) posters.
4. The victims are not at fault.
So often, especially when women and sexuality come into play, the world adds insult to injury by blaming the victim for "their part" in the problem. The idea that these celebrities "brought this on themselves" is unfortunately an unsurprising and predictable response from those who can't seem to wrap their heads around the idea that people are entitled to taking and having any kind of private photos they want to. The fact that they are celebrities and choose to live in the spotlight changes nothing. At all.
5. It's hurtful, plain and simple.
Being violated, especially this publicly, is unwarranted and hurtful to the women involved and women in general — and it's as simple as that. It doesn't matter if they look great in the photos — and no, they don't need to "own it." If they wanted the pictures out there (and hey, that's fine, too!), then they would have put them out there. But they didn't. So let's all find something else to click and share. Here is a video of a very cute baby.