If there is one question that needs to be asked, closing in on Celebrity Nude Heist 2014, it is "Why?"
This is a question that should be posed to the hacker, first. Why? Why is it that you felt entitled to this fame, built from the embarrassment and shame of others?
And then, the consumers: Why? Why did you look at these photos, share these photos, laugh and snort and ogle over these photos, knowing they weren't for you, knowing that people with thoughts, feelings and boundaries were the star of them?
A 4Chan user, claiming to be working with TMZ, used Apple's storage system, iCloud, to gain access to the private photos of more than 100 celebrities, most notably Kirsten Dunst, Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Upton, and it is possible more will be posted.
As with every leaked photo scandal, there's the age-old advice running rampant on the Twitter pages of life's wisest demographic — moralistic, upper-class 20-year-olds with Starbucks in-hand: Don't take these photos if you don't want them to get leaked! If you don't want to be called a slut, don't act like one!
But that advice is akin to "Don't wear that outfit if you don't want to be raped." It completely circumvents the problem and places the blame on the victim, at once defending the abuser and shaming these women for their personal choices, made within the boundaries of their intimate relationships.
All of this is way more unfortunate when we compare this situation to the general outrage felt by American citizens during the NSA scandal: How violated did you feel? How sick, how worried, how angry, how embarrassed were you at the thought of being watched without consent, and maybe even laughed at? Are women not allowed to feel that same entitlement to privacy? Does it stop being privacy when you dare to have breasts, when it's not the government that's after you, but your next door neighbor?
We are telling women this: Your sexuality is not your own. It is the public's to demonize, mock and masturbate to, to sell, to hack, to shame and to commodify without any repercussion or moral debate. Your bodies are not your own, your identities are not your own — we own you, because you are a woman.
There is no privacy here. There is no consent.
And to those who are not master hackers, but still looked at the photos, your chair moving backwards in your delight as you placed your cursor on the share button — you are also part of the problem. You are the audience here. You are the primary consumer of these "goods" and you are the reason these scandals exist. Those photos were not taken for you, and that intimacy does not belong to you. Does that make you angry? Why?