Where is our empathy?

It is a sad and strange state of affairs that in the year 2014 we are still “slut shaming” and victim blaming women who have been treated unfairly, physically harmed or even brutalized. What does it say about society as a whole when we actually have to defend women like Jennifer Lawrence who had something private, something intensely personal, stolen and posted on the internet for all to see. I think I have read every sort of negative comment there is. I’ve seen everything from “If she didn’t want the pictures to become public she shouldn’t have taken them” to ” Its just pictures, what the big deal?”. There have also been many who have stepped up to defend these women, not just JLaw, who now have something very private out there for all to see. All I can think is that the people doing all of this victim blaming don’t understand the real situation.

These women took these pictures, in the privacy of their own spaces, with no intention of circulating them on the internet, or to groups of people they had never met. They took them with the INNOCENT intention of sharing them with a partner or maybe they were just feeling good about themselves that day. Someone, or a group of someones then went through a lot of trouble to break into their phones and steal those pictures and distribute them to the world. This is the exact same scenario as someone breaking into their homes and taking pictures of them against their will. This could happen to anyone. You do not have to be a celebrity for this sort of thing to happen to you.

The most disturbing thing to me about this whole scenario is that it can and will happen again. This sort of situation makes us feel as if nothing is private anymore. If you put something on the internet, or on your phone, or pretty much digitize it in any way it is vulnerable to hacking. We need to change our attitude toward victims of this sort of abuse because while this whole scenario has been shocking and sad and I feel so bad for these women, it will happen again. If we can change our perspective, let in some empathy rather than judgement, then maybe the next time it does happen these women will feel like they have a safe place to turn to rather than ridicule and opinions around every corner.

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