You shouldn’t have shared nudes with your boyfriend.
Why do we teach women to be careful? Instead, why don’t we stop attaching a stigma to nudity that gives a hacker a sense of power and control over the woman he manages to hack?
In a piece of recent shocking news, actress Bella Thorne was threatened by a hacker who had access to her nudes. After 24 hours of crying and beating herself up over the fiasco, the 21-year-old finally decided to take things into her own hands.
She posted the nudes of herself on Twitter.
According to her tweets, she did this because that was the only way she wouldn’t feel the hacker had inexplicable power over her life. In the actress’ own words:
For the last 24 hours, I have been threatened with my own nudes. I feel gross, I feel watched, I feel someone has taken something from me that I only wanted one special person to see.
Fuck u and the power u think you have over me. Here’s the photos he’s been threatening me with, in other words here’s my boobies.
It’s MY DECISION NOW U DON’T GET TO TAKE YET ANOTHER THING FROM ME. I can sleep tonight better knowing I took my power back.
It was an incredibly brave move, one that should have been applauded and met with support.
Goldberg was quoted as saying,
I don’t care how old you are. If you’re famous, you don’t take nude photos of yourself.
Once you take that picture, it goes into the cloud and it’s available to any hacker who wants it. If you don’t know that in 2019, that this is an issue, I’m sorry, you don’t get to do that.
Goldberg wasn’t the only one. Several articles have been written on the internet since then, supporting her choice of words and shaming Bella for having shared nudes.
But will not clicking nudes make the problem go away?
Will the perverts of this world not find another way to torment a woman and shame her based on her life-decisions?
Yes, what Whoopi Goldberg said is undeniably right — that in today’s digital age, nudes are never safe.
But mistakes happen. And, especially for two young people in love separated by physical distance, sharing nude photographs is just another form of intimacy.
I don’t think asking the women to be more careful would solve the issue, because, no matter how careful they are, someone will always find a way to breach their privacy, violate their personal boundaries, and blackmail them.
I think what Bella Thorne did was the right way out.
That, instead of being ashamed, women should lash back at their tormentors, and not give them a sense of power they imagine they have.
Of course, Thorne is a millionaire with means enough to shield herself from any backlash this incident is bound to bring upon her. A normal woman working a normal job would never have the courage to share her nude images publicly.
And this is where the society (and you, dear Quora readers) comes in.
There is a line in my book What did Tashi do? that goes like this-
Rather than shaming the woman for having her pictures splashed over revenge porn websites, people should extend their support and shame the criminal instead.
If we take away the power the blackmailers think they have just because they possess a couple of nudes, then, slowly, the incidents of blackmail, revenge porn and cyberbullying will dwindle and die out.
This book deals with cybercrimes against women. It is a fast-paced thriller that talks about this issue and the kind of impact leaked personal images can have on a woman’s life.