On a normal day I would have posted this on Twitter in a series of tweets, but I have decided to leave my social justice warrior days behind. As much as I hate the term and the people who behave like that, I realized I, too, had become one of them. The cause may be different but I was behaving the same. So I decided to stop doing that because in the end, it does not achieve anything, and I’d rather not waste my time, and more importantly, that of the three and a half thousand people who decided it was a good idea to follow someone with a K for a display picture and the words krazy and frog in the handle, in that order.
But I had this one thing I wanted to say. If I were to put it as a meme, it would be the Unpopular Opinion Puffin meme. I doubt anyone would agree with what I have to say but this is how I feel anyway.
This is regarding the recent incident of leaked images of Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton, and many others. First of all, the pictures don’t interest me. Somehow seeing celebrities naked never fascinated me. They don’t do anything to me and I’d rather watch the insane amount of free high quality porn available on the internet than squint at blurry, poorly taken selfies just because it has a barely recognizable famous person in them. That aside, after everyone was finished jerking off to them, (sticky) fingers were pointed at who was at fault. Some thought it were the celebrities themselves, some think it’s the person who hacked into their account and shared the pictures. Some even blamed Apple for having an online service where one can backup images (the nerve of that company!).
The correct answer is, of course, the person who leaked the images. But while I agree with the people who have that same opinion, I don’t agree with those giving the victims a free pass.
When you become a celebrity, you give up certain things. Privacy is one of those things. You can’t even go out to buy milk without a hundred photographers trying to take your picture. Yet you somehow expect no one to find out the naked pictures you share with other people. I know how trust works; when you are with someone, you trust them to do no wrong. But when you are a famous person, you have to look beyond the current relationship and put some boundaries, which involves not sharing nude photos. Your relationship may not last but that person will still have your photos and with you being a celebrity they have 100x more reason to put it up online for people to see than with regular people. This has happened before so why you wouldn’t use that as an example and take precautions is beyond me. Or do you value the other person’s feelings more than your own privacy?
As for uploading images online, do you really need a reminder of how bad the internet is? People have hacked accounts for much less. You are an international celebrity that people make fake photoshopped nude images of. And you put up real ones on a cloud storage and expect no one to ever see them? At least lock them down in a way to make them harder to reach.
People say the onus of taking precautions should not be on the women (or whoever is being victimized). That people should not have to live in fear and they should be able to do whatever they want. Such people live in a fairy tale world where they either think everything is perfect or will soon be perfect. That if they concentrate hard enough or got angry enough, the bad people will stop being bad and everything will become peachy. That you can just say “I don’t have to be afraid” and then walk down a dark road alone by yourself and not get robbed or worse.
This may come as a surprise but the world is not a nice place, nor will it ever be. There will always be bad people no matter what you do. If you find a way to stop them, they will find another way. Do you know how piracy works? You enjoy free movies and songs that are available freely online. But these are the result of bad people doing bad things. They may not be bad to you because they are working to your advantage, but for people who make the content, these are bad people. These companies have tried a lot of things to stop these people, but they managed to find a way to get what they want. This is just one example but it happens pretty much everywhere. In the end, crime won’t ever stop. It’s impossible to police everyone and there will always be more people breaking the law than protecting them. Some people aren’t even afraid of the law and do bad things despite knowing they might get caught. How do you stop such a person?
You can’t. Not all of them anyway. What you can do is take precautions. You can either take the moral high ground and convince yourself and others that you don’t have to be afraid and that you keep doing whatever it is that you want, or you can be sensible. The old saying – better safe than sorry – never stops being true. At the end of the day, you can argue till kingdom comes who was at fault but that will not undo the crime. Whatever happens to you, won’t be reversed just because it wasn’t your fault. But at that moment if you realize there was something you could have done that could have prevented all of this from happening, how would you feel? Would you not think that you should have done that? If today Jennifer Lawrence is given the option to go back in the past and secure her files or not upload them altogether, will she not do it? Or would she rather say I won’t do it because it wasn’t my fault? You think about that.
Hate me all you want for saying this but taking precautions is always a good thing. When the first country in the world went nuclear the other countries didn’t just say we don’t have to take precautions. They developed their own weapons because if you have to survive you have to fight. You can go after hackers, murderers, rapists, thieves all you want; that’s what the legal system is for. But just because the focus should be on wiping them off doesn’t mean you completely ignore the current situation. You don’t put your shield down just because you have a sword.
Which is why I found the feminist backlash against the nail polish that changed color when dipped into a sedated drink ridiculous. Their opinion was that it shifts the focus to women and them having to protect themselves instead of stopping the rapists. These things sound nice in theory but in the real world would you not want to be careful yourself? Or would you rather be sorry than safe? Which is more important to you as a person, social justice or ensuring your own safety?
It sounds like I’m telling women how to live their life but I do this myself too. I don’t go walking late at night on the street. By not doing that I’m only reducing my chances of getting mugged or killed (I doubt anyone would rape me unless they have really low standards). Sure, the fault would still be with the person doing the mugging or killing but does that really matter? I’m mugged or dead either way, something I could have avoided by not going out late at night. Then why would I not just do that instead of going “hurr durr I don’t have to be afraid” all the while perfectly ignoring the situation out there in the real world that will probably never change.
There are two kinds of people: Those who, while walking on the street, see a patch with a lot of bird shit on it and choose to avoid that area. They know perfectly well birds shit here from above often and walking through it they are just increasing their chances of getting shat on. The second are those who walk through it, either knowingly or unknowingly. And when they get shat upon, they are surprised and angry. You had the chance to avoid that but you chose to go through it anyway. The birds will always be there. Even if you get rid of the bird that shat upon you, another will take its place. You could keep blaming the birds all you want; you would be right, they are the ones shitting on you. But you have a choice to avoid getting shat upon. And if you chose to ignore that then, well, you can’t really be surprised anymore.
Anyway, this is what I think. It’s just an opinion so it’s not any right or wrong than any other opinion but I can tell most people will hate me after reading this anyway (I did say it was an unpopular opinion). Either way, that’s just how I think right now at this stage. I may think differently about this some day. But right now I feel prevention is better than cure and you should look out for yourself and those close to you instead of following the internet’s unrealistic ideals that don’t work out there in the real world. Fight all you want but don’t let your guard down and make it easier for others to attack you. Save yourself first before you go out to save the world. That’s all.