“Stealing is a wrongful act that is punishable.” One might presume this is a general standard that many different cultures teach children. The spectrum of punishment may vary as does the crime but at the heart, stealing personal property is considered wrong. I present to you a scenario: you are trying on clothes in a dressing room for an upcoming event and you notice a wallet on the floor. Clearly, you have three options: check for an ID so that you may contact the owner, notify a store employee by turning it in, or you keep the wallet and all of its contents. In the ideal world, you and many other people would contact the owner or turn in the wallet. Alas in the world we live in not everyone would pursue the option of returning the wallet. Although they may acknowledge that stealing is wrong, some culprits simply don’t care.
Of the upmost concern are the current headlines about the stolen and leaked celebrity nude photos of women such as Kate Upton and Jennifer Lawrence. It seems as though many people do not see this cyber stealing in the same light as a stolen wallet. It appears as if most people don’t see looking at this stolen property (the metaphor equivalent of stealing money from the wallet ) as wrong. Here are the facts: those private pictures are the personal property of those women, those pictures are the “wallets” of the internet that people are digging their hands into to grab their own “$20”, “$50”, “$100” for their own curiosity or use. A common reaction in the media is the statement “well if they didn’t want the world to see them they shouldn’t have taken them”. The critics of these women should consider this first; people should not leave their wallets in dressing rooms but that does not mean that the natural reaction from the public should be to steal them. While we can stand around and judge the wallet-losers and the victims of leaked photos what we really need to focus on is how people are reacting to these scenarios. A serious emphasis must be put on people to understand that these photos are stolen property. While it may not be wise to take nude photos as it is very possible for these sorts of acts of theft to happen, it is not anyone’s place to control the private lives of others.The women and their photos aren’t for everyone’s eyes. While people might associate the ease of which they can view them, with their right to view them, the two do not correlate.
I do not aim to condemn all pornographic or nude pictures on the internet as I understand that consenting adults are entitled to do what they want with their bodies and have the right to post them online with the knowledge that it is for the general public. It is not the content of the leaked photos that concerns me per se, but the attitude of people to think they have a right to see any and every naked woman online even if it against their wishes and brings humiliation and pain to them with every click. What concerns me is that people would put more shame on someone for stealing money ( a lifeless inanimate object) than they would on someone stealing private photos of people ( living beings with feelings and emotions), that people would put the sacred chalice of monetary value over the life of a woman. People holding the belief that any naked woman on the internet is for public viewing, is a product of the era we live in. With the easy access to pornography sites, the “Hot 100” lists, and all the other web pages that advertise nude women in a sexual light it seems the line has been blurred between privacy and consensual web pornography. There is a difference between women who take the profession of Porn Star and the women of the general public who are taking pictures of themselves nude. Just because they both may be viewed as sexual images, it does not mean that their meaning or access value is the same. These stolen celebrity nude photos are a direct violation of privacy and have become stolen property and to click on them is an act of theft.