Being Black in America is a constant challenge. The news has shown over and over again that you can’t
Remorseful Redditors are attempting to absolve their guilty consciences over looking at leaked photos of celebrities — by donating to prostate cancer research, allegedly because “Jennifer Lawrence has donated to help cure prostate cancer.” So far more than $6,000 has been donated by Reddit users to the Prostate Cancer Foundation —despite the fact that the Prostate Cancer Foundation isn’t actually listed as one of Jennifer Lawrence’s supported charities.
So, instead of issuing an apology to Jennifer Lawrence, or the other celebrity women they victimized, instead of coming forward and taking responsibility for their actions, Reddit trolls tried to assuage their guilt by donating to charity. Sounds about right.
R&B singer Jill Scott was also among those hacked, though she claims the topless photo of her is not, in fact, her. She took to Twitter to clear her name:
I def took the 1st pic w/ a robe; weight loss chronicle but the 2nd, sorry freaks, is not me. I wish I had that space between my thighs. — ⭐Jill Scott⭐ (@missjillscott) September 4, 2014
“Watching me watching me watchin’ watchin’ watchin’ me”. SOME things I’m smart enough not to do. Smfh. — ⭐Jill Scott⭐ (@missjillscott) September 4, 2014
Glad she cleared that up. Maybe this will stop people from flooding her mentions with the aforementioned pictures, and the body-shaming comments being bandied about regarding her size. Or not. I’m thinking not. For some people, not even a gross violation of privacy will stop them from being absolute assholes, and every naked body exists solely for their entertainment and approval. For some, celebrities (and their bodies) are public property and fans should have access at all times. That’s why some are comfortable enough to tell these victims that if they don’t want their pictures leaked, they shouldn’t take the pictures.
Celebrities are human beings, not objects to be acted upon. But we know this already. We’ve been told time and time again. By celebrities themselves, even. But when it comes to the male gaze, none of that matters. If you ever needed an example of how damaging patriarchy can be? This is it. The reason 4chan and Reddit trolls feel more comfortable donating to charity than issuing a potentially incriminating mea culpa is because to them, Jennifer Lawrence is little more than a walking, talking blow-up doll.
So what will it take to stop the unauthorized circulation of nudes? Probably the same thing it takes to stop sexual assault, meaning that the onus is on men to realize that life is not an American Pie movie. It will take other men cautioning their friends against violating a woman’s privacy for funsies or private time with Pamela. It will take other men to have the hard conversations about boundaries and consent, regardless of whether the woman is Jennifer Lawrence or Jennifer Smith. If white folks only listen to other white folks on matters of race, the same definitely applies to men and gender issues.
One more thing, regarding Jill Scott’s tweet: Having your account hacked and your private photos leaked has little to do with the intelligence of the victim and again, everything to do with the asshole who violated her. We have to stop thinking these women somehow deserved what they got by daring to be naked in front of a camera.