The Guardian ran a piece by Kira Cochrane entitled "Creepshots and Revenge Porn: How Paparazzi Culture Affects Women."
Here are excerpts from Ms. Cochrane's insightful essay:
"Paparazzi culture has been a problem for decades, but it has taken on an especially sinister, sexualised hue in recent years."
And "[i]n recent years a genre of websites dedicated to sharing humiliating pictures of women – and occasionally men – has cropped up, known as "revenge porn" sites. The idea is that vengeful people can post humiliating, sexual pictures of former partners, photos often clearly intended for personal use only, if they were taken with consent at all."
Ms. Cochrane quotes Mary Anne Franks, associate professor of law at the University of Miami: "I do think it's a rage against women being sexual on their own terms. We're perfectly fine with women being sexual, as long as they are objects and they're passive, and we can turn them on, turn them off, download them, delete them, whatever it is. But as soon as it's women who want to have any kind of exclusionary rights about their intimacy, we hate that. We say, 'No, we're going to make a whore out of you'."
UPDATE: December 12th, 2012 A "creepshot" photo of Anne Hathaway exiting a car for the premiere of Les Miserables became the subject of discussion when the actress subsequently appeared on The Today Show. Specifically, Ms. Hathaway responded to a question from host Matt Lauer about a paparazzi photo that revealed she wasn't wearing underwear. Matt Lauer's question didn't acknowledge the violations of her privacy and agency. Instead the TV host asked about the "lesson" Ms. Hathaway had learned. That question, and it's smirking delivery, left many of us thinking Matt Lauer's question was creepy - perhaps even in a blame-the-victim kind of way. Ms. Hathaway's deft response drew attention to the "culture that commodifies sexuality of unwilling participants." Ms. Hathaway then masterfully segued into a discussion of the themes of Les Miserables - including the dearth of sympathy for woman who are bought and sold - like the character she plays in the film.
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