With the rapid pace that modern technology is developing at, we have had an exceptionally slower rate of legislation to accompany the new world constantly at our fingertips. This has allowed for amazing innovations to help us in countless ways, and from medicine to transportation, we have been moving forward at an astonishing rate.
But all innovations come at a price. Flaws, along with constant misuse, mean that certain rules must be established to keep these problems to a minimum, making sure their use is solely the purpose they were created for. However, recent technology is developing too fast to be properly monitored at all times.
No one is more familiar with this concept than Jennifer Lawrence, whose nude photographs got leaked onto the internet after a massive hacking crime targeted Apple’s iCloud feature in August of this year. This affected dozens of mostly female celebrities who had their private photos leaked onto the Internet and prompted a thorough security check on the part of Apple.
Given the huge coverage of the leak, Lawrence eventually spoke out.
“It is not a scandal. It is a sex crime. It is a sexual violation,” was Lawrence’s message in the November issue of Vanity Fair, which many say is too drastic a measure; however, I think that it is appropriate to treat such an invasion as more than just a slap on the wrist. Everyone deserves the right to control their own bodies. When that freedom is taken away, it should be punished as a serious crime regardless of how that right was taken away.
Another criticism Lawrence faced was for her cover photo shoot of that very Vanity Fair issue, since it photographed her to be assumedly topless in a swimming pool. The argument I provide against this is that the cover represents the actress’ choice to put that photo into the world, not someone else’s unwarranted action. A comparison you could make is to sex, because it is an action that can easily become traumatic without consent, like the leaked photos, or it can be consensual. Of course the latter example is much more severe of an action, but it encompasses the same idea that someone’s body is their right alone.
Lawrence voiced early on in the interview that “It just makes me feel like a piece of meat that’s being passed around for a profit,” emphasizing her feelings of being completely dehumanized by the crime. And who wouldn’t? It is an impossible thing to try to understand why someone would do something so horrible to another human being. But then again, you can ask yourself that question about any criminal and draw a blank every time.
Jennifer’s opinion brought a new light to how we should treat the Internet, since it has proved too open a forum to allow free reign without some parameters being established. Not only that, but her brashness has opened up the conversation about cyber sex violations that remained in a grey area before now.
My hope is that more people begin to realize the flaws in our innovations rather than simply focusing on their glamour, because everything has bugs that need to be fixed. Sex crimes are not to be laughed at, but taken seriously, and I believe it’s about time we spoke up.