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What Does Jennifer Lawrence’s Photo Scandal Mean For Women’s Rights?


Jennifer Lawrence, another female celebrity victim to the violation of privacy by having personal photos leaked over the Internet, has claimed she has nothing to apologise for. ‘The Hunger Games’ star explains how the photos came out of a relationship that “was long distance, and either your boyfriend is going to look at porn or he’s going to look at you.”

It is believed that the photos were sent to ex-boyfriend Nicholas Hoult, who had starred with Lawrence in the 2011 film ‘X-Men’. The couple ended their four year relationship last summer, and Jennifer Lawrence is now dating Coldplay singer Chris Martin.

Lawrence conveys very passionately that the leaking of these photos is “a sex crime” and that the people responsible should be persecuted in the same way as sex offenders. She continues by saying “Just because I’m a public figure, just because I’m an actress, does not mean that I asked for this.”

She added: “Just the fact that somebody can be sexually exploited and violated, and the first thought that crosses somebody’s mind is to make a profit from it. It’s so beyond me.”

“Even people who I know and love say, ‘Oh, yeah, I looked at the pictures’. I don’t want to get mad, but at the same time I’m thinking, I didn’t tell you that you could look at my naked body.”

After keeping quiet Nicholas Hoult has even stepped forward, stating “It’s shocking that things like that happen in the world” and “It’s a shame.”

Jennifer Lawrence’s comment on her photos is highly significant in regards to women’s rights in the 21st Century. Feminism or gender equality in the West can be sidelined as an insignificant problem in comparison to the lack of rights women experience in other countries. However, Jennifer Lawrence’s misfortune has highlighted that the sexualisation of women is still an issue in 2014, illustrated also by the various music videos that caused controversy recently, notably ‘Blurred Lines’ by Robin Thicke. Lawrence speaks out on something that happens to hundreds of women every year. Despite this, nothing seems to be done to provide these women with the legal justice they deserve. Lawrence’s statement sends out a message of passion and change, and as a high profile actress, her words are powerful. It takes something major for change to take place on an issue that has existed for a long period of time. Whilst this situation has put a young woman through intense turmoil, it could be that one last string to be pulled before something is done about this ever-growing invasion of privacy.

Holly began as the features editor for Her Campus Bristol and then progressed on to managing director/campus correspondent in 2016. A third year English student, she has a passion for reading, nature and writing.
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