Getting Back at Revenge

Whether you’re in a long distance relationship or just casually having fun with someone you have met during your college years, racy photos are almost always a topic of conversation. Topless, bottomless, and full on nudity in front of a full-length bathroom mirror will surly get your partner aroused. Sending these photos has moved away from the taboo that it once was into a realm of normality. Today many men and women feel sexy, or even confident, when they send these naked pictures to their significant others; feeling like they can trust this person. The pictures seem like no big deal, but recently there has been a growing phenomenon that just can’t seem to be stopped. It’s called: revenge porn. Revenge porn websites allow individuals to post naked pictures of their exes to get back at them for whatever reason they deem acceptable and expose these once private photos. You’re probably thinking, this cannot be true. Well, it is true; and it has happened to thousands of people - mostly women - across the United States. Not only are these photos being posted but there are captions as well, explaining which sex positions these women desire, and calling them names such as ‘whores’ and ‘cheating sluts.’ WTF!

After reading about this phenomenon in magazines and news articles, I knew I needed to check it out for myself. It turns out that everything I had heard and read about was no exaggeration. There are women in their 80’s posing naked in front of bathroom mirrors; as well as girls who seem to be under 18 letting their boobs hang out of a nurse costume on what I hope was a Halloween gone wrong - but probably not. One of the worst parts about this entire occurrence is that these women sent these photos with so much trust in the person that was receiving them. They felt confident enough to send them, and in our society today it is very rare for a woman to be one hundred percent confident with her body. She did this only to be completely tarnished of her reputation and ego. These women are being classified as porn stars without their consent. Many of these women have tried to get their pictures taken down from the site, some even paying absurd amounts of money ($5,000+) just to see their photos resurface a few months later! It truly is a real life nightmare. 

A Texan woman named Hollie Toups was one victim that decided to go public with her story. She started a website called EndRevengePorn.com that fights against these revenge porn sites. Before she even knew these sites existed she told the Huffington Post, “I was at a store one day and somebody was like, hey you’re the girl from that website.” Ever since then she has tried to get these websites shut down for both women and men that have been targeted. Her healing process has not been easy, as she states on her site. “Telling my story over and over again has given me the chance to really process and come to terms with it. Tears no longer flood my eyes when I tell perfect strangers that some of my most intimate moments are up on the Internet for the entire world to see. My teeth no longer chatter when I tell my family and friends that my name is now Holly Jacobs, because I was cyber stalked and harassed to such a degree that felt I had no other choice but to legally change my name…Today, I am finally one person.” 

As crazy as this website and Holly’s story sound, unfortunately it is the truth that could happen to you. Although you will probably not be thinking too hard about it the next time your boyfriend or girlfriend requests one of these risqué photos, try to picture yourself as a non-consenting porn star. Think about the millions of people that have access to the internet who will then have access to your photos. Have we become creatures that solely care about ourselves and our own good? Have we turned into this society that thinks even though we once cared for someone and respected their privacy, that all of that goes away once we are no longer intimately connected? I hope not.

 

Photo Credit: 1, 2