No one ever wants to admit they are in the wrong, and as Stevie Wonder tells us, sorry really does often seem to be the hardest word. But when an apology isn’t enough to clear the slate the gavel seems to often fall on the victim rather than the guilty party.
Victims of child abuse are deemed guilty until proven right, deemed liars by public, press and prosecution, defending their right to seek justice for the pain suffered. Rape victims are told if their skirts were longer and their wine glass smaller they could have avoided assault.
And now celebrities who have fallen victim to hackers are being told by all and sundry that their sadness and shame could all have been avoided, if only they had not taken the salacious snaps. Oh, and don’t forget to add the much heard- they are celebrities, what do they expect?
Nude photos may not be your bag (or they may, hey, no judgement), but the fact which appears to have sunk under the shame shovelling is that the hacker committed a crime. When it was revealed that The News of the World had been hacking our private communications we called for change.
The paper folded, and inquiries were launched. People were, at least partially, called to account. So why is this case different?
No doubt some believe that a celebrity is idiotic to expect privacy, and certainly the perks of fame are known to unavoidably be offset by paparazzi (the poor dears). Yet they still have human rights, and as the victims of crime deserve sympathy rather than scorn.
Jennifer Lawrence took photos for reasons we don’t, and shouldn’t, expect to know. It is not our right to read and see the secret data of celebrities.
Maybe it is idealistic to believe we should live in a world where a girl can walk late at night in a mini skirt, and where a young actress can send nude photos to a lover and not be bared to the world.
But the cynic who accepts these crimes because that is the way things are is just perpetuating the horror. If things are bad they can never change unless challenged. See apartheid. See suffrage. See history.
Written by Hannah Cooper (MA Journalism student of Birkbeck College)