Skip to main content

It may be tempting to write off Sunday's massive theft of revealing photos of celebrities as another example of some boys behaving badly online, but it is actually a crime that someone committed; and more broadly, an invasion of privacy that everyone distributing and looking at the photos is complicit in. It reflects just how entitled people feel to women's bodies – especially famous women's.

This isn't the first time someone has gone after famous women's photos. In March, 2012, photos from the cellphones of Christina Hendricks and Olivia Munn showed up online. Christopher Chaney was sentenced to 10 years in jail in December of the same year for illegally accessing more than 50 e-mail accounts to steal photos of women such as Scarlett Johansson and Mila Kunis. Any person is at risk of this happening, but celebrity nudes are widely coveted – so much so that Perez Hilton posted some on his gossip website (now removed), and one reddit user collected all the latest leaks in one thread for ease of viewing. (It is currently down due to a copyright claim.) The comments in any of these posts are horrifying and dehumanizing – few care about how they're affecting the women.

Mary Elizabeth Winstead addressed the issue on Twitter, writing: "To those of you looking at photos I took with my husband years ago in the privacy of our home, hope you feel great about yourselves." She received so many scathing responses like "tweet them bitch [sic]" and "already fapped twice" that she said she decided to take an Internet break.

Story continues below advertisement

Despite efforts to protect this kind of privacy, outlets such as People and CNN have reported this as a scandal and not the crime it is. Countless people have spoken out to advise women to simply "not take nudes," which doesn't solve the real problem here: that men will go so far as to break the law to see a complete stranger naked against her will.

Emma Woolley is a Toronto-based commentator on feminism, technology, media and politics

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Comments

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

If your comment doesn't appear immediately it has been sent to a member of our moderation team for review

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.