These people saying that the hacked women simply should not have had naked photos are buying into a mentality that begins its inculcation into many of us in childhood. A mentality that I’ll call “Share it With the Class.” This mentality operates as though once people become aware of a private thing that they’re curious about, their awareness of its existence means that it should belong to them too. At first, it sounds like this:
"Beth, if you’re going to invite one person to your party, you have to invite everybody."
"Matthew, I see you’ve given Jose a fruit snack; I hope you brought enough for the whole class, young man."
"Um, Amber? I hope you don’t mind that note being read aloud to everybody, young lady!"
In adulthood, we are granted a tad more privacy from those around us since we have fewer people actively in control of our actions day-to-day and by actively I mean in-person-people monitoring what we say and do. But even in the workplace, where what we do with our hours is clocked and guided, there is still always an underlying layer of privacy that you don’t share with those who Want To Know. Your boss doesn’t know that you text about weekend plans or deleted that email on purpose or took an undocumented break or bought some shoes online during work hours or read a book during work hours or played a pointless-but-engrossing game on your phone or posted to Facebook about how annoying your boss is. But even though this stuff is undeniably part of who we are and what we do, there is still an argument against the victims of any kind of unwanted exposure, unwelcome sharing of info, uninvited exploitation which implies that had the victim lived their lives in constant self-protection of the worst case-scenario, they would not have become a victim.
Don’t do ANYTHING you wouldn’t want EVERYBODY to know about and you’ll be safe from being revealed!
To this I have to say: Sure, actually! But also: COME ON.
We are all deliberately careful about some risk, but not all risk. Taking an intimate or private part of ourselves out of our brains and putting it somewhere else, anywhere else, carries with it the risk of exploitation, but in one case or another, we all choose to bring it out anyway and hope for the best; the best being: we will still be in control of where whatever-we-brought-out goes, and how it is used, and by whom.
Now, the fact that this isn’t, like, a hacker releasing all these women’s personal phone numbers is why there is condemnation. Taking NAKED SELFIES (coming to HBO, September 2019, probably) is not something that everybody has done and so the people condemning these women either
A: Do not take or share naked selfies
B: Do not have a platform that fame or certain types of power provide
If this exploitation didn’t involve S E X, an element of human nature that is most intimately wrapped-up and tangled with “blame the victim” logic, would we be blaming the victim? Because everybody keeps personal information somewhere other than just in their heads, information that they wouldn’t want to give to All of the Public. Which means e v e r y b o d y is at risk of exploitation. These women who have been currently and infamously exploited are no more “at fault” for their own exploitation than you are if you have:
Now, of course the scale used to measure risk and possible consequence must be built to hold much more weight if a person is famous, but we act as though when Fame strikes a person, it brings with it specialized training courses on Privacy and Self-Protection, Risk Analysis, Wisdom Against Criminal Attack, The Danger and Denial of Urges, but it does not. These people are people. They are not super-human, but we must think that they are, because we freak the fuck out when we “find out” that they’re “just like us.” I don’t even want to talk about the “she carries groceries” section of People or Us Weekly or whichever swill-seller prints that section all the time.
So then, in the face of this exploitation, which of us can cast the first stone? Not-a-one, I tell you. Not-a-one.
And I hate that this conversation has made me resort to biblical quotes, but it seems that it HAS COME TO THIS.
Remember the “three fingers pointing back” adage that the same teachers who probably tried to rob you of your privacy probably taught to you, because everyone is confused and less than perfect, and then knock it off, you guys.
Last time I went to Joshua Tree, I sat on a fence at the top of a hill which broke, sending me tumbling down backwards. This time, I did a bellyflop off of one bolder onto another boulder while in the middle of singing Dayman Fighter of the Nightman, holding an empty wine bottle in the dark, which shattered upon impact. Nick burst into tears, but nothing is broken except skin and •possibly• my desire to go to Joshua Tree again, for fear of the third installment of the Incrementally Increasing Drama of the Desert Falls.
A lot of people need to be told who to listen to, who to like and who to respect, based o opinions that have been previously formed or work that had already been perfected. They need to have a framework for understanding that is built on past achievements or a consensus about how a person has been received, in a certain arena, for their ears to perk up in positive attention, to notice their talent, to comment on their merit. One of the things I like about myself is that I don’t need this framework. I can see sparks without being told to look for them; I can see energy moving through a person in a powerful way, even if for the first time, even if the energy only contains a sliver of power, as of yet. I don’t care what you have done or how it has been received. I can give credit where credit is due, and I’m happy about that. My dad taught me that, and I’d like to celebrate it.
If you’re looking to learn more about elegant touches, my family probably has some time to meet with you this weekend
1: a meal very hot and catered to my health needs and tastebuds after spending one too many 14 hour days in a fluorescent classroom
2: checking moral code while shopping for toys for my students
Too Frew to be true
"THAT’S the line for ice cream sandwiches?"
We stared down the intrepid row of Saturday night feeders wrapped outside the building. Really? Could this many people in Los Angeles digest dairy? It didn’t seem likely or possible, but here we stood at the tail of a snake that only ate ice cream. I’ll always find sacred awe in the cooperation and patience of Los Angeles foodies. A line like this thick could start a mutiny other places, but just WATCH the reverence at In&Out around 2PM, it’s spectacular. Everyone behaves for good food.
We watched “A Hard Day’s Night” at the New Bev, one of my favorite movies at one of my favorite theaters. It was a beautiful 50th anniversary cut; I heard a swine fever joke I never caught before. Watching it with an audience surely satisfied some deep psychological need; I had a ball. Ani and Nick joined Sean and I. You could hear our row get excited as Nick’s grandma came on the screen and uttered those delicious words: “Are you a mod or a rocker?” Yes, that’s NICK’S GRANDMA. Those criminally iconic words.
We took our post-movie chat to Milk, and ordered #13. the Thai Tea Macaron Ice Cream Sandwiches. This is our 3rd venture off the 28 Droolworthy Junk Food Treats from LA list, and proved to be a drippy success. I ordered the Rocky Road ice cream sandwich, and I’ll be honest: macarons < cookies. Is this the JUNK FOOD list, or the “impress your in-laws” list? I don’t know. I ate my sandwich with a spoon, so don’t listen to anything I say.
After all had melted, Nick invited us to a rack of ribs sitting in a suitcase in the back of his car. I questioned all night what he meant by “there’s a rack of ribs in my trunk,” but he was quite serious. The wicker suitcase opened up to a midnight picnic, and we stood on Beverly Boulevard getting dry-rub BBQ in/around our faces while Wynonie Harris played in the background. This was surely The Good Life, at its most ideal.
Well when you put it like that, I suppose it’s all pretty whimsical.
Oh just gorgeous
Being a teacher is like running a marathon without the health benefits. I fell asleep standing up last night, but I woke up to this + the highest level of tenderness that the universe can cram into a man
My name is Ani, I am a teacher and sometimes a person who writes and I'm trying to make, like, mumblecore documentaries that have enough substance to overpower the DIY vi(be). Last summer, I published a book of stories and poems and other short things: https://www.createspace.com/4396429 Here is a website I created for teachers and parents of children with special needs: Viapangea.orgTwitter.com/NimblewillTwitter.com/Ani_EastonInstagram: NimblewillAnionitsown@gmail.com