For most of history, Anonymous was a woman. Dare I say, be careful what you wish for, Virginia Wolf. Judging by the research my colleague Jed Bracy has been doing on “revenge porn,” women today might just face the exact opposite challenge. For those unfamiliar with revenge porn, it is the practice of posting online nude pictures of a person (surprisingly (not) women most of the times) out of revenge. The perpetrators are usually ex-boyfriends. You know how when we were young our exes would spread false rumours about us in school to get back at us? Same thing more or less—except that, instead of a rumour, in this case the exes disseminate pictures and their audience expands well beyond a school’s walls. Not to mention the right to be forgotten (or lack thereof) implications. It’s basically stalking on steroids.
As creepy as revenge porn is, in a recent blog post, Jed also brought to my attention this gem of a Facebook group that is WWEOT, Women Who Eat on Tubes (as in the London underground). So much has been written about this group (see this article from the The Guardian, for example) that I’d rather not waste another word about it. Interestingly, though, TFL’s enforcement director has been quoted as saying that, whilst taking photos on the Tube isn’t illegal (fair enough) they ask anyone doing so to ensure that they use common sense and respect for other passengers. Yes, common sense and respect are exactly the notions that spring to mind here.
So let’s think—I am definitely not from the “selfie generation” and might be immune from revenge porn, but now I can’t even eat crisps on the Tube?
We have a saying here in Italy that goes something like this: The mother of the ignorant ones is always pregnant.
Rita Di Antonio
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