Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Lessons from the Celebrity Hack Attack

New York Times columnist Nick Bilton responded by the celebrity hack attack by posting this advice: “Don’t take nude selfies.”

Good feminist Amanda Hess was predictably outraged.

By her logic:

These messages instruct women that they are to blame for being sexually exploited because they dared to express themselves sexually in private and in consensual contexts.

As I explained yesterday, feminists fail women when they fail to alert them to the risks involved in taking nude selfies. It has nothing to do with affixing blame.

For Hess, taking (and presumably sharing) nude pictures in private is just another way for women to express themselves sexually. Since when did pretending to be a porn star become part of everyday sexual expression?

Any rational individual would explain to women that sexting, even when done in a consensual context, entails risks. Caution is warranted. One might even say that extreme caution is warranted.

If this is the latest in sexual expression, were the decadents of yesteryear missing out on. If there is a thrill involved in this form of sexual expression, isn’t the danger of exposure part of it?

There is no such thing as an absolute guarantee of privacy. Your one and only true love, the one you have entrusted with your most compromising pictures, might not be your true love forever.

Why does anyone have to explain this?

Do feminists like Amanda Hess really want to be encouraging teenage girls to take nude selfies? Will they bear responsibility for the consequences? Do they understand what happens to these girls when their pictures are passed around in locker rooms? Every mother of a teenage girls knows this. Every such mother instructs her daughter about the dangers inherent in sexting. Now she has to counter the bad advice her daughter is receiving from feminists.

Besides, how many fourteen year-old girls, the ones who are most in danger by this behavior, understand the risks in taking naked selfies?

Amanda Hess flew into high dudgeon because someone tried to warn young people off of sexting. She said that "don't take nude selfies" was gross advice.

Is she kidding? Does she understand the word "gross?"

Logically, her enlightened feminist advice to girls and women is: Take nude selfies!

Young women should understand that feminists are not their friends.


Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

Amanda Hess' core philosophy: I should be able to do whatever I want, whenever I want, however I want... because I feel like it. If you tell me otherwise, you are part of the ancient patriarchy that has repressed women for millions of years. And I'm an activist, so what's right for my value system is to be applied for the benefit of the women of the world. So there.

No responsibility, no regard for consequence, no regard for woman's true power. True power lies not in woman's sensibility, beauty and life-giving power. No, no, it lies in temporal, material power where the sisterhood can go head-to-head with men in every conceivable regard. That's progress, that's power, that's the source of enduring satisfaction.

Her always-on indignation lifestyle is summed up in her screed about a New York Times columnist, who simply doled out some free common sense. It's a lot cheaper than hiring a lawyer to send a cease-and-desist letter to Apple.

Here's the stubborn fact: when you subscribe to a service that has custody over your data (including pictures), you are trusting that custodian. It's no longer under your control. When bad things happen to good people, it is unfortunate, as this data breach clearly is. That said, the real world has gone so deep into the virtual world that I'm not sure if people make a distinction anymore. And this includes what custody means or the risk inherent in these kinds of services. People thing "Out of sight, out of mind," and go on living their digital lives. Until a nude selfie gets into the public domain. Jennifer Lawrence didn't want it to happen, Apple didn't want it to happen. Yet it happened. And now there will no doubt be corrective action on the custodian's part, but the "damage" is done. That's life. Given these risks, Nick Bilton is merely pointing out the obvious.

No one is blaming Jennifer Lawrence, Kirsten Dunst, Kate Upton, et al for feeling violated. It's totally natural. It's the downside of celebrity. Wanna take any bets as to whether they choose to give up their celebrity careers as a result of this incident?

The more interesting and odd aspect of Hess' point of view is her use of legal terminology in her outrage, as if what she's saying has anything to do with legality. It would be more interesting to ask Hess why these photos going public are a problem in the first place. After all, men wouldn't care so much if their nude selfies got out there. What makes a woman's reaction different? Ahhh... now we're having a conversation! Because a woman's natural reaction is different, and for rational reasons related to what being a woman entails, both in terms of risks and rewards. But feminism necessarily wants to eliminate the downside of being a woman, while maximizing the upside, regardless of social costs and confusion. That's where the world of gender feminism leaves us, along with bad haircuts.

Given that Hess cannot tolerate the reality of human nature, one must wonder if she views the laws of gravity or thermodynamics with a similar level of outrage.

Ares Olympus said...

For the record, I can't find any evidence that Amanda Hess creditials herself as a feminist.

Her self-described title seems to be writer, and "I’ve reported on sex, Hollywood, teenagers, media, technology, and the ladies"

To be fair to Stuart, I'll happily assume if she was asked directly "Are you a feminist?" she'd offer an enthusiastic "Hell yes" or the like. but you might also ask her a dozen other questions and then question which she adjective she would like to frame her point of view. And if she picks feminist, then your guess was good.

Since we can't ask her, let's try some options, rather than saying:
* Good feminist Amanda Hess was predictably outraged
You might say:
* Writer Amanda Hess was predictably outraged
* Sex reporter Amanda Hess was predictably outraged
Or as further evidence allows perhaps even:
* Libertarian Amanda Hess was predictably outraged

So which title should we use to describe her, assuming they are all equally accuarate?

Of course the answer is what agenda you're selling. If you don't care about Amanda Hess as an opinion writer or Libertarian, BUT you do care to bash feminists, well, then you say feminist.

And if you keep saying it over and over, with luck everyone will soon be infected by your contempt, and understand that Feminists are silly people who express themselves with foolish ideas, and if you want to be taken seriously NEVER associate yourselves with those crazy people.

I accept this is a Blog decided to a personal point of view - perhaps leading towards a men's point of view and against a woman's point of view, and so it helps your cause to see all silly statements made by a woman as represent all women, while men are individuals, entitled to personal opinions that have nothing to do with other men.

Perhaps in the future I'll say "Good Life-coach Stuart", and hopefully I would be mocking in my us of "Good" and that other life coaches won't feel a need to defend their differing views from yours.