Your Privates Are Public
A 61-year-old man takes a picture up the skirt of a 13-year-old girl while she shops at Target. And gets away with it.
Yes, it’s lewd and appalling, but the girl was in a public place so it’s not against the law,
(to paraphrase the judge in the case).
Another guy takes up-skirt photos of a woman at the Boston subway. He gets away with it, too.
Technically, she was fully clothed. And there’s no law against photographing fully clothed people.
That’s a statement from another judge.
An Oregon school boy takes an up-skirt of his teacher, Dana Lovejoy, and shares it on social media. When she learned about it she exclaimed,
I felt immediately in shock and violated. Not only was I photographed without my consent, not only was it of my genital area, but the majority of the school had seen it before I was even aware it existed.
Once again, declared legal.
In response, several states have passed laws against this sort of thing.
But it doesn’t always work. Texas’ highest court deemed a law banning “improper photography or visual recording” to prevent under-clothing photos “unconstitutional.”
Free speech, after all.
What’s free speech?
Sure, posting online involves speech. But how is taking the picture in the first place speech?
We all wear clothing to shield our private parts when we are in public. In fact, we wear clothing over our undergarments to shield our undergarments from public view. So how does simply being in public make our privates public?
Judgments in these cases seem to come from the perspective of those who needn’t fear anyone taking crotch shots of themselves. Specifically, men — who don’t wear dresses and skirts.
Once something becomes part of the culture – including judicial culture – women can internalize it, so there may be female judges who join in on these decisions. But if women had held the majority of court seats over the years I suspect that the decisions would be very different.
If anyone began taking crotch shots of judges would they still insist that their privates are public when they are in public?
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