I’m sure that there will be a couple of people who read this headline without reading this post first and say something along the lines of “What the eff BUST! This isn’t news…” Hear me out.
It’s no news that one in six women have been sexually assaulted in their lifetime (and one in thirty-three men), and a lot of victims don’t even report their abuse, so the statistic is most likely much higher. And while Perez Hilton posting an up-skirt photo of Miley Cyrus is just more celebrity news that is causing a buzz in the media (not only because she’s a minor, but also because she’s Miley Cyrus), we shouldn’t be looking at this issue as just a matter of child pornography (which is obviously a horrible offense), but also as a matter of sexual abuse. This isn’t the first time Perez and other celeb media have shown photos of celebrities flashing their crotches—mostly on accident by the celeb. All stardom aside, it is never okay— NEVER— to purposefully take and share exposing photos of anyone without their permission.
Obviously, when a person becomes famous for whatever reason, they unintentionally sign on to have their personal and public life criticized and photographed. For some reason, it seems that certain media outlets have absolutely no shame, common decency, or respect for other people. I’m not going to blame the media for all the actions of the perverts that exist in this world, but if Perez can get away with posting child porn (essentially), who is going to stop the hundreds of creeps who take up-skirt photos of unsuspecting girls and women?
Most women I know have been sexually assaulted in some way, whether it has been actual rape, physical abuse, attempted rape, stalking, being groped or molested in a bar, having a man practically hump her on a subway, and of course several up-skirt photos, and these women aren’t even out of college yet, and I doubt that you readers haven’t been a victim or known a victim. Many of these horrible things happened while they were minors. But does that really matter? Just because someone is over a certain age doesn’t make them any more responsible for the actions of some pervert. It’s perhaps worse for minors, but being violated at any age is traumatic. And I realize it is much worse for people in other countries where rape is a constant threat, but it doesn’t make it any more okay here either.
Perez posted a video defending himself saying, “Do you think I’m stupid enough to post a photo of Miley if she’s not wearing any underwear down there? No. Sure I like to be controversial, but I don’t want to go to jail.” Um, of course you don’t want to go to jail. Does the fact that she was wearing underwear make okay? No! The only reason Perez wouldn’t go to jail or have some sort of consequence to his actions is because he has a famous name. His reason for posting the photo of her is a gem as well: “I thought she was exiting this car in a very un-ladylike fashion.” If every jack-ass who took pervy photos defended themselves with “oh, but she was wearing underwear, and she was acting un-ladylike” would that make it acceptable? How many creepers would slide by?
It’s no surprise to me that most women unintentionally (or intentionally) live by a rape schedule. It is unfortunate that Miley has to be the example that might finally get people to realize the full implications of what Perez seems to think is a deserved action. Perez may not see this up-skirt photo as child porn, but there are hundreds of perverts out there who do. And there are perfectly sane people who are completely outraged as well. One thing to (possibly) thank Perez for is bringing to light how desensitized we are until a legal matter arises. Perhaps victims of abuse—large and small— won’t be afraid to speak up knowing that their abuser or creepy up-skirt photographer will get what they deserve: jail time, not just a media frenzy.
Here's Perez's astonishingly unapologetic statement about posting the up-skirt photo of Miley on Twitter:
And here's some news coverage if you don't know the whole story:
National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1.800.656.HOPE (Free. Confidential. 24/7)
Photo: Perez Hilton
The opinions expressed on the BUST blog are those of the authors themselves and do not necessarily reflect the position of BUST Magazine or its staff.
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