One of today’s more tabloidesque headlines is Facebook Teen Vows to Publish More AFL Nude Pics. In short — a 17 year old girl has published nude pictures of an AFL star (and a partially clothed team-mate) to Facebook. She says that she took the pictures herself, in Melbourne, with the knowledge of the two men (although they did not consent to the images being distributed). They say the pictures were taken last year in Miami, by a fellow team-mate, and that the girl obtained the pictures from another party altogether.
Let us assume for a moment that the Football players’ story is true. (I’m not saying that it IS true — I have no way of knowing which version of events is accurate; this is just a thought experiment.) Isn’t it interesting, that in this particular instance, the blame seems to be directed at the person who is distributing these photos when they shouldn’t be, rather than at the people who actually posed for the photograph? There are no platitudes about how careful men need to be, or about how they need to be educated about the consequences of their actions. Instead, there are orders from a Federal Court Judge, directed at the girl, prohibiting the release of more photos.
Yet, what happens to women and girls when intimate photos of them are distributed without permission? They are slut-shamed by government campaigns. They are told that they are responsible for the actions of others–while those others are not held culpable in any way. They are told that the problem lies in posing for the photographs in the first place–rather than in the people who distribute those photographs without their consent.