We all have a public life. Maybe not as public as celebrities, but we go out, be seen, interact with others, and just put our selves in the public eye to some degree. Then we go home and if we want we can put down our blinds and have our time. Most of us can even do that outside our home, being left more or less alone as we eat in restaurants, go to the movies, and shop without being bothered by strangers. Some folks, such as actors or politicians, may have a harder time of it, but we are all assumed to have some reasonable expectation of privacy. Unless of course you have been in a porn film.
Historian, and one time economic adviser to Ronald Reagan, Bruce Bartlett posted that link to Facebook, with the comment that the young woman in question gave up her right to privacy when she appeared in a porno. Because of course that makes perfect sense. After all, Russel Wilson gave up all of his privacy after appearing before hundreds of millions in the Super Bowl. Newscasters never work under aliases to preserve their privacy, oh and I am sure Mr. Bartlett, who is read my hundreds of thousands, if not more, would be perfectly OK, considering he puts his words and his face out there, to be followed around in a supermarket.
It is not the least bit surprising. This is the same attitude that makes ALL women’s’ lives a risk. If you show any skin, and it does not take much, men act like your presence is now a public commodity, and you are inviting street harassment. So if you show all your skin, in a carnal act, well then, you have no right whatsoever, to any agency over yourself. You are now a piece of meat for male consumption at every moment of your life. How dare you assume you can make your own choices about when you are a sex performer and when you are just a college student trying to make her way through life?
You have to laugh a little, don’t you, when you consider that Roe v Wade hinged on the privacy argument. Privacy, something that woman are not allowed yet we somehow demand they exercise. Be modest in all things, but be available, that is has been the story for a few hundred years now. No woman is spared the male gaze, even when they are told they are undesirable. A man can make the choice to crow about his sexual exploits or to keep them private. A man can be a Lothario or a prude, and we commend him just the same. We commend him for announcing it, we commend him for telling us it is none of our business.
Women however are expected to keep their blinds closed at all times, and if they raise them, just a little, then they are never to be lowered. Paris Hilton, when little more than a child made choices about her privacy that she could never revoke. No matter what you think about our celebrity culture she has as much right to say “no more” to the paparazzi as George Clooney does, but not really, because she is a woman. Being a woman means your fashion choices, your dietary habits, your exercise regimen, your recreational activities, and your sexual exploits belong to everyone else. And no, that does not go just for the Paris Hilton’s of the world, but all women.
Yes, this young lady gave up a little privacy, willingly, but that does not mean she has no right to it. She has no less a right to it than the male performers, men who fade into obscurity once the video has stopped streaming. She has no less a right to it than the mail man you see everyday. She has no less a right to it than the professional athlete who is kicked out of a club and then goes home. She has no less a right to it than any man, regardless of what our culture has said for years about any woman’s right to privacy. If you think she gave up that right simply because you got off to her in front of your monitor you are part of what is wrong with the world and you seriously need to check yourself.