‘Lad culture’ should not excuse revenge porn

In what became known as the #UCD200 scandal, up to 200 students from University College Dublin were accused of sharing explicit photos on a private Facebook group of women with whom they had sexual relations with.

There was no proof to solidify these claims and they were dismissed following an inquiry.

While there was no evidence to back up the allegations, it still brings into question as to whether or not there is a prevalence of ‘lad culture’ and sexualisation of women among the youth of our society.

The craze of sending sexually charged photos, or ‘nudes’ as they’re more commonly known, has skyrocketed in recent years, coinciding with the enthusiasm for social networking sites.

A man is now deemed popular if he receives naked photos of a women. He shows his friends, who then, of course, show their friends until it all spirals out of control and everybody sees the image.

What was once viewed as an act of intimacy and trust, has now become a symbol of triumph and a stepping stone towards reaching the pinnacle of youth: popularity. This is simply not acceptable, as these photos should be private and sacrosanct, not something for public consumption.

This infatuation with ‘sexting’ is also now becoming a way to seek vengeance, and has been labelled as ‘revenge porn’.

In 2008, an 18-year-old girl, Jessica Logan, fell victim to this ‘revenge porn’ fad. When she and her boyfriend broke up, he shared intimate photos of her to other girls who verbally abused her, calling her a ‘slut’ and a ‘whore’.

Around two months after the release of the photos, Logan was so humiliated that she felt her only escape route was to commit suicide. The craze is not only unethical and crude, but it can have catastrophic consequences and is something that young men and women need to be educated on to prevent it from happening again.

Trinity College Dublin have made plans to enforce mandatory sexual consent classes and UCD are also considering introducing a similar class to educate third level students on the rights and wrongs of sexual relations. This is an approach I believe all colleges should take.

While it’s all well and good to claim that young men view women as sexual objects, it needs to be mentioned that women too play into the sexualisation of themselves. This isn’t about provocative clothing or extensive amounts of makeup which all women are entitled to wear.

The problem, I believe, is feeling the need to expose cleavage to gain likes on Facebook or to strip off your clothes and take photos exposing you in all your naked glory to retain male attention.

Women need to learn they are beautiful as they are and don’t need to expose their body to gain admiration. If we want guys to respect us then we must respect ourselves first. After all, an unwrapped present loses its mystery and intrigue.

 

Shauna Bowers

Image Credit: Andrew Brooks/Corbis

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.




* Copy This Password *

* Type Or Paste Password Here *