Jennifer Lawrence: “It is not a scandal, it is a sex crime.”

In a new Vanity Fair article, Jennifer Lawrence comments on how the recent release of her nude photos is a sex crime, how those viewing them without her permission are “perpetuating a sexual offense”, and how she has nothing to be ashamed of in taking the photos in the first place. I completely agree. She didn’t “deserve what she got. She did nothing immoral, she is being sexually exploited,and the wrongness of what’s been done to her (and is still being done to her) is not simply located in the theft. It’s a sex crime.

In her own words:

“It is not a scandal. It is a sex crime,” she tells Kashner. “It is a sexual violation. It’s disgusting. The law needs to be changed, and we need to change. That’s why these Web sites are responsible. Just the fact that somebody can be sexually exploited and violated, and the first thought that crosses somebody’s mind is to make a profit from it. It’s so beyond me. I just can’t imagine being that detached from humanity. I can’t imagine being that thoughtless and careless and so empty inside.”

She had been tempted to write a statement when news of the privacy violation broke, she says, but “every single thing that I tried to write made me cry or get angry. I started to write an apology, but I don’t have anything to say I’m sorry for. I was in a loving, healthy, great relationship for four years. It was long distance, and either your boyfriend is going to look at porn or he’s going to look at you.”

In the cover story, the Hunger Games star vents her frustration not just with the offending hackers but also with those—including people she knows—who viewed the images online. “Anybody who looked at those pictures, you’re perpetuating a sexual offense. You should cower with shame. Even people who I know and love say, ‘Oh, yeah, I looked at the pictures.’ I don’t want to get mad, but at the same time I’m thinking, I didn’t tell you that you could look at my naked body.”

Lawrence also shares a message for the tabloid community: “You have a choice. You don’t have to be a person who spreads negativity and lies for a living. You can do something good. You can be good. Let’s just make that choice and—it feels better.”

Lawrence speaks of the wrenching moment when she had to call her father about the hack. “When I have to make that phone call to my dad and tell him what’s happened … I don’t care how much money I get for The Hunger Games,” she says. “I promise you, anybody given the choice of that kind of money or having to make a phone call to tell your dad that something like that has happened, it’s not worth it.” She allows herself to joke a little about that terrible moment: “Fortunately, he was playing golf, so he was in a good mood.”

More in Vanity Fair.

My own responses to those who wanted to minimize the offense as only a matter of stealing, only a wrongdoing on the part of the thief and not the downloaders, and not in any way a sexual violation were in the posts How To Create The Sexual Utopia and It’s Wrong To Sexually Exploit People, (Even Celebrities). My response to the victim blamers in this case was the post on How My Personal Sexual Evolution Makes Me Loathe Slut Shaming and Victim Blaming.

Good for Jennifer Lawrence for standing up for herself and calling a sex crime a sex crime.

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