As the wise Lily Allen once said “It’s hard out here for a bitch.” As of late, words have never been truer. A few weeks ago I had to go on a social media purge. From the hollywood rape allegations to the fight against a woman’s right to choose… it’s been tough. Unfortunately, I came here to remind you of yet another reason why we need feminism.
At this point you’ve probably heard of revenge porn. If you’ve been left in the dark, it’s basically when someone shares explicit photos of someone without their consent. Fortunately for the creeps of the internet and literally nobody else, there is a website where weirdos can post your photos anonymously. If this were super fringe, I wouldn’t have to tell you about it on my fashion blog.
About half a decade ago I was warned of a website that served as an anonymous message board for naked photos of non-consenting women. Sounds almost too bad to be true, I know. Most of these women were freshly graduated high school students, like myself at the time. I’m reluctant to tell people about this, because i’d rather avoid giving their site more traffic. Unfortunately, it’s bigger than ever, and as someone personally affected– I feel like I should warn you. Especially considering my readers are 99% female.
Back in 2012 I found out that my (LinkedIn) photo was on the website, with the caption “any wins on this BBC loving slut? Mackenzie N from marshfield.” At first I was a little nervous. At the time, I was single as a pringle and perhaps not the most cautious person. After years of my thread going unanswered, I’m pretty confident it’s going to remain that way. That doesn’t mean I don’t feel violated and disgusted. I hate that even though there is a literal thread about whether or not I like black guys, I’m somehow the lucky one. I hate that I have to be grateful that any guy I’ve been with has had the common decency of not sharing my naked photos, as if it’s a blessing. So many women’s lives are ruined by revenge porn. In my case, it could be worse.
About a month ago a girl I went to college with reached out to me to warn me about the site. I didn’t pay her much attention, because I was under the impression this was old news. Then last week I got a call from my cousin that started with “this is going to be an awkward conversation.” Fortunately I intercepted before he could relay the information. Finally, a few days ago I got a text from someone I hadn’t spoken to in years. Apparently the website that I thought was long gone is far from it. In fact, the problem has just expanded. Grab them by the pussy and share their intimate photos with the entire internet, am I right bro?
Fortunately for myself, since finding out about this website five years ago I have gone above and beyond the realm of caution. If you are one of the unlucky victims, here are some tips on having your photo taken down. I am furious on your behalf. Should we start a website where we start dick shaming? Let’s be clear, this is sexual abuse, and not something that should be minimized. Your sexual liberation is obsolete.
I hate that I need to tell you this, and I’m sorry to be the one to relay this information. I have spent the past few days debating whether or not I should post about this. But I think that it’s important that we protect ourselves, and knowledge is the most efficient armor. Toxic masculinity, baby.
Sadly, revenge porn isn’t currently illegal in Massachusetts or New York (though a bill has been proposed in MA.) So, while i’d rather direct this conversation at the repulsive men who share this shit, unfortunately this is just another reminder that nothing digital is truly private.
(I don’t want to direct any traffic from my site to these creeps. If women are interested in finding out the website for their own safety, email me firstname.lastname@example.org)