“Do you want to see the pictures?“, he asked.
We were all taken aback. We were a group of nine friends sitting in a cafe trying to console him, as he was going through a breakup. The minute he spoke about the ‘pictures’, I cringed at the thought of my years of association with him.
“What’s wrong with you?“, asked another friend. We all joined in. Two minutes of shunning the perpetrator ended the issue there.
I was disappointed. I came home and told my sister what had happened. “Stay away from that guy“, she said, concerned. She did not want to know who the girl was, nor did she care about the ‘content’ in question. Respecting the victim’s privacy solved the problem.
We read about victims of ‘revenge porn’ committing suicide on a daily basis. We empathise with them when we read their stories. We also sympathise with celebrities when they get into scandals. We say, ‘catch the perpetrator’, ‘kill him’, ‘castrate him’, ‘put him behind bars’. But who is the ‘perpetrator’ here?
The pictures or videos being uploaded online isn’t the the real problem. Yes, it does affect the victim negatively. But that doesn’t cause the ‘real’ damage.
The ‘real’ damage is caused by the fact that we are curious to know what happens in another person’s bedroom.
In our case, we did not stop at just hearing about the gossip. We talked and laughed about it, and also went ahead and shared it on social media as though it was a piece of ‘good’ news.
What’s worse is the judgement that follows – branding a woman without analysing the ‘pictures’ and the issue at large. Even if the pictures were real, the victim did not click them for your viewing pleasure. You are reading someone else’s private diary without their permission, just because you have access to it.
Then we sit back comfortably and say, ‘catch him, kill him, castrate him’. Meanwhile, someone may be dying elsewhere – as a result of these ‘cheap pleasures’ of ours.
As humans, procreation comes an almost natural urge which, incidentally, also sustains our species.
Who does ‘it’ with whom should be nobody else’s business. So, respect the victim’s privacy. Don’t shame the victim. Shame the person who ‘shares’ it and thereby violates the privacy of the individual which leads to the victimisation in the first place.
As said before, two minutes of shunning him/her is all it takes to end the issue there!