Today intca will look at another one of these taboo and possibly more controversial issues: Nude Photographs and the Nude Sharing Culture !
Sri Lankan (and south Asian) society has imposed a standard on what should be discussed in public. Now the only thing this has managed to achieve is an extremely over sexualised community. Classifying anything even slightly related to sex as taboo has created a culture where a breastfeeding mother is asked to move to the washroom for “privacy”. Whilst the two are unrelated, the root cause to both is identical. The only loophole to this culture is that people tend to go out of control when no one is looking.
We as a society have managed to trick ourselves into believing that this scary problem of nude photographs does not exist. Unfortunately, it does! And the horrifying part is that the biggest victim of this are school children. Now, there are solutions to combating this issue. However, to identify those solutions we must start talking about the problem.
At this very moment there are a number of such illicit content up on the internet. Particularly dropbox seems to be the most popular medium for the mass distribution of this content. The first question we asked ourselves was: How is this content going up? The most significant reason was breakup retaliation (no surprises there).
Here’s the typical scenario which results in nude content going online.
Sarih and Kuveni are 2 schooling students who happen to be in a relationship. During their relationship Sarih convinces Kuveni to send him nude photographs (and/or vice versa). Sarih and Kuveni date for a while and then break up. After the breakup, Sarih is furious at Kuveni and so distributes the nude photographs of Kuveni amongst his friends. Ultimately these end up on some illegal child pornography sites/public dropbox accounts.
Now whilst the scenario can differ slightly amongst cases, the general storyline remains constant through most cases. Let’s analyse this problem at three levels.
Analyzing The Situation
Looking at the problem from the first level. What could Sarih have possibly said to Kuveni to make her take and send such content? The answer is simple: He simply manipulated her into believing that sending this photograph was a gesture of commitment. And the solution at a first level is to realise that it isn’t! There are actions which portray commitment in a relationship. For starters couples talk to each other in non-human languages, they buy each other gifts like 6 foot tall teddy bears, they pretend to be penguins around each other, they continue to care about each other while living on two different continents….this list goes on and on. However, the one thing that isn’t on this list of actions which signify commitment is SENDING A NUDE PHOTOGRAPH.
Now that we have established there’s no logical reason for sending these photographs, let’s find out what repercussions await the victims. The single most glaring repercussion is the tainted reputation that’s attached with this action. But what makes it so difficult to reverse? The permanence of the internet. Once anything goes online, it’s spread can be exponentially driven.
Now whilst core content articles from a start-up group like intca would receive a couple of thousand views, a nude photograph is red hot! Meaning it will get a lot more views and shares, simply because humans are perverse and disgusting creatures. And this should terrify you. Why? For starters, the shame society attaches to this is immense. For instance, your employer might deny you a promotion or you might be denied a post you worked hard for at school. Not because you aren’t capable of executing your role, but simply because of a silly mistake.
Now let’s look at the solutions and precautions we can take to combat this problem. As always the solutions aren’t short term. They are slow. They are long-term. However, they will work if implemented right.
The first step is to prevent anyone from becoming a victim. How can we achieve this? Banning all school kids from using social media! (P.s. this approach does not work). The only necessary precaution is to educate our kids very clearly. Not awkwardly implying this issue at a school assembly. Kids need to be told very clearly that they could be presented with a situation where they might be asked to take a nude photograph. They need to be told that they stand to lose a lot more than they can possibly gain.
The second and slightly more difficult step is to correct society’s mindset. Let me pick an example to show how flawed out society is. A couple of years ago a girl killed herself simply because it was suspected that her mobile phone had pornographic content.
Now she didn’t take nude photographs and frankly the articles covering the story aren’t clear whether the suspicion was accurate. However, the shame that society attached to even being slightly associated with such an event was so immense that this sweet child saw no choice besides take her own life. That is horrifying.
If such a little suspicion of pornographic content on a mobile phone is judged so harshly by society. How far is it willing to go for the issue of nude photographs? It has come to a point where we have got to stop pretending that it doesn’t happen. Accept that it does. Prevent the future generation from getting involved with it. And not let a single silly mistake define someone’s life. Education is the only approach to combat this problem. Not prohibition.
That is where IntCa’s analysis will end. However, I will leave a footnote behind for the perpetrators of this crime. If you have received these images (either with confidentiality from your partner or otherwise), do the correct thing and respect the privacy of that person. Because leaking out nude photographs of your ex (or anyone else for that matter) does not make you a hero. It is not a sign of strength. The only thing that it speaks out about you is that you’re a spineless wuss and a pathetic loser.
In addition to our article, we have released a video story where I discuss the issue head on: