Faceoff: Don’t Snap Those Photos

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When we’re in a relationship, we think it’s going to last forever — you know, like Cinderella and Prince Charming. We think: together for a year, a fairytale wedding, a couple of kids and happily ever after. But in reality, whereas Cinderella lived a fairytale with her one and only prince, you may have many relationships before you actually find the guy you’re going to live happily ever after with.

This means, as much as we all don’t want to believe it, there is a possibility that you and the guy you’re with will split. Depending on how bad the break up goes, he may or may not expose all of your confidential secrets to his homeboys, or worse, share your nude selfies with the rest of the world, aka revenge porn. I’ll admit that there are men out there who will remain genuine regardless of how rough the break up is. But, let’s face it: breakups can bring out the evil in people.

The famous saying by William Congreve may be, “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned,” but that’s because a man wrote it. From the female perspective, we all know that the same can be true about men. Truth is, revenge porn, a form of online harassment typically perpetrated by an angry ex who decides to punish their former partner by exposing nude photos of them, is usually the act of a furious man after a break up. And every time revenge porn strikes, there is a pretense of shock that such a thing could happen — as if it doesn’t happen all the time.

For individuals like myself who would not want to be victims of revenge porn or have their private parts publicly exposed, the advice to follow is simple: don’t take nude photos or videos. Despite what your “perfect” prince of a boyfriend says, the risk of something so troubling happening is evident. By now, all women should know that “I’ll delete it right after” is actually code for “I’m going to show all my friends, and if we break up, it’s getting posted on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.”

Many victims of revenge porn have been forced to start new lives, change their names, change schools and find new jobs. Many have also suffered from harassment because of those who shared their intimate images. Victims have even committed suicide. According to the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative, 47 percent of revenge porn victims consider suicide.

It is impossible for a girl to ignore the fact that her partner is capable of such things — that her partner is capable of ruining her life. So, when it happens, the only thing I have to say is, “You should’ve known better.” You should’ve known better than to pose in front of a camera naked; you should’ve known better than to send photos of your naked body; and you should’ve known better than to believe “I’ll delete it right after.”

No matter how confident you are in your relationship, you just never know if or when you and your Prince Charming will break up. Don’t compromise yourself by sending naked photos to anyone. Rather than sending nudes, your boyfriend can see whatever he wants to see in person, with no cameras, and that gives the public no opportunity to see anything — unless the bedroom window is open.

I’ve been with my boyfriend for four years and I’ve never sent him a racy photo nor has he ever snapped a quick pic of me without my consent. There is a fine line between respect for another person and respect for yourself. I respect myself enough to know that I am worth much more than the negative feedback I’d get if a nude photo of me leaked. Realistically, maybe one out of 10 comments under such a photo would be shaming my boyfriend. The other nine would shame me. This may not be fair; however, it is reality and I’m more than that. I hold myself to a higher standard than that and so does my boyfriend. I don’t have to ever worry about my vagina being shown to the world because I’ve never made it possible.

You are aware that there’s a chance you’ll get pulled over for driving drunk so you can’t get mad when you drive drunk and are pulled over. You know there are consequences for eating junk food so don’t cry when you gain a little weight. Likewise, you know there are potential consequences for taking nude photos so … well, you get the point.

At the end of the day, it is about you. Let’s not pretend that leaked nude photos for revenge and Internet bullying aren’t common; we all know that it can happen. But, you can avoid being a victim by not taking part in the “sext act.” I would never send nudes to anyone I’m dating, ever. I would also never encourage a friend of mine to remove her clothes for photos to send to another person. In fact, if the camera disappeared when people’s clothes started to, there would be no revenge porn. Revenge porn is only a thing because people consent to making it in the first place. It is time for victims to stand up and take responsibility; rather than adding risks to your life, easily eliminate them. If he’s truly your Prince Charming, he won’t ask you to do something that could possibly ruin your life.

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