One more Reason to Wear Underwear

Here's a little something to ruin your faith in humanity. Bust Magazine ran this article about the legality of taking "upskirt" photos. These are photos in which a woman is out in a public place, such as a mall, a train station, a classroom -- and a guy takes a photo or video up her skirt, down her blouse, etc. These voyeur photos are used for the guy's pervy me-time or even posted in online forums or websites. You'd think this was illegal, but it's not in most states:
"The general precedent is that in public, an individual doesn’t have any reasonable expectations of privacy, simply because he or she’s in public. Stemming from that, physical characteristics that are viewable to the naked eye in public, without the use of special equipment, are fair game."

So basically, it's legal for creeps to take photos or videos of a woman's body parts WITHOUT HER KNOWLEDGE OR CONSENT and even to post them online, as long as they're not using any "special equipment" to do so. Wow. The popular social bookmarking site Reddit even has a subcategory called "Creepshots" especially for these images (NSFW). Their description states:

"Use stealth, cunning and deviousness to capture the beauty of your unsuspecting, chosen target. ... There are a few people who have been upset about the content of CreepShots but it is vital for them to remember this: there is nothing illegal about this subreddit whatsoever. We may be immoral, creepy, sinister (some may even accuse us of being 'disturbed') individuals but there is nothing here that breaks any laws. When you are in public, you do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy. We kindly ask women to respect our right to admire your bodies and stop complaining."


Wow -- that last line just makes me want to punch the guy who wrote it. But even though he'd deserve it, it would be illegal. How ironic. This is only one of the places where these images may end up. If your faith in humanity isn't completely ruined yet, it will be when you start reading some of the comments there, as they encourage and cheer on the photographer and weigh in on the hottness of the body parts of the unsuspecting women. 

I'm honestly depressed now. As the author of the Bust article says:

What about my expectations of privacy regarding the parts of my body that I cover with clothes? That sounds pretty reasonable to me. The majority of the legislation surrounding the upskirt issue seems to state that if I wear a skirt outside of my home, I should expect creeps to take photos or videos of what's under it."
I guess we're asking for it then, right ladies? Simply by being a woman in a public place, we're offering implicit permission to be perved on, like it or not. What about having a reasonable expectation that guys are going to act like decent human beings? Too bad we can't legislate that.
  • email
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Reddit
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Tumblr
  • Pingback: Creepshots | Beauty Is Inside()

  • Guest

    Federal law prohibits these photographs of “private areas” even of people in public places (see (5)(B))

    (a) Whoever, in the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction
    of the United States, has the intent to capture an image of a private
    area of an individual without their consent, and knowingly does so under
    circumstances in which the individual has a reasonable expectation of
    privacy, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one
    year, or both.
    “(b) In this section–
    “(1) the term `capture’, with respect to an image, means to
    videotape, photograph, film, record by any means, or broadcast;
    “(2) the term `broadcast’ means to electronically transmit
    a visual image with the intent that it be viewed by a person or
    “(3) the term `a private area of the individual’ means the
    naked or undergarment clad genitals, pubic area, buttocks, or
    female breast of that individual;
    “(4) the term `female breast’ means any portion of the
    female breast below the top of the areola; and
    “(5) the term `under circumstances in which that individual
    has a reasonable expectation of privacy’ means–
    “(A) circumstances in which a reasonable person
    would believe that he or she could disrobe in privacy,
    without being concerned that an image of a private area
    of the individual was being captured; or
    “(B) circumstances in which a reasonable person
    would believe that a private area of the individual
    would not be visible to the public, regardless of whether that
    person is in a public or private place.