Making Revenge Porn a Crime

December 27, 2013

Rhode Island is the latest state to try to make it a crime to post explicit photos of ex-spouses or romantic partners on the Internet. They are looking for a way to make revenge porn a felony punishable by jail time and fined, without violating constitutional rights.

This is a slippery slope. When someone gives a lover permission to take racy pictures of her, she has no right to call foul. Most of the complaints I’ve run across are from women who were over 18 when they took those pictures and voluntarily gave them to their partners. If they are now regretting their actions, they can’t really complain about the consequences.

There are some exceptions. If the woman was drugged, unconscious, a minor, mentally unstable, or if the pictures were taken without their knowledge and consent, they should have every legal protection to safeguard their reputation. People who take advantage of these women should go to jail and be fined extortionate amounts of money, the same as any other criminal.

Unfortunately, many women like the idea of their men having pictures of the two of them having sex or of her posing in the nude. We have gotten so accustomed to a lack of privacy and a need to share the most intimate details of our life with everyone on the Internet, that people don’t look at the possible consequences of their actions.

They don’t think that there may come a time when they might not be together. They don’t think that it could be dangerous to put pictures like this into his hands or that they could be used against her if they have an argument or if the relationship ends badly. And maybe that’s the crux of it.

We keep saying we don’t want government getting into our private lives, yet we keep holding their feet to the fire, making them responsible for passing legislation to protect us from our own stupidity and our own poor judgment. We all know that you can’t legislate morality, so why do we keep expecting protection under such laws?

If you’re over 18, conscious, not drugged, mentally stable, and you have given permission for pornographic pictures to be taken of you and freely given to your partner, it’s unreasonable for you to cry foul. This goes under the heading of accepting the consequences of your actions and learning from them.

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