Rejoice, Prolific Sexters: California Passes Anti-Revenge Porn Law

Illustration for article titled Rejoice, Prolific Sexters: California Passes Anti-Revenge Porn Law

Revenge porn — or when a jerk posts private sexy photos of a woman online without her permission with the intent to humiliate or exact comeuppance — is seriously disruptive to the lives of the women victimized by it. Laws haven't caught up to reality, though, and in most states, once you sext a guy pictures of your boobies, they're legally his to do with what he pleases. Thankfully, California just passed a law designed to combat this practice. Confusingly, some people who wrote about the law don't understand that this is a problem.


First, the nitty gritty on the new sext regulations. Here's The Guardian on what's going to happen now that California Governor Jerry Brown signed the bill into law.

The bill, which takes effect immediately, makes it a misdemeanour to post identifiable nude pictures of someone else online without permission with the intent to cause emotional distress or humiliation. The penalty is up to six months in jail and a $1,000 (£620) fine.

"Until now, there was no tool for law enforcement to protect victims," the bill's author, senator Anthony Cannella, said in a statement. "Too many have had their lives upended because of an action of another that they trusted."

Cannella, by the way, is a Republican. Maybe standing together against revenge porn is what this divided country needs!

But not everyone thinks that revenge porn is that big of a deal. Here's the lede from the story on the law from Newsy's Christine Hartman:

Revenge porn was apparently a big enough problem in California to make a law.

Ah, the passively sarcastic "apparently"— I use it, you use it, we all use it. But when it's used in reference to victims of a creepy sexual violation, it's less cute and playful, and more bitchy.

Wow, Hartman, no one's ever going to sext you with that 'tude.

[The Guardian]



Hopefully this doesn't turn into too big of a ranty tangent, but I'd like to say what I find most bothersome about the discussion of this law (both on Jez and elsewhere) and sexting in general, which is that it's just bizarre to me that so many people put on their 1955 hat and act like exchanging some nudity with someone you're dating is deviant, out there, just all out CARAAZZZZZY in 2013. I'm 31 (i.e. ancient) and I've done it!

Look, I think advising on best practices for nudez is helpful and especially it's good to encourage say, teenage girls who may feel pressure to send nude pics they don't want to that they have a right to say "hell no" (or a right to say "you first", etc). But ultimately, I think that just discouraging people from ever sending nude pictures to sexual/romantic partners is only going to do so much good, because again, people, we have been showing our bathing suit parts to each other since FOREVER and we have all these neato devices (with hella flattering filters!) to make this more convenient than ever before. I don't think this as a practice, is going away, and I don't even think it should—there is nothing shameful about it—so focusing exclusively on "OMG LADEEZ DUN SHOW UR PARTS" is both sexist as fuck and ineffective. We could all benefit from "nude pix etiquette 101", and that needs to include a serious discussion of privacy and consent aimed at the recipients of these pics and how it is ok to use them and not use them.