Monday, September 8, 2014

All Things Interrogated: Should You Click On Jennifer Lawrence’s Boobs – Yes Or No? – Stupid question! Don't Be A Jerk

Surprise, Surprise one more pair of boobs have arrived on the internet! In the zillions of images and videos of boobs that arrived on the web in the last week one set belonged to Jennifer Lawrence. The actress that rose from nothing to something in her neurotic portrayal of Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games. Why is media blanketing the news challenges with constant discussion, over saturated news articles, and false morality tales? Why is she more important than anyone else? Why is her anatomy a voice for sympathizing liberals and delusional conservatives? Let's get interrogating.

Wendy Windom at CBS Chicago Would have us believe that consumers are responsible because they consciously digest nudity, and create a demand for hackers to supply.
Despite the temptation, the reasons we shouldn’t click, the reasons we can’t click, are simple and straightforward. We are creating demand. Websites track their traffic. If site owners and editors notice that stolen, nude celebrity photos are getting a lot of clicks and attention, they will want more. They, along with hackers and paparazzi, will do whatever they can obtain more. (Windom, 2014)
And
… we need to refrain from clicking on her photos because otherwise we are reinforcing the notion that when women are exploited and objectified, its their own fault. When a high school sophomore drinks too much, she does not deserve to be raped. When a woman declines a man’s sexual advances, she does not deserve to be shot or have her name and photo submitted to a revenge porn site, seriously damaging both her professional and personal reputation. (Windom, 2014)
Let us do the evil deed and contextualize Jennifer Lawrence and her anatomy.
1. Consumers create demand for hackers
Consumers do not create demand. Consumers are trapped in a market which creates their demands. When a consumer purchases a good she is buying a product for multiple reasons. When a consumer purchases food, the food needs the consumers need for substance. This need for substance is clearly based on the human need to consume food for energy. Throughout most of history, what food met this need was localized. A woman in a tribe would eat the berry’s she gathered or the meat that men hunted. The demand for food is its use value. The food's capacity to replenish energy. Even the least healthy of contemporary foods provides a minimal of substance. What can be said is that humans need food, but this demand is not created consciously, but rather is the product of a chemical reaction. So, while we could say that human create demand for food in general, they do not create demand for one type of food over another. The capitalist market is what provides the demand. The key to this argument is an advertisement. Of what need would we have for advertisement if our human desire created demand? You’d think that if demand was clearly a product of rational human choice, then we wouldn’t need to be told what we want by advertising. Even one of the most naturalized food product – milk – requires advertising. What this means is that the demand for milk is created by the market, not in the minds of consumers.

Let’s return to Jennifer Lawrence’s body. Before she was an actress nobody cared about her. There was no demand to see her let alone see her naked. The demand for Jennifer was created by the market. Jennifer was pandered to the masses, though he films she acted in and their advertising. Spending zillions on The Hunger Games film and advert plays on the already existing celebrity market. Where actresses are lifted up as icons, role models, sex objects, and everything in between in order to sell generate profit. She was made into a commodity to sell a commodity. In this sense, Jennifer Lawrence was already sexually objectified by the market before she took her clothes off.
2. Hackers and Paparazzi share similar motivations
Hackers and Paparazzi share two different ethical spheres. Hackers range from trouble makers screwing with technology because they can (for the lulz) to activist taking down government websites through denial of service attacks. Paparazzi, on the other hand, are profit mongers who create and reinforce celebrity worship. As a new actress enters the celebrity market place Paparazzi swarm on her taking photos and writing wild articles to sell magazines. In this sense, the Paparazzi promotes an actress as efficiently as main line advertising to reinforce mass celebrity obsession. I will talk leaks and Paparazzi role in celebrity promotion below.

If I threw a party and invited the 10 most popular hackers and paparazzi they would probably end up killing each other. The varying hacker ethics tend to share an overwhelming disgust for popularity’s sake. May hackers are not turning a profit for their hacks. On the one hand, paparazzi are radically profit driven selling their scandals and lies in order to turn tricks. On the other hand, hackers are truth tellers and exposers of lies. This party would be deadlocked fisticuffs before anyone started drinking.
3. There is something special about Jennifer Lawrence and the future of female objectification is held in the balance.
This is an all too common claim that mainline media makes. In order to avoid confusion, let me re-quote Windom, so we can I clear. Windom argues that “we need to refrain from clicking on her photos because otherwise we are reinforcing the notion that when women are exploited and objectified... (Windom, 2014)” While this is in a sense an accurate statement only if we decontextualize the Jennifer Lawrence photos and endow her status with some godlike qualities. As if avoiding the photos of Jennifer Lawrence’s anatomy would turn the tide of sexism in America.

There is nothing special about Jennifer Lawrence other than she has been made special by the media-industrial complex. Perspective is important. What are these photos compared the rest to the totality of scandalous photos on the internet? Half a grain of sand on the beach. Clicking or not clicking on Jennifer Lawrence will change nothing.

The proper ethical stance here, of course, is that we shouldn’t click on sexual objectifying photos on the internet. But even demands some kind of absence only like internet experience. Participation in such insanity would sexualize the human body to even greater proportions by making it forbidden.
4. Looking at nude women is inherently objectifying
The obvious case here is that historically art has relied on painting and drawing nudes. Near every respectable art school in the world teaches its students to draw the human form from live models. The eye of the artist is not necessarily a sexually objectifying gaze. Humans are wondrous creatures, and even the seemly ugly, birth defected, ugly and deformed are included in this wonder.

The ultimate irony of this argument is that based on the articles are that Jennifer Lawrence sexually objectified herself for her lover. Rather than take the photos like an artistic self-portages they were designed to elicit self-sexual-objectification. But, even though Jennifer has objectified herself this was communicated through private challenges. Let’s be accurate. The crime is theft, invasion of privacy, and distribution of images. Yes, the photos may have been sexual. But the sexuality originated in the intentions of the participants involved (and the mass media's coverage). A private affair between two willing participants. Stealing those photos does not sexualize the act of stealing. Hell, I doubt the hacker knew what he was going to find. But while I don’t buy that stealing the photos was a sex crime, the distribution and the intentional and unintentional glamorization of the distribution is a sexual crime.

Of course, in the case of Jennifer Lawrence, she was not a willing participant in the release and distribution the photos she took, and this was a crappy thing to do. Let’s not be confused - stealing is a jerk move. And should be condemned by the heaviest iron fist one can find. There are no buts. My problem is Windom’s moral obfuscation.
5. Rape, and stealing photos are equivalents
One of the unwritten rules of argumentation is that the first person to mention Hitler loses. The problem with using Hitler in an argument not directly about WW2 is that it presents an extreme example that is rarely comparable to moral dilemmas in an argument. Mostly commonly when arguing with one or another religious representative, they have a tendency to over-generalize the evils of atheists by associating disbelief in God with the absence of morals. And who is a better representative of someone who lacked Christian values? Hitler, Stalin and Mussolini. The problem here is twofold; the Hitler fallacy is based on a historical amnesia (Hitler was a Christian), and all comparing all atheists to Hitler is logically stupid. When we are angry or frustrated overgeneralizations function to overwhelm your opponent in order to obfuscate the argument and put the opposition on the defensive. Hence, Hitler is almost always another can of worms.

In this case Windom is using rape in a similar fashion. Let me re-quote
When a high school sophomore drinks too much, she does not deserve to be raped. When a woman declines a man’s sexual advances, she does not deserve to be shot or have her name and photo submitted to a revenge porn site. (Windom, 2014)
Windom’s argument seems appealing at first glance. The hack and distribution of the photos was done without Jennifer Lawrence’s permission. Stolen against her will. Rape-like only if we are loose with our definitions. Of course, the theft is wrong, and can be a very shameful and pained experience, but the robbery was not rape. While the hacker did steal photos the “sexuality” associated with the photos were created by Jennifer Lawrence and mass media. Theft is theft. Rape is rape. Theft of nude photos is not rape unless we are willing to deescalate the experience of rape from stealing a playboy from the gas station to someone looking at you without your permission. I see the pain that Windom is empathizing with, but butchering language is not the way to go. Chuck Windig argued nude photos are
not rape, but it is deeply demonstrative of rape culture because it is an act that exploits a woman and her body without her consent. And then, as if to vigorously rub salt into the wound with the heel of one’s callused hand, the judgey-faced shitty-assed judgments of countless men follow in the wake of the violation: victim-blaming, slut-shaming, Puritanical finger-waggling. (Windig, 2014)
6. Jennifer Lawrence’s Personal and Professional reputation will be damaged
Celebrities sitting on Jay Leno’s couch or being interviewed for a magazine, no matter how personal the conversation may seem, is never showing us their personal life. As is made clear by the mediums themselves these personalizing like conversations consumable fictions (which is not to say they are wholly fictional). But the dialog is designed in such a way to promote and reinforce celebrity idolization in order to sell whatever product they are hawking at the time.

What does Windom even know about Jennifer Lawrence’s personal relationships? Is she enough of an authority to comment on the quality and continuity of the closest relationships in Jennifer’s life? I highly doubt it.
Final Comment
We should not click on Jennifer Lawrence’s boobs because it is mean.
Not because of some long-winded pseudo-moralizations.
And even when she probably reveals the goods in one of her films you should cover your eyes.
Because it is mean to stare.
References
Chicago.cbslocal.com Why We Shouldn’t Click on Jennifer Lawrence’s Nude Personal Photos - CBS Chicago Chicago.cbslocal.com,. (2014). Why We Shouldn’t Click on Jennifer Lawrence’s Nude Personal Photos - CBS Chicago. Retrieved 8 September 2014, from http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2014/09/02/jennifer-lawrence-nude-photos/

terribleminds: chuck wendig A PSA About Nude Photos terribleminds: chuck wendig,. (2014). A PSA About Nude Photos. Retrieved 8 September 2014, from http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2014/09/02/a-psa-about-nude-photos/


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