A: He didn’t.
Okay, so it was a trick question. It was also not an entirely accurate answer. Most technophobes interact with the world of information technology countless times per day—because it makes their lives easier. Very few things we do nowadays short of hiking through Yellowstone are disconnected from the vast web of data and electronics that are rapidly becoming the primary infrastructure of modern society. And yet, as is often the case when it comes to sex, apparently all the rules are different in the eyes of some people.
If your mail is taken from the trash, or your hard drive hacked, or your wallet stolen, and the obtained information or materials are used to steal your identity or make fraudulent charges on your credit card or stalk you—no one will say “Well, you shouldn’t have had credit cards, or a wallet, or put your trash on the curb.” No…they will rightly condemn the actions of the perpetrator of the crime.
Dare, however, to engage in the commitment of erotic images to anything other than your own mind—as human beings have been doing for as long as we’ve been capable of putting chisel to rock and brush to easel—and the same crime somehow becomes justifiable to a certain kind of asshole.
Now listen…if you’re the kind of person who is appalled by the idea that anyone would ever take a nudie picture, well…I’m not going to run the terrible risk of adding any excitement to your life by arguing with you about that. Go forth and have no fun.
If, on the other hand, you see no problem with participating in an activity as old as written history itself—an activity, mind you, that has, at various points in time, been revered as art—then you cannot argue that this isolated aspect of human life should somehow be exempted from the transition of nearly all human activity and interaction onto the grid.
Our lives have been digitized—our public lives and our private lives. You can view this as a good or bad thing, but your opinion will not change the fact that malicious theft is malicious theft, whether it occurs in your bedroom or in the cloud; whether it is perpetrated by an acquaintance, a family member, a disgruntled ex or a complete stranger. Your stuff is your stuff. People who take your stuff and use your stuff for their own benefit are the problem. Period.
Righteous indignation is all well and good, but guess what? Your high school and college-age kids have naked selfies. They’re sending them to other people. Those photos could get hacked or stolen or sold or inappropriately distributed without your child’s permission. They’re also sending personal emails and texts to friends, lovers and family members that have no business being seen by prying eyes.
So you can be all morally superior about Jennifer Lawrence or you can protect your children’s futures by turning your ire toward the appropriate target. You can dismiss this episode as people getting “what they deserved,” or you can take a stand for fundamental human decency and privacy.
You can protect the victims of these disgusting acts—or you can throw them under the bus, as Spokane Civic Theatre did when it happened to us.