feimineach.com

presents an important analysis of the ways in which the law in the US and Canada treats women who are victims of “revenge porn”. Currently, the law holds only the original poster of the content accountable. Further: ‘victims have no recourse to remove revenge porn from the Internet unless they turn their bodies into “intellectual property” and file a copyright complaint form, which then becomes publicly archived.’

Women, then, are still property in rape laws.

“Marry me or I’ll make your rape video public.”

This threat was sent to an Australian University student by an abusive ex-boyfriend. Unfortunately, her story is not unique. In an increasing number of countries, rapists are filming the assaults they perpetrate on cell phones in order to blackmail victims into not reporting the crimes. The relationship between camera phones, the Internet, and a lack of legal protection for women has birthed a new technological mechanism for female sexual oppression, with thousands of “revenge porn” victims every day.

In 2013, a US study* revealed that 10 per cent of women’s ex-partners threatened to post revenge porn of them, and nearly 60 per cent of those threats became a reality.

Revenge porn is essentially a form of sexual violence (committed almost entirely against female victims), which can happen on a massive scale, with hundreds of thousands of men participating in a woman’s violation by viewing her, rape video, filmed sex, naked picture, etc. The damage done to revenge porn victims is immeasurable, resulting in ruined lives (both professionally and personally) and sometimes even suicide. So what is being done to stop this terrible new beast?

While Canada and many U.S. states have criminalized revenge porn, these laws only hold the original poster of the content accountable. That means those who re-post the content as well as the websites that host the content are not subjected to any legal ramifications for their actions nor are they responsible for removing the revenge porn. Let’s think about that for a second…

Let’s say there’s a room full of violent rapists on the other side of a door. One man opens the door and a dozen of them pounce on you. According to current laws, justice has been served when the man who opened the door is held accountable. But nothing will be done about the men who raped you or the company hosting these gang rapes, and you have no right to even be taken out of that gang-rape room.

It clearly is not enough to only criminalize the original person who posted the revenge porn. At very least, websites that host revenge porn should be legally obligated to remove it. Currently, victims have no recourse to remove revenge porn from the Internet unless they turn their bodies into “intellectual property” and file a copyright complaint form, which then becomes publicly archived.

You heard that right. In this legal paradigm, women’s bodies are only recognized as having value for protection in so far as they are considered to be property.

Sound familiar? This absurd lack of legal protection for women has its roots in the historical legacy of rape law. For much of recorded history, women were the property of men. Rape was made illegal on the basis that it was a violation of another man’s property. Fathers were paid reparative sums by men who raped their daughters. Occasionally a daughter was forced to marry her rapist, following a “you break it you buy it” type policy. Thus, marital rape was not a crime, as the husband was not violating another man’s property. This marital rape exemption, allowing husbands to rape their wives on the basis of owning them as property, actually survived in US law into the 1990’s. Feminism challenged this legal paradigm by positioning rape as a crime against the woman herself. Redefining rape as a violently damaging act to a woman, as a person, and not as property.

Source: - Feminist Current.
* That study.

(Excerpt etc. first posted on feimineach.com. Orig. attribution above.)

today in misogyny: revenge porn: The legacy of women as property in rape law