feminist news round-up 29.04.12
Man jailed for Nude Facebook Photos
In a landmark case a man has been sentenced to jail for posting nude pictures of his ex-girlfriend on Facebook. This is the first time in Australia that someone has been convicted of a crime committed on social media and one of only a few cases of this kind in the entire world. Ravshan Usmanov said of his motivations: ‘I put the photos up because she hurt me and it was the only thing [I had] to hurt her.’ When the ex-girlfriend found out that the pictures had been posted she immediately asked him to take them down. When he didn’t, she went straight to the police. The Judge of the case, Jane Mottley, said that the conviction was intended as a deterrence for other people considering this kind of activity. She said: ‘New-age technology through Facebook gives instant access to the world [and] incalculable damage can be done to a person’s reputation by the irresponsible posting of information through that medium. With its popularity and potential for real harm, there is a genuine need to ensure the use of this medium to commit offences of this type is deterred.’
This deterrence is clearly needed. A US based website, IsAnyoneUp.com, posted compromising pictures, stories, and contact details of women by men who had been hurt by women. Hunter Moore, the website’s founder said he launched it as a place for ‘public humiliation.’ People could upload sexually explicit photos and video without a victim’s permission, and include a screen grab of their Facebook account and a link to their Twitter account, for the whole Internet to see. A section on the website allowed people to comment on the photos and videos. The website was stopped when the owner of an anti-bullying website decided to buy the domain.
$5.6 million from Girls Gone Wild
Tamara Favazza was a 20-year-old college student in the US during 2004 when someone lifted her tank top and filmed it for TV show, Girls Gone Wild. The TV show, by design, aired footage of young women, often drunk, who exposed parts of their bodies for free. Favazza accused the show of exploiting her, particularly since although she did happily dance, fully clothed, on camera, she did not consent to being exposed. In fact, in footage you can see her mouthing the word ‘no’ as her tank top was lifted. She sued for damages. At first, at trial in 2010 the jury sided with Girls Gone Wild. At retrial she has been awarded US$5.8 million (AU$5.6 million).
Sexual Harassment Payouts Not Worth It
In Australia, half of the settlements for sexual harassment disputes result in the award of under $7000, with many disputes yielding no more than redundancy, leave, or termination payouts. The odd high profile case with large payouts are very rare. These facts were uncovered in a recent study conducted by Paula McDonald and Sara Charlesworth. McDonald comments, ‘Making a formal complaint of sexual harassment is a painful and onerous process, and given these figures, the motivation can’t be money.’
Afghan Schoolgirls Put in Danger
Over 100 Afghan schoolgirls were taken to hospital after it was believed that their water had been poisoned by people who oppose the idea of girls going to school. Facts regarding the incident are unclear, though it was believed to be just a scare rather than a real threat. Nonetheless, the girls suffered from symptoms such as headaches and nausea. It also highlights the precarious situation of women in Afghanistan.
A high school student from Arizona, River Flannery, was banned from being named Prom Queen because he is a boy. He claimed, ‘I was denied the right to be prom queen. They are denying me to do something because of my gender.’ He still intends on wearing a black dress for the Prom in order to stand up for equal rights. Some of his fellow students reportedly felt that his claims were jovial in nature, but the story does pose the question: should gender determine one’s eligibility for such an award?
It’s prom season in the US at the moment, and with it comes other controversies. A high school girl from Pennsylvania, Amanda Dougherty, has been told that she can’t go to her school prom because she doesn’t have a date.
LNP Staffer’s Sexist Email
Max Tomlinson, the then media adviser to Liberal National Party Senator Ian Macdonald, wrote to Dr Carole Ford after she penned a newspaper column criticising the lack of female representation in Queensland’s Parliament. Ford had a good point – 49% of Queensland’s Parliamentary representatives used to be women. Now women only have 18% of the seats. Max Tomlinson later resigned as a result of the fallout of his letter, which you can read in full here.
(Image source: 1)