Kate Middleton: Victim of Voyeurism

by September 19, 2012
filed under Activism
Topics ,

I hate the way people use the word “scandal.” They use it any time people gossip about someone in the public eye. And when it comes to the whole issue of Prince William’s wife, Kate’s topless photos, people are using this term a lot.

If this were to happen to any regular gurl, it wouldn’t be breaking news, let alone a scandal. How do I know this? Because it happens every day. Some perv with a weird fetish breaks into a young woman’s apartment and sets up a camera pointed at her shower or her toilet. Or over her bed. Peeping Toms shimmy up into trees with cameras or binoculars pointed at a gurls window. This might sound like the beginning of a James Patterson novel, but it actually happens to women, and it is in fact illegal.

Kate’s topless pictures were taken of her at a family members’ chateau in Provence while her and William were on vacation. Obviously thinking it was safe, because the location was so remote, Kate went topless sunbathing. I don’t know the specifics, but to my knowledge, some photographer affiliated with the Closer, a French “gossip” magazine, managed to use a long range lens to take the pictures.

Now, personally, the context of the pictures is not offensive. They’re just boobies. All women have them, and even some men. It’s a very common practice in much of Europe to tan topless, even completely naked, in public. What disturbs me more is the circumstance of the pictures. These pictures were taken of a woman who had no knowledge they were being taken, and surely didn’t acquiesce. When the story of this first broke, I stared at my television and said, “that poor gurl.”

The feeling of violation she must be experiencing. I’ve heard of women who’ve been the victims of voyeurism becoming distrustful of people and technology, and essentially becoming hermits terrified of being exposed in that way again. And that’s just when the violators keep the pictures to themselves. Kate had hers splashed all over the news, magazines, internet, TV, you name it. By now, everyone and their mother has seen her boobs, and no matter how much the editor of the Closer, Laurence Pieau, says there’s nothing degrading or shocking about the photos, Kate is probably mortified, and my heart goes out to her.

I was reading an article about this, and did a quadruple take when I read the comments from Laurence Pieau, and then just after that the pronoun “she.” What!? I find it impossible to fathom a woman hanging another one out to dry like this. Did she think maybe because she’s a royal now, Kate would expect the ruthlessness of the paparazzi? Personally, I was expecting ruthless; I wasn’t expecting cruel, degrading, sub human and illegal. I can’t decide whether the callousness she handles the situation with is derived of actual malice or a complete misunderstanding of human emotions and the impact her actions can have on them. You would expect the editor of a major magazine to at least be semi educated, but apparently not – especially not with the candid attitude she has about how she broke laws. Does she not know about voyeurism, peeping toms, privacy laws, basic respect for human dignity? Kate’s pain must be terrible, but it is probably exacerbated by this woman’s complete disregard for her feelings. I wonder how Laurence Pieau would enjoy being photographed in compromising positions without her knowledge or permission. Probably not very much.

I have a lot of respect for Kate, and I would really enjoy seeing her use this situation to her advantage. Turning it around and saying “I was victimized. I’m not the only one. We need to use my story as motivation to help keep this from happening to other women.” Less powerful women have done the same to great effect, imagine what someone of her influence can do.

And something does need to be done. Examples like this are too common for us to just sit by and let women continue to be violated in such a grotesque and unrepentant way. This issue needs to come into the light, and we need to support the victims of voyeurism.

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