Gabrielle Union’s Insightful Response to the Photo-Hacking Awfulness

On Saturday, a whole new slew of female celebrities found photos they had taken in private strewn across the Internet. So many well-known women have been affected by this unbelievable invasion of privacy, including Rihanna, Gabrielle Union, Vanessa Hudgens, Aubrey Plaza, Hayden Panettiere, Leelee Sobieski, Lake Bell, Kate Bosworth, and soccer star Hope Solo. I really feel for these women, who have been constantly victimized by the ongoing phone-hack-nude-photo-leak-disaster. Their lives are so public, and they (like all of us) deserve to have a small corner of their life where the things they want to keep private stay that way.

But as terribly as I feel for these women, I am also straight-up blown away by the class and integrity they are utilizing to handle their situations. In particular, actress Gabrielle Union has been speaking out about what happened to her and handling this bump in the road like a champ. The actress and her husband (Miami Heat player Dwayne Wade) made a joint statement regarding the private photos they had shared with each other and subsequently deleted that are now being plastered up on the Internet:

Union, who reportedly plans to contact the FBI about the crime, is spot-on in her statement. The most disconcerting fall-out from this ongoing leak has been the victim-blaming. On Facebook, on Twitter, even IRL right out of the mouths of people I know, I hear false accusations that this photo leak is not the fault of the criminal hackers, but rather the fault of the (overwhelmingly female) celebrities who took the photos in the first place. This is victim-blaming, this is slut-shaming, and I just can’t deal with this take on the situation.

We don’t blame people en masse for getting their cars broken into or their Gmail accounts hacked. We blame the hackers, we blame the thieves, we blame the criminals; of course we do, because that is who is responsible for the crime. When it comes to these celebrity females and their private media, the only reason anyone feels comfortable blaming the victims is because we live in a society that has trained us to be comfortable casting aspersions on women for being sexual beings. Many feel a right to invade their privacy that we simply don’t have. It’s an unacceptable attitude and it leads to absolutely intolerable behavior.

So, good on Gabrielle Union for placing the blame exactly where it belongs: with the criminals, not the victims. She’s done nothing wrong. None of these women have. We need to take a long, hard look at why we are so quick to blame these victims, and then we need to check our collective victim-blaming at the door, like, for all eternity.

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