Tuesday, March 11, 2014

In a world where upskirt shots are legal, there can't be enough anti-creep laws

From The Guardian UK:  http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/mar/07/massachusetts-court-upskit-photos-legal-anti-creepshot-laws?CMP=fb_us

A Massachusetts court may not understand the 21st century, but who knows how many photo fetish addicts are out there?

theguardian.com, Friday 7 March 2014

Here’s the thing about picture-collecting voyeurism: desire may be amoral, but the act of taking iPhone photos of non-consenting individuals in order to get your rocks off doesn’t happen without consequences. There are personal repercussions. And there should be more legal punishment, too.
No, “creepshots” aren’t protected by the First Amendment, which “does not protect purely private recreational, non-communicative photography”, according to a 2010 ruling. But they’re still running too rampant.

It all depends on what camera angle the creeps are using, which body part they focus on and, until this week, which state they lived in.

Yes, as of Wednesday, it was found to be perfectly legal to take “upskirt” shots of unsuspecting women on public transportation in the state of Massachusetts. Thank god the state legislature has now rushed through a bill to counter such a ridiculous ruling by the courts. (Update: Gov Deval Patrick has made upskirts illegal – officially.)

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court argued that the state’s so-called “peeping Tom” laws only applied to unwitting victims – nude or partially nude – who were photographed without their knowledge, in places like changing rooms or bathrooms. Which, apparently, had nothing to do with someone taking a photograph of your panties on the T because, well, like I said, it’s ridiculous:
A female passenger on an MBTA trolley who is wearing a skirt, dress, or the like covering these parts of her body is not a person who is ‘partially nude”, no matter what is or is not underneath the skirt by way of underwear or other clothing.
So, it’s a constitutional right to take pictures of things that are plainly visible in public spaces. But the Fourth Amendment and its right “to be secure in their persons” does a pretty good job of covering bodily autonomy, used as it is to defend abortion. Maybe somebody needs to remind the uncivilized men who take upskirts of that, whatever their temporary vantage point.

Skirts generally do a pretty good job of covering flesh and undergarments you don’t want to expose – otherwise we’d just walk around in jeans or knickers. But as anyone who’s ever actually worn a skirt well knows, the only guaranteed way to render your skirt-clad lower body a chinkless fortress is to stitch it tightly around your legs until it resembles, well, a pair of trousers. 

Continue reading at:  http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/mar/07/massachusetts-court-upskit-photos-legal-anti-creepshot-laws?CMP=fb_us

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