My Perspective: The Double Standard of the Stolen Selfies

Stolen Selfies

 

Years ago a Baywatch star and her newlywed rockstar husband taped themselves in all sorts of honeymoon debauchery. The video, stolen from their home, went viral, and was sold without their permission. Photos of the video where even published in Penthouse magazine.

 

Lawsuits were filed and thrown out. With the judge citing “Once celebrities allow media scrutiny of their private lives, they must learn to live with subsequent news coverage.”

 

It took multiple lawyers and six years for Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee to win their lawsuit. During that time, no one raised an eyebrow.

 

Granted Facebook and Twitter didn’t exist, but the internet did and news story after news story placed the blame on them for making the video in the first place, even though it WAS stolen from their own home.

 

Fast forward almost 10 years and my Facebook is flooded with stories of celebrities’ nude images stolen from “the cloud”. Words like rape and violation are being thrown around wildly.

 

I’m angry about the violation of privacy, but I’m even angrier about the double standard that no one is addressing.

 

The news stories of the recent photo theft focus mainly on the loveable Jennifer Lawrence. If you read further you realize it was over 100 celebrities that were hacked, but the focus is on her. Not the others, because she exudes a good girl vibe.

 

As cited in a CNN article

While Rihanna is on the list, it might have been a waste of a hacker’s energy, because the singer is known for frequently sharing revealing photos of herself on Twitter and Instagram.

 

BUT IT DOES MATTER!!!

 

It matters because you are dismissing the violation of privacy.

 

It’s the equivocal blaming the girl in the short dress for being raped.

 

It’s ok because she dressed provocatively.

 

It’s ok because of their past exploits.

 

It’s ok because she’s already been naked on the internet.

 

IT’S NOT OK!!!

 

Here’s the point, permission wasn’t granted.  A private moment was made public, and that is wrong.

 

Whether you are celebrity.

 

Whether you’ve published your naked body in national magazines.

 

Or whether you were that girl who sent her boyfriend a naked selfie and trusted him not to share it with his friends.

 

That’s the other part of this story that no one is talking about.

 

This violation of private photos occurs DAILY in society.

 

Amateur nude selfies are posted by angry boyfriends or girlfriends, or worse yet obtained in illegal ways, and there’s no media attention, no one screaming rape, no blog posts or lawsuits, only shame and blame.

 

This is an issue that goes way beyond the celebrity circle, and it’s time to put an end to the double standard and stop blaming the victim no matter who they are.

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My Perspective: Battling the Monster of Mental Illness

My Perspective Mental Illness

 

If you are new here, you might not be aware that I’m a crazy person.

 

Like literally certifiable crazy.

 

I’ve written about my Borderline Personality Disorder and about BigE’s struggles with his own demons. We’ve been working through it all together. Our family and friends try to understand, but for those who don’t suffer from mental illness it’s hard to comprehend.

 

I can’t count how many times people just say “snap out of it” or “Just laugh a little you need a better sense of humor.”

 

Laughter is not the cure, empathy is.

 

To those of you that have no idea how Robin Williams could end his life, or why your wife is curled in the fetal position crying for what appears to be no reason or why the person who seems to have it all together is crumbling inside here’s what mental illness feels like.

 

You jump into a pool.

 

Each time you try to swim toward the surface a hand grabs your ankle and pulls you back down. You can see people on the edge of the pool laughing, smiling, waving at you to come up for air, but each time you try you are pulled back down again. Eventually after so much struggling you give up, you sit on the bottom of the pool watching as life floats by. Unable to join in the fun, and unable to reach up to the light you always see. You are trapped in darkness and soon the light at the top of the pool become fainter and fainter. Your lungs, deprived of oxygen, begin to fill with water, and soon you are consumed. Not one person reached down to pull you up, not one person jumped in with you. You were all alone, and suffering in the darkness.

 

Mental Illness

 

For those of us with mental illness that’s how we feel EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.

 

So often those at the edge of the pool become frustrated or angry because you “just aren’t yourself today”.

 

Umm, yeah no shit.

 

I’m not myself everyday it’s just that today I’ve let my guard down. Today, the world feels like it’s closing in on me and I feel like I’m suffocating and the only way to relieve the pain is to end it…end it all.

 

You want your wife, daughter, mother back, but the person you know is just a farce. There’s so much more and you aren’t ready to face it, and those of us suffering live in shame. We have disappointed you yet again because we let Pandora open the box and all the shit came streaming out. Even though it may be once in a great while when the shit storm hits, it decimates everything in its path.

 

In and effort to squelch the storm we pop pills and see therapists, but the reality is mental illness is never cured.

 

It’s wrangled like a beast in a cage. It lurks under the surface always ready to escape. Those of us with brains in overdrive, we see life differently and experiences are magnified exponentially. There are days when we can’t stop the beast from emerging and on those days we need YOU – the spouse, brother, sister, mother, father and friend. We NEED you to reach out to us and hold our hand.

 

Reassure us that the monster inside is only a small part of who we are that we are so much more than our illness. This monster will not take us and we will not live in fear and worry. Tell us that you will help us slay this monster, and that no matter what happens you will always love us.

 

I can tell you this as I battled my own monster. I have attempted suicide 5 times in my life the earliest being in High School, I’ve had my stomach pumped 3 times, my wrists bandaged twice. I’ve popped countless pills and visited a plethora of therapists. If my mom is reading this, her heart is breaking right now. I know she wondered what she could have done differently.

 

The reality is sometimes holding us tightly may not be enough. The monster has already consumed us.

 

Ending it all is not a selfish decision. I always get angry when people say that. It’s a strong and albeit weirdly brave decision to step off that cliff and let the monster consume you. In a way it’s like you are making a sacrifice, all the pain and guilt you’ve held in forever, and the wake of pain you’ve caused others disappears in that one moment you make the final decision to fall.

 

I’ve been there and I know.

 

It’s a physical pain that unless you’ve experienced it, you will have no concept of its engulfing power, and its ability to lure you to the depths of sadness and lock you there forever.

 

You feel your only escape is the end.

 

That’s why we need an army.

 

Those of us with mental illness need our family and friends to stand with us on the battlefield. Even if you don’t understand it or “get it” please just hold our hand and stand by us as we fight this fight. We are strong, but sometimes the monster is stronger and it takes many warriors to wage a war. Even on the days when we appear to have it all together the fight still wages on and we still need you. Together we will defeat the monster of mental illness, so that no one needs to wage this battle alone.

 

The monster can’t take another victim.

 

Mental Illness 2

My Perspective: Do I Deserve to be an American?

American

 

“Hey buddy, what have you been learning at preschool,” I inquire during the trip home from school.

 

“Oh, we learn bout Merica,” he states matter of factly.

 

“Did you learn the Pledge of Allegiance,” of course the moment the question came out of my mouth I knew the answer.

 

Of course they didn’t learn the Pledge of Allegiance, because no one says it anymore. You know because of GOD and religion and schools and some other politically correct BS.

 

As I drove home, I tried to recite it in my head and for a few moments I stopped and stuttered before finally finishing it.

 

Seriously?

 

It was Independence Day and my kids had no clue about The Pledge of Allegiance and I could barely recite it.

 

Which got me thinking…Do I really deserve to be an American?

 

Sure I was born here.

 

I at one time {aka the dark ages} said the Pledge of Allegiance every day.

 

We hang an American flag out front of our house on Flag Day, Memorial Day and Independence Day.

 

We stand and remove our hats for the National Anthem.

 

But if push came to shove and I had to take the US Citizenship test would I pass?

 

Here are a few questions…

 

America 3

America 2

How Many Amendments

 

And the answer would be a Definitive NO.

 

It’s quite pathetic really. I an American preach the American Dream the land of bounty and democracy, freedom to the people and yet I have no FREAKING idea who some of the people are running our government, what the branches do and how the heck it all works.

 

Perhaps I’ve been subjected to too many X-Files episodes with government conspiracy theories, or maybe I’m just old and can’t remember my Civics lessons {Sorry Mr. Linderman}

 

Whatever it is, I’m embarrassed.

 

I’m embarrassed that my children don’t know the Pledge of Allegiance, that they don’t know the words to the National Anthem {granted they are 4 and 7}.

 

Their American education will be up to me {the American poser}, because they will never learn it in school. I’m sure it doesn’t fit into the Common Core curriculum.

 

How on earth can the future of America, be in the hands of children who have no concept. It’s scary and sad.

 

Frankly, the country needs to change.

 

We take so much for granted. Our children have no clue how our freedom was won, and what we do to protect it and honor it. In fact, all they see, more often than not are news stories on how messed up it all is. How money and greed rule the world and influences our nation.

 

The moment Little Red and I arrive home,  I hop on the internet and show both boys the words to the Pledge of Allegiance and I teach them how to stand with your hand of your heart.

 

Then together we said…

 

I pledge Allegiance to the flag
of the United States of America
and to the Republic for which it stands,
one nation under God, indivisible,
with Liberty and Justice for all.

 

It’s a beginning.

 

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