Nearly 22,000 women held a peaceful demonstration in South Korea, to draw attention to the rampancy of Spycam porn in the country. As per an article published in Korea Expose, the police data says that there have been over 6,000 cases each year between 2013 to 2017, where people, mainly women, have been filmed without their consent, using spy cameras. The real numbers, however, may be much higher. These videos, which are filmed on mobile phones or hidden cameras as well are often accepted by South Korean internet users (generally male), as a ‘natural’ genre of porn. The South Korean women feel that the police have failed to curb the rising cases of spycam porn because there is a “structural sexism behind the justice system”.

The menace of spycam porn, or porn filmed using hidden cameras, hits us close to home as well. We have seen a steep rise in the number of cases where young girls have complained of falling prey to such trickery.

But what is more concerning, is how casually men proceed to share such videos.

There is a difference between spycam porn and Studio-made Porn films

Like South Korea there are numerous Indian men who view pornographic content filmed on mobiles or hidden cameras. Such material, usually outrages the modesty of unsuspecting victims who are caught off guard in delicate moments. Indian women have to wary of hidden camera almost everywhere, from hotel rooms, changing booths, public toilets, PGs and even bathrooms.

The Peeping Toms of the world have found a new ally on the Internet, and it has become easier for voyeurs to peek at women through the virtual window. They have even managed to corrupt a device meant for our safety, and turned it into a sexual threat. For most men who view such content, this is as harmless as studio-made porn movies.

However, there is a big difference between spycam porn and porn filmed with the consent of the participating parties.

Every time men share or watch a video of women changing clothes in a booth, having a bath or of a couple having sex, they cannot reject the fact that both or one participant in that video may not be aware of the filming. Hence even the benign act of viewing becomes a moral crime.

There is a wide section of men around the world who view these videos especially because they are voyeuristic in nature. The non-consensual part of the video somehow appeals to their twisted mindset. Deliberate or not, the spycam porn fails to bring in strong repercussions for makers of such videos. This is simply because viewers find nothing unethical about them.

Filming pornographic content without consent of the person and viewing it is a criminal offence.

It calls for harsh punishment. But it also calls for raising awareness about how wrong it is to view such content on moral grounds. Thus sharing or viewing of such content should come with some punishment as well.

Consent is small a word which makes a big difference when it comes to sex or porn. It transforms an activity from being harmless fun to being unlawful. Touching someone without consent is wrong, sharing or watching spycam porn is also a violation of someone’s consent. And the responsibility to honour that consent falls on men. With increasing awareness around sexual crimes, men can no longer classify spycam porn as harmless studio-made porn. Because if the current movement against sexual crimes around the world is anything  to go by, they may have to pay a hefty price for such trivialisation of a serious crime.

Also Read : Centre To Build Hotline To Curb Child Porn, Rape Videos

Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section. The views expressed are the author’s own.

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