#Opinion

Why Do Private Images, Videos Of Women Go Viral?

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The past weeks saw two Bhojpuri actors’ private video leaked on the internet. Social media users were not only sharing the links for other people to see, they were being insensitive enough to troll the actors seen in the videos.

After actor Trisha Kar Madhu’s intimate video with her male partner leaked, she appealed to Pawan Singh, a big name in Bhojpuri film industry, for help. Her video was being massively shared all over the internet and many social media users blatantly abused her for it. The actor in her statement said that it was her ‘mistake’ that the video got leaked and asked people to at least help her remove it from the internet. Reacting to the massive abuse, the actor said, “If your sister gets married and the next day, someone leaks her first-night video, it will be good right?”

The videos shot in her private space with her partner was shared online without her consent. What pleasure do some people get by violating such clear, well-defined boundaries?

Not very long after the leak, another video surfaced online which allegedly had Bhojpuri actor Priyanka Pandit in a compromising position. It is not even confirmed that the video actually had Pandit in the video or someone who looked like her but some social media users took liberty to circulate the video everywhere. Some users had the audacity to post ‘link for download’ on Youtube, Twitter and other platforms.

Why did Priyanka Pandit MMS video go viral? Why were people sharing that stuff so much?

Since the time women’s private videos started leaking online, women have been made to take the blame for it. They are faced with speculation, “what if she leaked the video herself”. Even if it were true, who are we to judge and call them names?

Blaming women for anything and everything, we have often robbed them of basic support when something goes wrong with them. Survivors have been put to ‘agni pariksha‘ time and again. Why do all our trust issues always flare up when a woman complains of wrongdoing? Shouldn’t our focus be towards providing them with justice and put the perpetrators on trial?

Cyber crimes against women have been at an all time high. It is counted as cyber crime if an individual is harassed online, stalked, threatened and many other forms of abuse which the advanced internet has now made people capable of. Sextortion is one of them.

Many women all over the country are blackmailed by predators, sometimes their own partner, using their private pictures and videos. As per the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) the number of reported cases of cyber crimes have increasing every year. In 2019, a total of 44,546 cases of cyber crimes were reported from all over India.

As a society, we need to question what really do some of us find pleasurable about violating a woman’s privacy and her modesty without her consent. Why are little girls coerced by grown men into sending their nude photographs? Why are women made to live a life of fear, where they will be ‘ruined’ if a guy breaks their trust?

One is compelled to think why something of this sort seldom happens to a man. Why a man’s body and his sexual endeavors are not something people are interested in ‘leaking’. Because men are not conditioned to feel shame for it? Because their bodies are not meant to be ‘conquered’ ?

Women do not deserve to see themselves exposed in the dark alleys of the internet and see strange men treating them as nothing but sex objects. They don’t deserve to have their names searched by people for their leaked private moments and then abused by the same people for it.

Views expressed by the author are their own.