Porn revenge the new kind of foul play

We used to think that in every civilized corner of the Caribbean, people who exposed their nudity, or had images of themselves, with consent, portrayed obscenely in public were punishable by law. And upon consequent reasoning, we guessed it even more punishable for those who would distribute, publish or post surreptitiously online intimate and saucy scenes of private bedroom business.

Upon reflection though, national stance on nude imageries has not always been pellucid. It has not been forgotten that at one time a prominent cleric had recommended porno movies as a possible means of stimulating the sex life of a boring and routine marriage. That was bedroom business –– contrived and make-believe as it was by unabashed actors “from over and away” –– for private viewing and therapeutic invigoration.

The jury is till out on the clergyman’s submission.

But we have been more troubled –– taken aback –– by the knowledge that the government of Trinidad is now making some attempt to deal with this criminal act of posting other people’s private chamber activities on the Internet, not so much as prankish fun as an intent to cause public embarrassment, subjection to ridicule, humiliation, disrespect and possibly hatred. Trinidad’s Attorney General Anand Ramlogan’s coming anti-cybercrime legislation bill, it is hoped, will take care of this growing despicable trend in his country.

The proposed new law will cover as well cyberblackmail and cyberbullying, the forerunners of publication or posting of another’s nudity online by an avenger. We shall see how far the Trinidadian authorities get with this in the next few weeks.

Actually, this demonic act of porn revenge is far more widespread than some of us would like to admit, not to mention its nefarious precursor of cyberblackmail. When we consider that at the click of a mouse some foul and degenerate reprobate can sully another’s reputation, cause significant psychological anguish, ruin a life, we have no alternative than to exact the maximum penalty for such degradation and wickedness.

The most common perpetrators are these revengeful ex-partners, who will wantonly expose their former spouses while taking care to extricate themselves from any of the publicly posted bedroom penetralia and exposure. And this becomes only possible, sadly, when couples trust each other with intimate picture-taking, only to become victims of a digital age gone amoral and awry.

We were hardly amused when, over pudding and souse one Saturday recently, in another place, a young woman was said to be not visible in her neighbourhood since being seen nude on the Internet last year. Her “exposed naked assets” were allegedly posted by a jilted boyfriend.

Unhappily, the neighbours were more concerned with gloating at the victim’s “ill-mannered” mother’s ill ease about it than with empathizing with the girl and her undeserved public shame.

Then there is the report out of Guyana of a young man being set bail at GUY$125,000 after being accused of posting to the public nude and obscene photographs of a former girlfriend on BlackBerry Messenger. The story is the man allegedly asked the young woman, whom he had dated several times, to let him see her phone, which she did, and he secretly sent nude pictures of her from her phone to his.

After a later disagreement, the police charge goes, the woman was purportedly informed by several other people that nude pictures of her were being broadcast via BBM. The young woman evidently had the courage to report the matter to the police.

It’s a growing problem on the Internet everywhere (including the United States where the First Amendment defending freedom of speech has morphed into protecting freedom of expression of all kind) where former lovers get revenge by posting their former spouse’s racy pictures, which were supposedly for their eyes only –– men against women; women against men.

Thinking he’s the one, or she’s the one, these lovers let each other take explicit naked pictures of each other. The ultimate bond?

In a society like ours where privacy and confidentiality are would be archaic –– and are rapidly approaching obsolete –– couples may need to speak more to the soul of the other, rather than to the heart. We believe it was Prime Minister Freundel Stuart who advised Bajan women they should take care the men they choose –– not tend them; select with caution. No doubt, MESA’s Ralph Boyce would advise men to do the same –– of women, of course.

Revenge porn victims also claim finding themselves often swamped with messages from a multitude of weirdos and creeps in possession of their posted contact information.

This revenge porn will create not only untold social harm for its sufferers, but for society at large, including those who guffaw at the circumstance, for it delineates the kinds of expectations we have of each other. Shall we lamentably no longer trust one another?

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