Revenge Rape and the First Amendment
Long dead English playwright William Congreve penned the famous (paraphrased) line: “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.” Thanks to today’s cell phone technology and wandering morals, we will see if the First Amendment’s “free speech” will withstand the latest furious onslaught from one Holly Jacobs (nee Thometz).
Ms. Holly claims to be a victim of Revenge Sex, the new train wreck of social media morality, privacy rights, private property rights and individual responsibility when, in 2006, she sent nude pictures of herself to her boyfriend. When the relationship went south two years later, Ms. Jacobs subsequently found those pictures on over 200 “revenge porn” web sites.
For the uninitiated, Revenge Sex is the sharing of intimate pictures and videos young women (GF) create for their new love interest (BF) using the features of their latest Smart Phones while ignoring the old technology of Thought (DUH). As with many marriages, these hook-ups end early and badly, with the GF leaving and the BF nursing his rejection - but still in possession of those revealing and usually salacious videos. You can see where this is going…
BF uploads said pics and vids to web sites specializing in Revenge Porn. At some point, former GF learns that more of herself than she ever imagined was spread across the Internet courtesy of the old BF. That is Revenge Sex.
A Google search for “Holly Jacobs Revenge Porn” returns 1.3 million results, most of which recount her travails after learning what her “ex” (allegedly) did after he became “ex’d”. While her experience was horrific in many ways, Ms. Jacobs’ “revenge” is to not only continue as an activist/spokeswoman against Revenge Sex, but push for laws against it. While noble on the surface and accompanied by a compelling emotional pull, the coming collision with the First Amendment (and others) should be everyone’s primary concern. Ms. Jacobs states “This material was only meant for the eyes of the person I shared it with.” Aye! There’s the rub! (So to speak). However, there is no statement from Ms. Jacobs her graphic displays came with a caveat or a statement on Limits of Distribution or Retention of Ownership. Police provided no satisfaction citing Ms. Jacobs was over 18 and was responsible for sending the “material” in the first place.
My friend and occasional broadcast partner, FOX News Senior Judicial Analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano correctly points out: “The Government has no business deciding which speech should be heard…spoken or, in printed or digital form should be viewed. Criminalizing that which was freely given and freely received would be invalidated under the First Amendment. The First Amendment is not the guardian of taste.”
Would you be amazed and appalled to learn Ms. Jacobs does not agree? In fact, she coined a new term for her experience: Cyber Rape. She claims while actual rape victims were told: “you were asking for it,” Revenge Rape victims are told: “you never should have taken those pictures.” To them, Ms Jacobs advises: “Do not for one second blame yourself.”
So there you have it: cyber morality! You voluntarily take off your clothes…voluntarily take revealing pictures (or more)…voluntarily send them to your BBF. When you receive international Internet exposure, you’re a victim without accountability – not even “for one second.”
Not wasting any more seconds of her own, Ms .Jacobs is working with lawmakers in Florida to pass a bill that would make publishing revenge porn without a victim’s consent a third-degree felony, essentially asking the force of the State to punish someone else for her indiscretion.
“Everybody’s going to see me naked, and everybody’s going to see me do things I never wanted anybody to see except the person I was with. But if it’s in the name of the cause and to change the laws about this, then I’m happy to do it. We’re all naked underneath our clothes.”
That we are, Ms. Jacobs but clothed or naked, blaming others for our bad decisions and risky behavior is even more revealing than your Revenge Porn vids.
You cannot have Freedom and Liberty without Individual Responsibility. Any serious consideration of Ms. Jacobs proposed law would be the legislative rape of Liberty.