Comment: Dear Jan, I wrote you, but you still ain’t callin’

Hunger Games actress Jennifer Lawrence was a target of revenge porn

Sarah McMullan

A reply to Jan Moir of the Daily Mail.

Dear Jan, I am writing to you in regards to your recent article in the Daily Mail about revenge porn.

Your portrait of modern women in the article is repugnant and misguided and to be polite I feel your 1,000-word-long spew categorically misses the point.

It belittles the issue which has been deemed severe enough to warrant a custodial sentence by the British judicial system.

And the way in which you ask ‘girls’ to stop being ‘complicit in their own mortification’ re-energises the age-old argument that women are components of blame in crimes against them.

What is more, the fact that you equate the latest Little Mix video with porn leaves the reader questioning if you’ve ever watched a music video post 1970?

You speak about the internet as a ‘funfair’, I presume you are someone who sends relentless Farmville requests to acquaintances on Facebook, and reminisce about the good-old-days when porn was kept on the top shelf of the newsagents.

The fact of the matter is, however, that all of that is filler for your one key point.

That women should just ‘keep their pants on’ instead of falling victim to these ‘brutes’.

Women should not drink because it puts them at risk. Women should not dress in a provocative manner because it makes them vulnerable. Women should not take pictures of themselves because someone might completely abuse their trust and sell it on for profit.

Victim, women, nudity, vulnerability – it is a rhetoric that has been done to death and yet life persists in that old dog. Much to your delight it would appear.

Your article fails to address the commonplace expectation that women are fully autonomous individuals whose fate should not be determined by men in their life.

And alongside that, that when these pictures are taken, there is a sizeable expectation of privacy.

These are normal women, in private relationships, whose bodies have been used against them as a means of embarrassment and manipulation.

And your five-star solution to this? Fine the men to teach them a lesson and give the women a stern talking to about their promiscuity.

What did it feel like when that lightbulb went off above your head?

You refer throughout to impressionable young girls who are ready to flaunt their boobs and be caught on camera because they have been reared by sexualised images on the internet.

In news which may be shocking to you, revenge porn does not explicitly apply to a slew of young women.

It is a crime committed against women of all ages and your failure to acknowledge this demonstrates your absolute giddiness in tarnishing a generation of young people with your archaic outlook.

Your article also raises the issue of consent. Yes, these images have been taken with consent under the premise that it would be viewed by one person.

Surely the definition of consent then shifts when that image becomes available to the whole of the internet.

These are merely a few points for you to consider if you should approach this topic again.

If this letter fails to reach you I will presume that you have been too busy baking a cake whilst wearing a snow-suit.

Very best,

Sarah McMullan.


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