Chrissy Chambers Petitions for United States Legislation Against Revenge Pornography
Before the relationship ended, and without my knowledge or consent, my ex filmed himself having sex with me, and when we broke up he posted them online and they were shared to over 30 pornography sites.
Chrissy Chambers c/o change.org
Chrissy Chambers, a popular YouTube celebrity who co-partners the BriaAndChrissy channel, came forward recently and revealed that she too has been a victim of revenge pornography. She is participating in ongoing revenge porn civil and criminal cases in the United Kingdom. Nearly one week ago, Chambers started a change.org petition calling for legislation in the United States to outlaw revenge porn, like similar legislation in other countries. So far, it has been met with a warm welcome.
In a video released by Chambers herself, she recounts the history of her relation to revenge porn. She focuses on her battles and difficulties since the end of her previous relationship. The alleged perpetrator has not been mentioned, and will remain alleged until a court can rule as to whether Chambers’ allegations are valid and hold weight. However, it’s very clear that Chrissy Chambers has suffered deep emotional and mental hardship due to revenge pornography. Substance abuse, PTSD, therapy, and immense emotional recovery are just a handful of difficulties that Chambers has been forced to endure since her consent was violated. Now she’s coming forward to save others the same trouble.
When I first saw them I felt like I’d been stripped of my dignity. Each one included my full name, and my ex had included text calling me a slut and a horrible role model. By the time I found them, they had been viewed tens of thousands of times.
Chrissy Chambers c/o change.org
The Revenge of Revenge Porn
In the past we’ve written about the depths of revenge porn, the ethics surrounding it, current and past legislation, and the legal status of revenge porn around the world. We’ve focused on consent, or lack-thereof, the education of revenge porn, as well as the frank discussion about what it actually represents. It’s fairly well known that sexual acts without consent are akin to rape, and if legislation is passed in the United States to reflect this, revenge porn could soon be seen as legal sexual assault. It’s already disapproved of ethically.
The reality is that what happened to me was a form of sexual assault, and it should be treated that way by the law. No one should be able to get away with posting explicit photos or videos of another person without their consent, or profiting off running a website that hosts that content.
Chrissy Chambers c/o change.org
Arguments for the legitimacy of revenge porn have a lot to do with convenience, freedom, and shaming victims. It doesn’t take a lot of effort to see how poorly these arguments hold water. In a modern society that values the safety and freedom of its people, how do we justify stripping the freedoms of one individual for another? How do we justify shaming victims for actions they did not intend to occur?
Advocates for revenge porn might argue that if the photo exists, they implicitly consent for it to be released to the public. Or, at the very least, the majority of the blame is theirs to hold for these actions taking place. This is abhorrent thinking. It is not the sole responsibility of one person to police and prevent their own victimization. It is the majority responsibility for others not to violate their rights, freedoms, and consent. It appears, however, we only value these freedoms when it is convenient to protect.
Advocates for revenge porn may also argue that it’s a photographers freedom to govern the use of a photograph they have taken, with or without their subjects consent. If the photo was of your adult child, or your significant other, or yourself, would you agree with such a claim? All for the sake of revenge, or at the very least pleasure?
No matter how you slice it, an individual is entitled to a life free of unwarranted shame and earned respect. They deserve to be championed if their rights or consent are violated, not for violators to be praised. Ethically, this is a well understood point. Until the law catches up and legislation is introduced, victims will go undefended. This is what Chrissy Chambers’ petition is designed for.
Support for Victims of Revenge Porn and Rape
Chrissy Chambers’ holds one strong voice among many who have met the same fate. Chambers was not spoken for, so now she speaks for others. There are hundreds, if not thousands of individuals who have had their consent trampled on by being featured on revenge porn websites. Many more who have been assaulted sexually and have yet to find justice. In delivering revenge porn content to the world, real people are being affected, and real people are being damaged. It doesn’t matter who speaks up for them, so long as people speak out against injustice and advocate for proactive and healthy reform.
Despite how quiet it may be, there is worldwide outrage. Chrissy Chambers has already met a great deal of support for her cause. Her petition is nearing 6,000 supporters, and her campaign against revenge porn is going viral. Those who have faced these hardships are standing up for those who cannot or will not speak. It would be nice if those who have an ethical or moral standing against injustice would follow suit as well.
Why Revenge Porn?
The reason why revenge porn is so popular is because it fills a niche that people want to explore. It’s taboo. It’s wrong. If enthusiasts of true revenge porn give into these urges, then they’re actively hurting others for their own selfish enjoyment. Is that right? It’s legally acceptable in the United States, but is it ethical? Do we really need to be victimized to understand it’s wrong to make individuals into victims?
As said before, if you really enjoy the concept of revenge porn, side with pornographers who distribute legitimate content that is safe and does not breach actual consent. Enjoy performers who actually want to perform. And if those performers can’t fill your niche, find a way to fulfill it without hurting others. If there was no demand for actually violating the consent of others, there would be little-to-no actual violations. Fantasies are good, but fantasies that actually hurt others are not. There must be a compromise that preserves the rights and freedoms of one, without damaging another’s. Hopefully Chrissy Chambers’ petition gets the United States one step closer to embracing the protection of all people.