Upskirting: what should have been illegal in the first place

Apparently, taking pictures up women’s skirts was actually legal up until last Friday due to a ‘loophole’ in the wording of a law. It’s illegal to take pictures of someone who is ‘partially nude’ yet because of this, ‘upskirting’ remained legal on the basis that women were technically fully clothed.

Luckily, once the loophole was realized, Governor Deval Patrick officially banned the practice. But it wasn’t until March 3 that the legality of the issue in Massachusetts was realized. It took two days for the Senate to jump on fixing the law, yet it still comes into question: What other loopholes are being allowed?

Danny Cevallos of CNN brought up the complications in the wording of the law: “ If a defendant photographs a woman at the beach in a bikini, she is neither partially nude nor does she have an expectation of privacy. But if she then puts on a sarong and hops on a bus, should it be illegal to photograph up her skirt?” He continues to say that this may not be considered a legal invasion of privacy. But still this moral problem remains of taking pictures up skirts in the first place.

Finding some flaws in the new law, Harvard students started a #DemandRespectMA campaign which focuses on the principle that a woman’s silence is not her consent. Because according to the leader of the campaign, Rory Gerberg, the new law: “does not include language to protect victims who are aware the harassment is taking place but do not consent.”

Women’s consent is a major issue considering the debates about rape and rape culture, luckily these students are making an effort to try and speak out in favor of women’s rights. Because the word ‘no’ is still not taken seriously.

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