Was the publication of images showing Kate Middleton topless a sexual assault? I think so.
I’ve seen some people argue that, if you display your naked body in public, then you deserve to have it splashed across Euro-trash magazines. This is perhaps the worst argument for anything ever.
Let’s assume for a moment that Kate, or anyone else for that matter, took the decision to go to a nude beach. This would be unwise given her status, and the constant press photographers that trail her, but it’s certainly her right as a human being. Does her decision to sunbathe naked mean that she loses the right to control where her body is seen.
She has, after all, decided to display herself to those people on the beach. But, she is also able to see those people naked too. So there is, if you like, a sort of trust between them all. That trust is that they will all behave well, and will respect each others rights to privacy, however silly that might seem.
But that aside, Kate wasn’t on a beach, she was in a private residence. From a location nearby, a photographer with a really, really impressive telephoto lens camped, out of sight, and took photos of her while she relaxed in a private place. This is vile in itself, and there isn’t a person alive who would be happy with this, we’re all just lucky that we’re not trailed ad-nauseum by the scum of the gutter press.
But worse still, once they had fired off their spy-shots, these photographers sold them to magazines to publish, and the magazines did so.
Imagine what that must feel like for Kate. She’s at home, relaxing in the sun, and without her ever even knowing, a greasy little shit of a man is taking photos of her from a mile away. Then, without asking for her permission, a magazine has published them. Now, say I’m overreacting if you want, but that sounds like sexual assault to me.
To test, why don’t we all get cameras with long lenses and spy on people in their private property. My interpretation of the law is that you’ll be charged under the 2003 sexual offences act, which says you are committing an offence if:
(a) He operates equipment with the intention of enabling another person to observe, for the purpose of obtaining sexual gratification, a third person (B) doing a private act, and
(b) He knows that B does not consent to his operating equipment with that intention.
You can get two years in jail for that crime.
I’m sure lots of people won’t agree with me, but I honestly think Kate Middleton/Windsor has been subjected to a repulsive sex crime. If it happened to someone I know, I’d be outraged and I’d want justice and for someone to be punished.
Of course, everything is complicated by these photographs having been published abroad, but as a rule, I honest;y think editors need to start being punished when they step over the line. In a case like this, I think that could reasonably include a trip to the big house.
Am I overreacting? The comments are open for your views…
Photo credit: Tom Soper Photography via Flickr CC images