Yesterday, on Law and Order: SVU Tuesdays on USA (yes it’s a thing) I saw a rerun of an episode about sexting. To briefly summarize, the teenage victim had texted nude photos of herself to her bf, and someone was beating her up. She refused to give the name of her abuser so the ADA had her arrested for producing, owning and distributing child pornography to get her to talk. In standard SVU fashion things blew up and the corrupt judge refused to drop the charges. Olivia was not pleased, this was a mistake made by a teenager, she argued, but the Captain pointed out that the victim was damaging herself, the photos could be seen by college recruiters employers or her own future children. The pixels would never fully disappear and her reputation would be irreparably damaged. Everyone learns a valuable lesson, roll credits.
Unfortunately, Donald Cragen was correct, but he shouldn’t be. Nude photos and previous sex acts should not ruin someone’s reputation, ever. Sex isn’t bad, two consenting adults (or teenagers with an appropriate age ratio) having it is not bad. Naked photos are not bad. We should be free to love our bodies and embrace our sexual desires without fear of a scar on our permanent social record.
Which brings me to Kim Kardashian. Full disclosure, I love Kim Kardashian. First of all she’s fucking gorgeous. Second of all, she built an empire out of nothing but some celebrity friendships and a sex tape. I could start naming the endeavors of the Kardashian family that I know off the top of my head and would still probably miss at least half.
On the one hand I support taking a sex tape, the shame and scorn of the media and your peers that comes with it, and turning it into something amazing. On the other hand, it is only because of the scrutiny that she was able to get where she is today. It’s not that she fucked Ray-J, it’s that everyone gave a fuck. We shouldn’t live in a society where we care so much about that kind of thing.
Despite everything that she’s accomplished that tape comes up time and time again because we can’t get over it.
For both men and women in our society we should celebrate our sexuality, embrace it, enjoy it, and then move on.
My wish is that one day, people will watch that same Law and Order I did and think that what Captain Cragen said is insane, why on Earth would college admissions officers or employers care about about your sex life. And I hope that people can record their sex acts if they and their partner(s) so choose and not worry that it being seen will ruin a career.
Sex is good. Period. And we need to stop accepting it and stop punishing it.