Is The Revenge Porn Issue Being Taken Seriously?

The adult film industry is constantly selling us a fantasy, and in order to enjoy it we typically suspend our disbelief. We don’t question how old an actress really is if she’s portraying a schoolgirl, or a step mom. We don’t ask why a plumber has six-pack abs. And if something lists itself as “amateur” we tend to treat it like a found-footage horror movie; we know they’re trying to make it look more realistic, and they’re doing it by using a smaller budget instead of a bigger one.

Sometimes, though, what you’re seeing is both real and hurtful. It’s why you need to keep a careful eye on anything labeled “revenge porn”.

The Revenge Porn Industry

Revenge porn is just what it sounds like. Say that a couple decides they’re going to take some nude photos, or film themselves having sex to add a little something extra to the bedroom. Then things go south, and they break up. If someone wanted to ruin his or her former partner (though this industry disproportionately affects women) then that person could post these photos or send the videos around for anyone to see. If your former partner is a teacher, this sort of incident could be a career ending one. Sending images like this to friends, family members, or co-workers could burn a lot of bridges, and make someone’s life miserable.

The problem is that in a lot of places in the U.S., revenge porn isn’t illegal.

How Is This Not Illegal?

While news and information about this terrible industry has gotten more common, it’s still not something everyone knows about. While 23 states have passed laws against it according to Last Week Tonight the issue remains an entrenched one. Partly it’s because people want to blame the victims (the most common response is “you shouldn’t take nude photos,” which is about as useful as saying, “never trust someone who might want to take revenge on you after a bad breakup”), and it’s partly because no one seems to want to talk about the issue.

Legislation has been introduced at the federal level to combat this problem, though. The Intimate Privacy Protection Act of 2015 would outlaw revenge porn, making it another one of those things that filmmakers would have to simulate instead of finding genuine film and video of people who are being exposed by angry exes who want to harass them and ruin their lives.

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