Woodrow Hartzog discusses developing the existing legal concept of “implied confidentiality” to help people address privacy violations. He explains:
We should have a better national dialogue about a romantic partner’s obligations of confidentiality. Salient norms of confidentiality would strengthen our relationships as well as the legal remedies for those whose trust has been betrayed.
Instead of prohibiting a certain kind of speech, confidentially law enforces express or implied promises and shared expectations. The tort of breach of confidentiality is currently very limited in scope, but could be made much more robust to sit alongside the more commonly asserted privacy torts.
I think this also fits nicely with my consent-based model–distributing a private image without consent would indeed be a breach in implied confidentiality.
Famous kidnapping survivor Elizabeth Smart speaks out against abstinence-only education:
When Smart spoke at a Johns Hopkins University panel last week, she explained one of the factors deterring her from escaping her attacker: She felt so worthless after being raped that she felt unfit to return to her society, which had communicated some hard and fast rules about premarital sexual contact.
“I remember in school one time, I had a teacher who was talking about abstinence,” Smart told the panel. “And she said, ‘Imagine you’re a stick of gum. When you engage in sex, that’s like getting chewed. And if you do that lots of times, you’re going to become an old piece of gum, and who is going to want you after that?’ Well, that’s terrible. No one should ever say that. But for me, I thought, ‘I’m that chewed-up piece of gum.’ Nobody re-chews a piece of gum. You throw it away. And that’s how easy it is to feel you no longer have worth. Your life no longer has value.”
Survivors of rape and trafficking, she said, need to be “given permission to fight back,” and that requires them “to know you are of value.”
Full video here.
In the 2008 BBC documentary Virgin Daughters Randy Wilson explains why he holds purity balls. He says, “There’s a core question that the … woman has in her being that needs to be answered and that is, am I beautiful? am I worthy of being pursued?” One of his daughters elaborates in an NYT article:
“Something I need from dad is affirmation, being told I’m beautiful,” said Jordyn Wilson, 19, another daughter of Randy and Lisa. “If we don’t get it from home, we will go out to the culture and get it from them.”
Luckily, multinational personal care company Dove (owned by Unilever, which in turn owns over 400 brands including, by the way, Slim Fast) has the answer for girls and women as well, and it is YES: “You are more beautiful than you think.“
Then again, Katie Makkai has another answer which I quite prefer: This is the wrong question.
Jazzy Little Drops agrees as well:
Dove was right about one thing: you are more beautiful than you know. But please, please hear me: you are so, so much more than beautiful.
A fantastic new report on sexting from Kath Albury, Kate Crawford, Paul Byron, and Ben Mathews was released today. They offer a list of practical recommendations that legislators, educators, prosecutors, and parents would do well to take into account. Here are some highlights of the report’s excellent recommendations:
- We recommend that both educational and legal responses to sexting reflect ‘harm reduction’ principles rather than promoting abstinence from the production and exchange of digital photos between peers or from using social media.
- We recommend that sexting education be more focused on fostering ethical, respectful practices between intimate partners and within friendship networks.
- We recommend that educational strategies that address sexting, including information resources for adults, seek to problematise and challenge gendered double-standards in relation to concepts such as ‘provocativeness’, ‘self-confidence’, ‘responsibility’, ‘consequences’ and ‘reputation’.
- We recommend that educational strategies that address sexting, including information resources for adults, distinguish between non-consensual production and distribution of sexting images and consensual image sharing.
- These educational strategies should emphasise ethical frameworks, and recognise that sexting can be an expression of intimacy, rather than shaming young people for sexting. Framing sexual expression only as a risk does little to alleviate anxieties or feelings of shame that young people may experience in relation to their sexualities.
Over at HASTAC, Cathy Davidson reminds us that the current panic about technology is not the first of its kind:
“The discovery of the [this new technology] will create forgetfulness in the learners’ souls, because they will not use their memories; they will trust to the external written characters and not remember of themselves . . . You give your disciplines not truth but only the semblance of truth; they will be heroes of many things, and will have learned nothing; they will appear to be omniscient and will generally know nothing.”
The new technology here? The alphabet. The speaker of gloom and doom about the ignorance of youth, none other than Socrates, complaining about his know-nothing alphabet-crazed students in “Phaedrus.”
Fortunately, one of those students happened to be Plato. He wrote down his mentor’s words. Otherwise we would not know about this stupid younger generation.
Think about it next time you are inclined to think “kids today” are ignorant and their iPhones or iPods or video games make it so.
Since the invention of written language itself we have worried about the same thing, over and over again. Why does it never get old? Why is it so easy to make new technologies bear the burden of all our hopes and fears for the future? How would we think about and use new media differently if they were not staggering under all this conceptual weight?
For the same reason, “cyberbullying” is term that obscures more than it describes: