Chris Evans' leaked nude photos spark debate on sexist double standards
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No one should have their private photos leaked, not ordinary people and not a very high profile celebrity beloved by millions.

Yet Chris Evans was the talk of the weekend when he accidentally posted a video on his Instagram story containing a nude photo.

It must be an incredibly embarrassing situation for anyone to be in, so it’s surprisingly nice to see how fans have responded. There has been no slut-shaming, criticism or negativity – instead, people have chosen to either joke about the incident or urge others to respect his privacy.

The outpouring of support for Evans is a welcome, if bittersweet, change compared to incidents in the past when women’s nudes have been leaked.

When similar incidents have happened to women, they are rarely treated with the same respect or dignity. The double standard is clear.

While everyone is pleased that the actor hasn’t been the subject of controversy, the incident has also sparked a conversation about the unfortunate double standard when it comes to NSFW images.

When other (woman) celebrities have had their photos leaked, they have often been unfairly targeted for owning them.

Numerous celebrities including Sia, Iggy Azalea and Mary Elizabeth Winstead have had their privacy violated, but no one tried to protect them in the aftermath in they way Evans has.

We only need to look at the conversation around the 2014 iCloud hack – when thousands of private photos were leaked – to see how women are unjustifiably criticised for what they do in private.

When Jennifer Lawrence was among the victims, critics told her that she should’ve been more careful.

Lawrence responded as how everyone should – by acknowledging the culprit and how lightly these crimes are treated:

It is not a scandal. It is a sex crime. It is a sexual violation. It’s disgusting. The law needs to be changed, and we need to change.

Last year, Bella Thorne was celebrated for sharing her own topless photos when a hacker threatened to leak them, but high profile individuals like Whoopi Goldberg still criticised her: “If you’re famous, I don’t care how old you are,” she said. ”You don’t take nude pictures of yourself.”

What about the hacker: the actual person at fault?

Far too often, women are slut-shamed for taking nudes and are told that if they don’t want them leaked, they shouldn’t be taking them in the first place.

Such a reductive argument shifts blame to the victim, and insists that no one is entitled to privacy.

We only need to look at how often women are told to not wear revealing clothing if they don’t want to be raped to see how frequently sexual abuse and violence is normalised.

Conversely, the way people have treated Evans’ accident as a funny slip up to poke fun at also speaks to how these violations aren’t treated seriously with men either.

Above all, leaking nude photos is a violation of consent and it should be treated with the severity it demands – whether it resulted from a hack or an unfortunate accident.

We can only hope that in the future, the respect granted to Evans will also extend to women.

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