by Kimaya Singh
While there was major hype over both Jennifer Lawrence’s and her fans’ reaction to her photos being leaked, there was yet another part of the leak that Lawrence was involved in that sparked a debate among many.
When explaining why there were nude photos of her taken in the first place, Lawrence said that she was in a “loving, healthy, great relationship for four years.” After stating that it was long distance, she further claimed that “either your boyfriend is going to look at porn or he’s going to look at you.”
Not surprisingly, this sparked discussions on social media and Lawrence was quickly critiqued by feminist speakers who believed that she was degrading herself by presenting her partner with photos to solidify their relationship. Furthermore, many took offense to the implication that all men need to look at porn to survive unless their partner sends them nude photos.
On the other hand, many fans and social media users rallied to Lawrence’s defense, championing her right to send whatever photos she desired to her partner at the time. According to them, while it was unfortunate that the photos were leaked, it was perfectly sound for her to have those photos on her cloud storage if she so wanted them to be. Rachel Saquing, a sophomore Health Sciences major, compared Lawrence’s photos to wedding boudoir photo shoots, claiming that “it’s basically the same thing- you’re doing something between you and your partner so ethically, there’s nothing wrong with that.”
This debate doesn’t just take place over the internet or about celebrities however. Sexting, or the act of sending sexually explicit text messages or photographs, is becoming increasingly popular among both students and graduates, thus begging the question of its propriety.
Even at Chapman, sexting is steadily playing a larger part in social interactions and relationships. When asked about the relevance of sexting on campus, Saquing said that she believed “college and sexting almost go hand-in-hand.” While she doesn’t take part in it, she acknowledges that “a substantial part of the Chapman community does it to different degrees. Not everyone is sending nudes obviously, but it’s definitely prevalent and can be something as simple as a flirtatious booty call text.”
So- is sexting right or wrong? Is sending nude photos degrading or not?
These are questions that are slowly coming to the forefront of both student and graduate life. With no clearcut answers at the moment, it is at least clear that the debate regarding both questions will continue to get more heated in the near future and in years to come.