In a Washington, D.C. court case settled last month, a female judge dismissed charges against a man who allegedly took photos up women’s skirts at the Lincoln Memorial without their consent or knowledge.
The legality of the infamous upskirt shot has been a highly controversial topic, with sides arguing back and forth about a person’s First Amendment rights and a person’s right to privacy, so the recent news may come as a big disturbance to women out there. As collegiettes, we're seriously concerned.
According to the court filing of her ruling, D.C. Superior Court Judge Juliet McKenna argued that the issue at hand was "whether women in a public place with private areas of their bodies exposed to public view have a reasonable expectation of privacy.” Her response to this issue? No, a person does not have “a reasonable expectation of privacy” when “portions of the body exposed by the individual’s voluntary physical positioning and the fit and fabric of the clothing worn," which in this case, translates to simply wearing a skirt.
McKenna’s argument is clear, but it sounds to us like the explanation is just another case of victim blaming. The court seems to suggests that the women who chose to wore skirts to the Lincoln Memorial that day were intentionally “exposing” themselves and knowingly offering the private areas of their bodies to anyone who may want to take a picture.
In spite of the court’s outcome, McKenna described the perpetrator's behavior as “repellant and disturbing.” But in the long run, the acknowledgement has no significance since the verdict is still the same: taking upskirt photos in public isn't sufficient grounds for arrest.
What are your thoughts on the verdict, collegiettes? Share your reactions in the comments!