How do you solve a problem like “the fapenning”? Since dozens of private nude photographs of female celebrities were hacked, leaked, and widely disseminated this past weekend, commentators have proposed a raft of remedies: Some have suggested that women themselves can prevent their own victimization by never snapping nude selfies at all. Others insist the American legal system must step up toinvestigate and prosecute the hackers. Or perhaps Apple’s lax security measures are really to blame. Still others have proposed that incidents like this one can be fixed with a collective attitude adjustment. At Al Jazeera America, for example, Lux Alptraum argues that destigmatizing sex is the key to preventing hackers from exploiting women: If women are no longer forced to view their sexuality as a shameful expression that ought to be hidden from the world, she says, then hackers will have little reason to ever pull back the curtain.
Destigmatizing female sexuality is an important project, but it is not the remedy to this problem. The central issue here isn’t that the people hacking, leaking, and sharing these photos view women’s bodies as shameful. It’s that they view women’s bodies as property