“She knew what she was doing”

From Jezebel.com:

A jury ruled yesterday against a woman who claimed her reputation was damaged after she was featured on a Girls Gone Wild video. What happened was, Jane Doe was dancing in a bar, and someone (another woman in the bar, not one of the crew members, though this obviously doesn’t make it ok) pulled her top down, exposing her breasts to the Girls Gone Wild camera crew. She never signed a consent form to appear on Girls Gone Wild exposing herself (as is procedure), and can be heard on the footage saying “no, no” when asked to show her breasts. So, basically she was assaulted on camera, and yet, when she sued Girls Gone Wild, the jury ruled against her. The jury foreman is quoted as saying

that they figured if she was willing to dance in front of the photographer, she was probably cool with having her breasts on film. They said she gave implicit consent by being at the bar, and by participating in the filming – though she never signed a consent form, and she can be heard on camera saying “no, no” when asked to show her breasts.

I don’t even have any words to describe how horrible this is. Being at a bar and dancing in the presence of the camera crew implies she’s fine with having her top yanked down and her breasts filmed, and then having that film be distributed for people to watch? Fuck. Every single aspect of this is made of wrong. Ignoring her non-consent? Wrong. Yanking her top down? Wrong. Filming her? Wrong. Distributing the film? Wrong. Talking about implicit consent, when actual legal consent procedures are clearly in place for Girls Gone Wild? Wrong. Victim-blaming (especially apparent in this article, with quotes like “she knew what she was doing”)? Wrong. Girls Gone Wild, and the jury, have a lot to answer for. If she wanted to show her breasts on a Girls Gone Wild video, she would have pulled her own top down. So saying she “knew what she was doing” has an added layer of stupid: if she knew what she was doing (being filmed baring her breasts), then why would it take someone else forcibly removing her top for that to happen? Facepalm indeed. (Obviously there are bigger, more obvious problems with the “she knew what she was doing” comment and mentality, such as the glaring, in-your-face victim blaming that places all the responsibility for the incident on her, but I just wanted to add this comment on the stupidly warped logic of it all).

2 Comments

  1. Boganette says:

    Ughhh that is just awful.

    • steph says:

      It’s awful on so many ways, but it is also stupid because it should be a clear issue of ‘did she sign a release or didn’t she ?’. Because to be in a Girls Gone Wild video, you have to sign a release and give consent. So, legally, they shouldn’t be allowed to show her in any video because she didn’t sign anything. But apparently ‘implicit consent’ trumps the law. Well done.