When naked pictures of her were published on the Internet without her consent, this brave young woman decided to strike back in her own way.
Emma Holten is a Denmark-born activist and journalist, who was subjected to the cruel and vindictive digitalised way to inflict shame upon women: revenge porn. Revenge porn is characterised by the sharing or distributing of explicit pictures or videos, without the consent or awareness of the person pictured in the footage - the subject.
Revenge porn a growing bizarre trend
As the digital age grows stronger than ever before, revenge porn has become a scarily fast-increasing phenomenon, where perpetrators aim to humiliate and dominate their subjects, not only posting the pictures alone, but often leaving personal contact information, location and even financial details about the subject. Indeed, twenty-seven-year-old Emma fell victim to the disturbing power-tactic at the mere age of 17, but the last thing she chose to do was to stay silent; in fact, she took it a step further to regain control over her body once again.
Since she had been made subject to being exposed online, Emma had become a significant target for countless volumes of abuse. Online strangers would often invade her inbox with unsettling comments, pictures and even threats. Despite Emma attempting to take action against the publishing of her photos - in which she was underage - she would only be met with two types of responses, and none that alleviated the situation: either her appeals were instantly rejected by website moderators who faulted her and deemed her a "wh**e", or she was asked to provide unnecessarily personal information such as a passport or driving license, in order to verify the removal of her content - regardless of the fact that it was done against her knowledge and consent.
Taking back control over herself
Emma courageously decided that enough was enough and, six years on from the unlawful publishing of her photos, she spoke up. And not only did she speak up for herself, but also for the countless victims in her shoes. Writing a beautifully elaborate essay regarding the fundamental challenges women face as a result of revenge porn, she paired it with something even bolder: nude photos of herself that she did consent to publishing as a marker of ownership over her own body.
In order to illustrate the difference between photos published online with and without the consent person involved, the young woman decided herself, to pose nude for a photographer. Discussing how women affected are often reduced to being the object, thus leading to perceived objectification, she distinguishes her own photos to make her the definite subject in this matter. Although she is aware that not all victims can or want to do the same thing, she hopes that will help them understand the fact that they are not to blame. More importantly, she also wants to clarify the notion of consent that, in her mind, still seems far too vague for many internet users. Emma addresses her audience in the above video...
Check out the video above to hear her inspiring message for yourself!