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Drake's stolen videos are everyone's problem

Consent is important, even when we are talking about a rich and famous man

Drake's stolen videos are everyone's problem  Consent is important, even when we are talking about a rich and famous man

On February 5, amid the Grammy and Sanremo buzz, Twitter had a few minutes to think about something else. The source of this distraction? A video - seemingly leaked - of Drake was posted on the social media platform and quickly gained widespread attention within hours. What's unusual? In the footage, the Canadian rapper was completely nude. Needless to say, comments poured in. There was talk about his physical shape, speculated treatments he might have undergone and much more, without any concern regarding the fact that these images were, indeed, private and not meant for our eyes. It's a clear violation, even if the protagonist is Drake, a social media-friendly character, a bit goofy but also famous and powerful, who over the years has attracted both sympathy and antipathy in equal measure.

Drake's Videos and Women: Is There a Double Standard?

The protagonist of the incident, it must be said, didn't seem very disturbed (to streamer Adin Ross, who sent him a voice note asking for a comment on the matter, he apparently responded with amused emojis) but the point here is broader. The point is that it's not the first time private images of international stars become public domain. One of the first to suffer such a theft was Pamela Anderson. Then, more recently, it happened to Blake Lively, Jennifer Lawrence, and in Italy to Diletta Leotta. What do you notice? That we only remember those of female artists. Because they generate more talk and have a much more destructive potential on their careers. So, it's true that a double standard exists, in a much more nuanced and complex way than we tend to think, but there's also something in common, and it's on this point that we need to act.

The Public's Greed and the Consideration of Bodies

If leaks of nude photos of women become grounds for misogyny and shaming, those of men are spread without second thought, to laugh about, and body shaming is still present in any case. It's not much better. At the core lies a fundamentally different consideration of male and female bodies and desires, seen respectively as funny and to be commented on superficially for male artists, and to be hidden and condemned for female artists. What unites them, on the contrary, shifting the focus to the public, is a desire to violate, to know, to have no limits in our closeness with stars that is frightening and must be restrained, in any case. If regarding the freedom of sexuality (and sensuality), men and women are not treated equally and probably won't be for a few more years, especially if they're famous, a violation remains a violation, whether it's Jennifer Lawrence or Drake who are violated, it changes very little. And even if the rapper responded with laughter, perhaps this could be another opportunity to talk about consent, boundaries, and collective and individual responsibility, as users, in commenting and sharing certain images, effectively aiding their spread and delighting those who stole them.

Shared Responsibilities When Discussing Leaked Videos

It's too easy to wash our hands of it, thinking that Drake will get away with it, that if it had happened to a woman it would have been much worse. If we can't even control our daily social media activity, what we contribute to spreading, the ethics of some images published without the consent of the individuals concerned, how can we change things, even for those who wouldn't take it as well as he did, who don't have his confidence and support network? With what courage do we rail against AI porn and against revenge porn? Consent applies to everyone, in any case and at any time. Otherwise, it applies to no one.