Wednesday, November 27, 2013

'Skirt'ing the law

This is not 'in plain sight' you damn creep!
In 2010, Michael Robertson, a Massachusetts man was arrested for taking 'up-skirt' photos of women on Boston's green line. He was charged with breaking the Peeping Tom law, but Robertson claims that he is the victim here. How? He claims that his First Amendment rights are actually being violated because talking those pictures is protected under his free speech rights. What?!

Additionally, his team argued that there is no expectation of privacy in public. So no consent is needed from those being photographed. For these reasons, Robertson is telling the Massachusetts Supreme Court that his case should be thrown out. But should it?

Hey slick... You are bad, and you should feel bad.

First of all, how the heck is taking up-skirt photos supposed to be free speech? It is true that there is no expectation of privacy , but only to a degree. Yes, you may take photos of others in public. But only of what is out in the open and reasonably visible. in short, if it's in plain sight. If a woman is wearing a skirt so short that you can see everything in an every day situation, that you may legally take a picture. Yes, it is creepy, and I personally take issue with doing such, but it would be perfectly legal. The same is also true of guys. If it's hanging out in the open, it's fair game (tasteless or not).

But there would be a difference between a skirt and say... a dress or longer skirt. In those cases there is an expectation of privacy to the area in question. It is covered up and one would have to go out of their way and leave the realm of an everyday position to take the picture. Same could be said for a

Seriously dude? Unless you're 18" tall, that's not in plain sight.

table with a long tablecloth. The tablecloth obstructs the view. In these cases it isn't in pain sight.

It's similar to a guy taking pictures into peoples houses from the street. He would get off scot-free if the windows were open. But if they had the blinds closed, and he opened them to get the shots, the case would have the opposite outcome. In this way, a longer dress, longer skirt, or table cloth is like the shut curtains of that proverbial house. So there is a line where some privacy is expected in public. It's not as simple as a cut and dry statement that all photos are fair game, as his legal team would claim. They simply aren't. It's a nuanced issue with more to consider. It's definitely not a free speech matter though.

I also hate that some are resorting to blaming the victims in this case by saying that they deserved it or were asking for it by dressing as they were. Disgusting. But how where they dressed? We do not know that fact, and it makes all the difference in this case. I have a feeling that the subject of his photos likely weren't in plain sight at all. Hopefully reason will prevail, and this guy will be convicted.

-Brain Hulk

Please share, subscribe, comment and follow us on your favorite social networking sites!
facebook | google+ | twitter

No comments:

Post a Comment