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A Revenge Porn Victim Posted Her Own Naked Pics to Protest the Despicable Practice

A Revenge Porn Victim Posted Her Own Naked Pics to Protest the Despicable Practice: Emma Holten & Cecilie Cooper

Emma Holten & Cecilie Cooper

In 2011 Emma Holten found out that naked pictures she had taken of herself had been posted online without her consent. She was harassed by a number of people, many calling her a “slut” or threatening to blackmail her. The men attacking her included teenagers, college students and even adult men with families.

Three years later, the Danish activist has begun a project to protest the non-consensual posting of naked pictures of women on the Internet, often called “revenge porn.” She’s releasing pictures of herself nude to “rehumanise my/the naked female body.”

Emma Holten & Cecilie Cooper

Emma Holten & Cecilie Cooper

It took Holten three years to get over the emotional trauma from the original leaked photos. She says the episode highly damaged her self-esteem. She says, “I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about how I could possibly stop hating my body. I blamed it for my humiliation. Why did it make people treat me that way? Would I ever be able to look at myself and see a human being?”

Emma Holten & Cecilie Cooper

Emma Holten & Cecilie Cooper

By posting her own naked pictures, she’s hoping people will view her as a “sexual being” as opposed to a sexual object. Some people have accused the project of being “counterintuitive,” since she already has nude photos on the internet. Holten responds to criticism by saying, “Political activism is supposed to be counterintuitive.”

Emma Holten & Cecilie Cooper

Emma Holten & Cecilie Cooper

In an interview with Buzzfeed, Holten said, “Non-consensual porn is not only the singular act of sharing the pictures in the first place, it is the systemic lack of respect for the consent of young women. The sexualisation of our abuse. That’s what this is about.” She hopes to start a conversation about why people deem the naked female body shameful, and try to demolish the stigma surrounding it. Perhaps once that happens, revenge porn will be a thing of the past.

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