In a recent article on the Guardian website (http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree ... -anonymity
) the writer makes the following claim:
Having "courted the limelight", celebrities shouldn't complain if the attention they desired turns negative. While there are certainly cases where that's fair comment, it 1) assumes all celebs are in it for nothing but adulation and attention and 2) sounds eerily similar to the argument that scantily dressed women are asking for it.
I'm interested to explore whether there is such a similarity between the celebrity who finds themselves as an object of detrimental media attention and the woman whose choice of attire is blamed for her having been the victim of a sexual attack. I think that if we can establish such a similarity then it brings an interesting new viewpoint in regards to a general right to privacy.
The similarity seems to involve the claim that both parties (celebrity and assault victim) 'knew what was coming to them'. As far as the victim is concerned, we would tend not to accept this claim as assault requires another individual or group, each of whom are as responsible for their actions as the victim is for theirs. Where the celebrity is concerned, we would argue that they brought it on themselves; they wanted to be famous and they shouldn't have expected any different. My question is: what is the difference between these two situations?
I'm still trying to work this one out. I'm working with the idea that invasion of privacy (where celebrity is concerned) is distinct from bodily invasion (as in the case of the assault victim). However, I can't seem to steer away from the possible equivalency of the 'they were asking for it' defence in both cases and am wondering whether the case of the victim can help us to see the case of the celebrity in a new light.