Inappropriate pictures of UMN students

A popular website features pictures of unknowing college students.

Lindsay Doebler, University student

The website reddit.com is a site used by many college students. Some of the subreddits are entertaining, some are educational, yet some are just downright creepy. There is one subreddit whose sole focus is to display voyeuristic pictures of women taken by others in public without the knowledge or consent of the woman in the photo. This often means sneaky cleavage photos or pictures that take advantage of a woman’s unintentional wardrobe malfunction.

This is disgusting in and of itself; however, I am writing to the Minnesota Daily specifically because now there are pictures of girls from our Twin Cities campus on that subreddit. When looking at the main page of reddit, I saw a photo of a girl walking down Church Street with her skirt messed up by her backpack. Someone on campus took out their phone and decided to take a picture of her underwear and post it for thousands on the Internet to see.

This is not OK. If the people who took these photos see this, I want you to know why it is not OK to do that. Posting pictures like this scares me and other women I know. It makes us have to think very carefully about what we wear in public. If I wear a skirt, will someone try to get an upskirt photo? What if my skirt blows in the wind a funny way and I don’t notice? Will I be subject to thousands online looking at my panties or boobs? It’s scary. It makes me afraid to wear a dress or skirt in public on campus. And that is not OK.

I’ve seen the argument that it’s just like what the paparazzi do to celebrities. Except it’s not at all like that. Celebrities often make a living out of being in front of a camera. It is their job to be seen. Girls walking around campus most likely have a million other things on their minds. And just because they are out in public does not mean that you get to take sneaky pictures taking advantage of their bodies for your own pleasure. I’m sure you wouldn’t want pictures of your body strewn all over the Internet if you had some wardrobe malfunction that caused it to be visible.