If you’ve been anywhere near the internet over the last week, you’ll have encountered, if not visually, at least the story of Chris Evans accidentally posting a revealing pic to his Instagram.
Kat Dennings, also an MCU alum from having played Darcy Lewis in the first two Thor movies and who will be making a welcome return to the saga in WandaVision, has now commented on how refreshing most people’s reaction to the blunder was, but also highlighted the double standard that’s been made evident.
The public respect for Chris Evans’ privacy/feelings is wonderful. Wouldn’t it be nice if it extended to women when this kind of thing happens?
— Kat Dennings (@OfficialKat) September 13, 2020
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The majority of folks leaping to Evans’ defense is down to the high esteem in which he’s held by fans, with his words and actions having previously revealed him to be a decent and respectful person. Had the mistake been made by someone less universally popular, the result may have been less forgiving, but it doesn’t change the fact that there are evidently different rules applied regarding men and women when this sort of thing happens.
When women, not necessarily even famous women, have their private images stolen, the discourse typically surrounds how they shouldn’t have taken the pictures in the first place if they didn’t want other people to see them. The onus is then placed on them to be more vigilant in the future in further infuriating examples of victim blaming, slut shaming and tedious reiterations of women’s sexualities being policed and controlled by other people, as though their beauty is something existing to be distributed and broadcast for the enjoyment of others with no thought given to the person behind it.
It’s also worth noting that Dennings is speaking from experience, being one of the celebrities whose private images were stolen and widely disseminated across the internet when iCloud was hacked in 2014. Although this was treated like the crime it was and several individuals were subsequently arrested for it, it didn’t change the fact that much of the discourse surrounded the questionable morality of the women who took the photos rather than then men who stole them.
People should feel free to do whatever they want with their own bodies, including taking compromising pictures of themselves, and while mistakes like that made by Chris Evans are inevitable, until the unconditional respect for people’s privacy that Dennings calls for is applied to everyone with the misfortune of finding themselves in such a situation, any reaction will be at least in part hypocritical.