Crowdsourcing Sexual Objectification
Laws. 2014; 3(3):529-552.
26 Pages Posted: 5 Sep 2014 Last revised: 19 Jul 2015
Date Written: July 1, 2014
This paper analyzes the criminal offence of the non-consensual distribution of intimate images (frequently called “revenge porn”). Focussing on the debate currently underway in Canada surrounding Bill C-13 (Protecting Canadians from Online Crime Act), it notes that such an offence would fill a grey area in that country’s criminal law. Arguing, more broadly, that the criminal law has an important expressive function, the paper posits that the offence targets the same general type of wrongdoing — sexual objectification — that undergirds sexual assault. While not all objectification merits criminal sanction, the paper explains why the non-consensual distribution of intimate images does, and why a specific offence is legitimate.
Keywords: criminal law, cyberbullying, revenge porn, Canada, sexual assault, women, sexual objectification, internet
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