Technology aids stupidity

Two quick stories from this mornings news.  First, Joe Spadaro, an employee of the Philadelphia Eagles, videotaped himself spitting on the star at Cowboys Stadium, and posted it on an Eagles website.  It was soon taken down, but not before someone else picked it up and posted it on YouTube.  Mr Spadaro has issued an apology, but it wouldn’t surprise me if he soon became a former; Eagles employee.

And in Bangor, Pennsylvania, a 24-year-old teacher’s aide had a nude photo of herself on her cell phone.  Some kid lifted the phone, found the photo, and e-mailed it around.  The moral of the story: if you don’t want nude photographs of yourself spread around, don’t have them on your cell phone!  She just might lose her job over this.

In the olden days, people could keep their mistakes and their idiocy to themselves; thanks to modern technology, if you are stupid, it will get publicized!

25 Comments

  1. Most notably, The Darwin Awards. One such winner recently went and pulled a gun on someone, clicked the trigger and nothing happened. So, this rocket scientist turned the gun around, looked down the barrel, and pulled the trigger again. You can visit him at Oak Lawn.

  2. Dana,
    You wouldn’t believe the number of women who are stupid enough to allow their husbands/boyfriends photograph or film them nude. I have heard so many times of angry husbands/ex-husbands/boyfriends mailing (and now e-mailing or putting on YouTube) those same pictures–the ones they promised never to publicize–when the couple broke up. I believe Amanda Marcotte once called me “anti-sex” because I said no smart woman would allow herself to be photographed nude.

  3. I believe Amanda Marcotte once called me “anti-sex” because I said no smart woman would allow herself to be photographed nude.

    I don’t think anyone wants to see Amanda nude …

  4. It doesn’t take too long a search to find the stuff Sharon mentioned. It might seem like harmless fun, but what happens to the woman, hoping to build a career and a reputation in business when the old pictures of her giving her boyfriend a blow job surface and race throgh the office?

  5. Sharon, the bizarre part is that both you and Amanda are right in my opinion. You’re right that the existence of such pictures puts a woman at risk of ridicule, ostracism, and job loss should they surface, and Amanda’s right that women don’t deserve ridicule, ostracism, or job loss for having nude pictures surface. You’re dealing in practicality, Amanda’s talking ideals.

    To an idealist, of course, accepting the practical reality can sound a lot like endorsing and supporting it even if you don’t, thus Amanda’s comment. But I don’t know how you feel about whether women deserve to be shamed because someone took a naughty picture of them, so such judgment is inappropriate.

    What’s clear to me is that a) no one should be shamed for having nude pictures of themselves distributed, b) the people who distribute said pictures without consent do deserve to be shamed, and c) this is totally not the way the world works right at the moment.

    So with that in mind, I’ll answer Dana’s question: It might seem like harmless fun, but what happens to the woman, hoping to build a career and a reputation in business when the old pictures of her giving her boyfriend a blow job surface and race throgh the office?

    What should happen – nothing. Any employer or prospective employer who bases their hiring and firing decisions on such pictures is a disgusting human being. But what will happen? Well, let’s just say there are a lot of disgusting human beings out there.

  6. Women’s cell phones are a treasure chest of wonderful stuff. I woudl say 6 out of 10 have nude or very sexually explicit photos on them. I love looking through them!

  7. Jeff,
    Ideals are wonderful for people who don’t live in the real world. Do I think women should be shamed for not protecting themselves from predators? No, but at the same time, it’s hard to work up a lot of sympathy for people who leave themselves open to these sorts of problems.

    It reminds me a bit of a discussion during a feminism class I took in law school, where the 25-year-olds showed righteous indignation that any man would assume sex was in play when a young woman came to his apartment at 2 a.m. “to talk.” My response was, “What are you doing going to a man’s apartment at 2 a.m. if you weren’t intending to sleep with him? Experience teaches you that his expectations are for sex and yours are for ‘talking.’ Why not ‘talk’ during a time when you know that is a reasonable expectation?” Of course, the young feminists were aghast at being told their ‘right’ to behave as they wanted takes a backseat to the reality of ‘talking’ at young men’s apartments in the middle of the night.

    Women know they live in a world where sex can be used against them both personally and professionally. To deliberately leave themselves open to harm is wreckless. This doesn’t make me ‘anti-sex’ anymore than leaving my car unlocked in a bad part of town makes me ‘pro-theft.’

  8. Well stated, both Jeff and Sharon!

    The challenge is to convert idealism into reality, which is extremely difficult because we’re dealing with the complexity of the human genome.

    Moreover, one person’s ideal may be another person’s demon, which is why we need to further enable the global public square, where we can work out our differences with understanding and compromise, recognizing that there is no such thing as absolute truth (except in an individual’s own mind). This is where religious differences can become the albatross!

  9. Sharon – of course, if the man’s a gentleman or has any shred of humanity, he’ll respect the woman’s wishes to not have sex. Not respecting those wishes is rape, and at that point all “blame” the woman may have for the situation is moot.

    It’s a bit of a sticky wicket for women. I hesitate to draw the analogy with leaving doors unlocked in a rough part of town just because having the right to sexual autonomy is far more important than having the “right” to leave your valuables unguarded. But at the same time, some assertions of sexual autonomy rather predictably lead to bad situations for the woman, and as you said, “smart women” can avoid a lot of those situations.

    So the question becomes this: how do you warn women against doing things that will get them into bad situations without appearing to implicitly blame them for the despicable actions of others? How do you convey the notions of “women should be proud of their desires and their bodies” and “women should be careful” simultaneously? Eventually (like 10-12 years from now) I’ll have to deal with this with my daughter, and I’d like to know a good way to resolve this issue by then…

  10. Jeff wrote:

    What should happen – nothing. Any employer or prospective employer who bases their hiring and firing decisions on such pictures is a disgusting human being. But what will happen? Well, let’s just say there are a lot of disgusting human beings out there.

    OK, you are the hiring manager, and you are looking for a top-notch candidate to lead a particular department, small now — maybe supervising eight people — but the person hired would be expected to be competitive for internal promotion. And among a group of, say, seven reasonably evenly qualified candidates, one is an attractive young woman, BA from UNC, seems sharp, clearly a leading candidate, but who has pictures of herself plastered all over cyberspace by an ex-boyfriend of her kneeling there with semen all over her face. If you hire this woman, and her subordinates find these pictures, she will quite probably lose the respect of her subordinates, and not be able to get the job for which you were going to hire her done.

    Does it make you a “disgusting human being” to hire someone else, someone without a potential problem like that, because you are seeking to get a job done?

  11. Jeff wrote:

    So the question becomes this: how do you warn women against doing things that will get them into bad situations without appearing to implicitly blame them for the despicable actions of others? How do you convey the notions of “women should be proud of their desires and their bodies” and “women should be careful” simultaneously? Eventually (like 10-12 years from now) I’ll have to deal with this with my daughter, and I’d like to know a good way to resolve this issue by then…

    You tell them that life is just plain unfair, and it will always be unfair. You tell them that some situations will be misconstrued by others, and whether such misconstruction is fair or not, it happens anyway, and the consequences which follow them happen anyway. And you can tell them that complaining that something isn’t fair, whether they are right or wrong about that fairness, still means that they have lost; no one complains about a situation being unfair if he has come out ahead.

    If you want to search out the porn sites, you can find hundreds, thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands of pictures of “amateurs” engaging in some form of sexual activity — and you can always see the girl’s face, but often the guy’s face isn’t shown. The guy without the drama from my comment above might well have been the guy shown giving his ex-girlfriend a “facial,” but since you see her face, and don’t see his, the picture of both of them can have dramatically different impacts on them in the future.

  12. Dana, I understand your point, but I would expect my employees to have the requisite amount of professional respect for their superiors. If my employees see it fit to disrespect their superior because of that superior’s pictures on the Internet, then I can certainly see it fit to find someone who will do their job without the adolescent gossip-mongering. And I use the word “disgusting” because I find gossip-mongering disgusting, and by firing a woman for events that occur in her personal life you’re sending the message that her so-called “sluttiness” makes her incapable of doing her job competently and thus engaging in a sort of gossip-mongering. In Judaism spreading malicious gossip is one of the worst things you can do.

    I like your suggestions on explaining the situation, though, but I’d also add that it’s okay to rail against unfairness if you do it consistently – that is, even if you take advantage of unfairness you should criticize it for being unfair.

  13. Jeff makes some good points, but I think Sharon really has it nailed. First off, in today’s environment, you almost have to assume that any electronic media, from cell phones to digital cameras, are now potentially part of the public domain. In short, say “bye bye” to privacy; if you have images or data stored somewhere, there’s a decent chance they can, and will, get out. Just ask Carrie Prejean.

    Second, as Sharon states, there’s theory and then there’s reality. It seems to be a staple of feminist theory that men and women are essentially the same, and that there should be no difference in how their sexual behavior is judged. Well, that may be the “Ideal”, but the fact is, society does judge differently. As that noted philosopher Deion Sanders once put it – “A man who has sex with hundreds of women, in many places he’s a hero. A woman who has sex with hundreds of men, in all places she’s a zero.” It may not be fair, but that’s just how it is, and any smart parent would be wise to educate his child of this basic fact.

  14. Eric, to tag onto your point, I was glad I had a daughter instead of a son.

    You to son: If you sleep around, you could get some girl pregnant.
    Son to you: So what? I’ll be a stud and she can get an abortion.

    You to daughter: If you sleep around, you could get pregnant and you’ll be called a slut.
    Daughter to you: …

    That, in my mind, was a huge advantage in having a daughter instead of a son.

  15. No, donviti. If your actions are measured so that you don’t unnecessarily expose yourself (heh) to the possibility of victimhood, you will have a much greater chance of avoiding becoming a victim. It is personal responsibility. But I know liberals are all about license (and not rights) so they completely ignore personal responsibility.

    And that has nothing to do with blaming victims of crimes. Those who did nothing to cause their victim status (nude pics on cell phone ain’t nothing) don’t get blamed for being victims. But it seems “my daddy didn’t let me have a model train” is enough mitigating factor for liberals to let murderers off the hook due to psychological disabilities.

  16. donviti:
    typical of a conservative.
    Blame the victim.
    8 January 2010, 8:55 pm

    If you knowingly put yourself in a compromising position (nude pix on cell phone etc.), then you’re not a victim, you’re an idiot.

  17. It is personal responsibility. But I know liberals are all about license (and not rights) so they completely ignore personal responsibility.

    Don’t mention personal responsibility to a lib. It’s like sunlight to a vampire …

  18. Jeff,
    I’m not condoning rape. A woman always has the right to say “no” to sex. However, a woman going to a man’s house at 2 a.m., then acting shocked! that he thinks she wants sex is either stupid or naive. I’m not saying there aren’t women like this out there because there certainly are plenty. But smart women recognize the risks involved with various decisions they make.

    Sure, it is unfair that women seem to be expected to be much more aware of all the consequences of their behaviors. But women also typically end up with the worst consequences (with the exception of rape accusations for murky sexual situations). I have two daughters, and I’ve pulled no punches about the approach most men have to sex, which is that a woman, particularly an attractive woman, who pays them a lot of attention is interested in sex with them. In order to preserve your autonomy, a woman needs to keep in mind that men (particularly young men) typically look for sex first, then friendship.

    None of this is to say you can’t have male friends. I always have and I have watched my daughters develop these friendships, too. But I never want them caught unaware of the effect their femaleness can have on a guy. I’m not advocating wearing burqas, after all.

    Dana does bring up a good point here, and one that as a woman and a quasi-feminist irks the crap out of me. And that’s the fact that these posted pictures rarely show the man but leave no doubt about the woman. Women often feel pressured to participate in behaviors–the “facial,” for instance–that they might not really want to do, but don’t want to refuse. Our society still puts a lot of pressure on women to comply with men’s desires, fantasies, and wishes. I’m not convinced all those nude photos were the woman’s idea, if you get what I mean.

    None of this is about blaming the victim, a weird concept when you are talking about consensual behaviors. But like I tell my kids, I’d much rather you took the time to think about why you shouldn’t do something before you do it as opposed to feeling guilty about it afterwards.

  19. Jeff wrote:

    Dana, I understand your point, but I would expect my employees to have the requisite amount of professional respect for their superiors. If my employees see it fit to disrespect their superior because of that superior’s pictures on the Internet, then I can certainly see it fit to find someone who will do their job without the adolescent gossip-mongering.

    To have the “requisite amount of professional respect for their superiors” requires that their superiors be respectable, and it’s just plain difficult for people to have a lot of respect for a superior when there’s a picture of her on her knees with semen on her face floating around. Yeah, almost all women and men engage in sexual activities of all sorts of manners, but most have enough sense not to put them out in public. This is the real world, not Shangra La, and people are not going to behave in the way you always want.

    And if you are a a supervisor at a level which would be above the supervisor in question, you shouldn’t have to reach down to supervise her department in that manner; that’s what you hired her to do.

    Sure it’s unfair, in a sense, but the real world is unfair. From a strictly professional point of view, it’s wiser to hire the candidate who doesn’t have extraneous “issues” with which to deal.

    And I use the word “disgusting” because I find gossip-mongering disgusting, and by firing a woman for events that occur in her personal life you’re sending the message that her so-called “sluttiness” makes her incapable of doing her job competently and thus engaging in a sort of gossip-mongering. In Judaism spreading malicious gossip is one of the worst things you can do.

    Well, perhaps so, but that still doesn’t mean that the work they were hired to do gets done, and as a professional manager, your job is to see to it that the work people below you are hired to do gets done.

    We have all sorts of professional requirements that are not strictly necessary for job performance: we require proper attire, we require reasonable personal hygiene, we require proper respect for the property of others, we require common courtesy. Yet, for a lot of jobs, an unwashed slob could come to work completely naked, and still actually perform the job; we require proper clothing and hygiene not for the job itself, but for the effect that person has on everyone else.

    People are social creatures, and we have to have social concerns about them.

  20. Our society still puts a lot of pressure on women to comply with men’s desires, fantasies, and wishes.

    Except that the nature of the pressure has changed dramatically. 50 years ago, the pressure to “comply with men’s desires, fantasies, and wishes” basically meant a woman that would cook and clean for him. But in the sexual realm, the social pressure was on both of them to wait until marriage, or at the very least, until they were solidly attached as a monogamous couple. Then came the Sexual Revolution, and everything was turned upside down. The “Liberated” woman could get a career, and tell the man to do his own damn cooking and cleaning. But in the bedroom, it was reversed. Thanks to Playboy, Penthouse, and Hustler (among others), men now felt entitled to casual sex, and the social mores that constrained this simply broke down in the era of Free Love. And you don’t have to be an Einstein to figure out this was a boon for men and a bane for women. It became a lot harder for them to “Just say no” and have their wishes respected. A girl who didn’t put out would be discarded in favor of one who would. And, oddly enough, the feminists bought into this concept, such that one can safely say that the sexual revolution is over, and the men won. They can have all the consequence-free sex they want, and it’s the women who are stuck dealing with the unwanted aftereffects, like pregnancy and abortions.

  21. The Wage Slave wrote:

    typical of a conservative.

    Blame the victim.

    One “victim” was the teacher’s aide who kept a nude photograph of herself on her cell phone; some kid lifted the phone, found the picture, and distributed it. Technically, the woman did nothing illegal, and technically, she was a victim.

    If someone left his car parked on a city street in Philadelphia, with the windows down, and the key in the ignition, when that car was stolen the owner of the car would be a victim of theft. But every one of us here would also say that he was an idiot, who set himself up to be a victim.

  22. I think Jeff is naive with respect to reality, expressed well here by Dana, Eric, Sharon, and ‘noted philosopher Deion Sanders’! I especially like the way Sharon is handling this issue with her daughters, being the parent of two daughters myself, both of whom I am very, very proud, and thankful for their mother’s skills in their upbringing.

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