It’s not against the law in Massachusetts to secretly take photos up a woman’s skirt, the state’s highest court ruled Wednesday. The court dismissed charges against Michael Robertson, who was arrested by Boston transit police for taking photos and videos up multiple women’s skirts or dresses on the subway.
The judges sympathized with the notion that a woman should be able to have a reasonable expectation not to have secret photos taken up her skirt when she goes out in public, but ruled that current state law does not address that. Massachusetts’ “Peeping Tom” laws, as written, only protect women from being photographed in dressing rooms or bathrooms when they are undressed. Since upskirt photos are taken of fully clothed women in public, they don’t count, according to the court.
“A female passenger on a MBTA trolley who is wearing a skirt, dress, or the like covering these parts of her body is not a person who is ‘partially nude,’ no matter what is or is not underneath the skirt by way of underwear or other clothing,” the court wrote.
Robertson’s lawyers defended his actions by arguing the photos were a matter of free speech.
Upskirt photos are becoming increasingly common with the spread of camera phones, but the law is slow to catch up with new technologies. Under most voyeurism laws, women must have a “reasonable expectation of privacy,” which is difficult to prove when she is in public. The Massachusetts court is hardly the first to acquit men who take these photos; perpetrators in Oklahoma, Indiana, and Washington have all been cleared by judges because the laws on the books did not apply. In response to one case in which a man legally took upskirt photos of a 10-year-old girl, Indiana lawmakers passed an upskirt ban in 2011. Other states have considered but not passed similarly updated voyeurism laws.
ew ew ewwwww
Today in news that makes me want to seek alternate living arrangements in a nearby galaxy…
Maybe I’m just not that bright, but isn’t that the whole purpose of setting precedent? To set a standard for how laws are interpreted and enforced in society?
This just makes me want to vomit.
Our legal system is one means of reinforcing the white capitalist heteropatriarchy. This is a clear fucking example.
I don’t have the resonable expectation of privacy…..inside my own clothes.
Clearly they did not.
Okay, update. The state legislature passed a new bill that makes it illegal to take upskirt photos of women or children. It’s on the Governor’s desk, and he has already stated that he plans to sign it.
The judiciary failed at setting a precedent here in a gross and terrible way, but the state legislature responded with a speedy and bipartisan assurance tgat this is Not Okay.
That’s the kind of update I like to hear. I still loathe that I don’t have a ~reasonable expectation of privacy~ inside my own fucking clothes, though. THAT continues to be a steaming pile of bull shit.
Republicans just tried to repeal Obamacare for the 50th time!
Really putting the “less” in “useless”. If they really wanna kick the ACA to the curb and gain some much needed popularity, they could just introduce a universal healthcare system. Too far, Kym. Too far.
Every Person With Political Power
Imma let you finish but Farquaad has one of the best quotes OF ALL TIME. This one. It’s this quote.
My exact reaction when people argue against government intervention in the goings-on of society.
This one is for all the political activists. I am so sick of seeing people praying and wishing for the government to start enforcing a high income tax on the rich to redistribute the wealth of the people. There will always be rich & poor people in a society, some more unevenly distributed than others. But quite frankly the way I see it is that the government has no business going into an individual’s bank account and STEALING 50%-60% of their income. If that person has lawfully and honestly earned that money, then no one ought to be able to take it away.
Think of it this way: as a student working hard in a challenging class you finally receive the well deserved 100% in the class. Shortly after you see your report card you are informed that 50% of your grade will be taken and redistributed to the students in class with the lowest grades. You have no control and no say in the fact that your 100% will now be seen as a 50% despite the numerous hours you put in to earn that A+.
Money is an incentive to work harder, to be better. Taxing the rich is discrimination, believe it or not. When I was little, I wanted to grow up and be rich and help my family. Nowadays, how could I strive for that when I know my hard-earned money will be taken from me?
If you want to do something about the uneven wealth distribution and its effects, go to the SOURCE such as regulating business and cleaning up budgets, NOT stealing from the well-off citizens to balance the mess.
I’m sorry, but I’ve lived in Sweden, and that’s not how it works. Also note that that number, for Sweden at least, is the MAX income tax percentage possible. But that’s not my issue here. Let’s talk about how this money is redistributed.
Do you live in the United States? If so, please tell me about the state of the roads in your area? If it’s at all like where I live in the good old US of A, they’re shit. Why? Because the governments, local and state and federal, don’t have enough money to keep them in good repair. In Sweden, a nice chunk of that tax money goes toward making sure the roads are well kept, because if the roads are well kept, then odds are better your car is not going to be damaged by them and oh hey then that’s less money you have to spend on the upkeep of your vehicle.
Tell me, how’s your health insurance? Can you go to any doctor or clinic in town and be seen for a nominal fee? Of course not! This is America, where everything’s privatized and we’re all looking to make the best profit. What about hospital visits? We all know those kinds of things can bankrupt a family here; it does on a regular basis. And yet you’re putting down a country with a higher income tax when I know for a FACT that a good portion of that money goes into the healthcare system that ensures that ALL residents have access to healthcare for minimal out-of-pocket fees. And you know what else? If you spend more than a fixed amount in doctor’s visits within a year, you get a nice little card that gives you FREE doctor’s visits for a year from that first payment. You know, so people are not having to forgo having sufficient food or new clothes because they have to go to the hospital. Oh, and the hospital visits? You don’t pay out of pocket for the treatments; you pay for your bed and food in the hospital, an amount that ends up being something around $10/day. And they can do this because their doctors are paid reasonably for the work they do, and also they don’t have ridiculous amounts of student loan debt to pay off.
Which brings me to my next point: higher education. Tell me what’s your student loan debt like? I just saw a statistic that we, in the United Stated, have a trillion dollars in student loan debt. Why is that? Well, we’ve privatized education. You want to know how much my husband paid to attend university in Sweden and get both his Bachelor’s and his Master’s degrees? $0 in tuition. That’s also what I paid to attend an intensive Swedish language course while I lived there. Now, you still have to buy your books and pay your student union fees, but that’s nothing compared to the $44,000/year I was paying in tuition here in the US. You know when I’m looking at paying all of that back? Maybe by the time I retire. Maybe. In fact, students in Sweden can actually receive a stipend from the government to help cover things like living expenses, so they are not forced to have a side job in addition to going to school full-time. It’s a nice feeling, knowing that the government actually wants you to graduate from university without having to worry about things like what you can afford to eat. I’m not saying it’s the most generous stipend, but it’s enough to rent an apartment (maybe with a flatmate) and have a moderately healthy diet.
Not being burdened with that amount of debt is a huge relief when you’re fresh out of university and getting a job. Then again, the wage gap isn’t NEARLY so severe over there. Those who make the most in the company don’t make terribly much more than those who make the least. So the company VP isn’t making hundreds of thousands more than the guy on the factory floor.
Of course, remember that your numbers here don’t take into account the cost of living in these countries. What’s the cost of housing, food, transportation? Many people in these countries make use of excellent public transportation, made possible because of the higher taxes and the money invested into this stuff.
So when you say that 50% of your money is “given” to people who don’t make as much, that’s not actually accurate. It’s invested in the infrastructure that supports ALL the people of the country, no matter their income. If taxing the rich is discrimination, then isn’t taxing anyone discrimination? You should pay taxes proportional to your income, so that you can support your society. Otherwise you might as well go take your money and hide in a cave for all the good it would being you and the rest of the country.
Reblogging for the commentary above and also because the taxes and the average salary stated above are a lie as far as Sweden goes, so the entire argument is flawed to begin with. The national annual average salary in Sweden is 36, 167 USD and taxes in Sweden work as follows:
- For a person who earns less than 2906 USD in a year, no tax is applicable.
- For a person who earns between 2907 USD and 65, 566 USD in a year, the income tax payable is between 29% and 32%, depending on the council area one is living in.
- For a person who earns between 65, 567 USD and 93,005 USD in a year, the income tax payable is between 49% and 52%, depending on the council area one is living in.
- For a person earning more than 93,006 USD in a year, the income tax payable is no more than a maximum of 56%.
In other words, most people pay a maximum of 32% in taxes on a yearly basis and this pays for free healthcare, free education (including university), free school lunches, roads, 18 months paid parental leave, income insurances if you find yourself unemployed, and a shit-load of other things I don’t have the time to list.
Another thing worth mentioning; the mimimum wage in the States is 7,25 USD an hour; Sweden hasn’t got a national minimum wage and instead uses collective agreements to set minimum wages based on profession, and the average minimum wage set by collective agreements in Sweden is 12,75 USD. Not only do our taxes pay for an awful lot most Americans can’t dream of affording, we earn more than you do as well.
Taxes do not equal the end of the world. Quit swallowing right-wing lies. Having relatively high taxes is not the same as living in Soviet under Stalin.
The Purity Myth.
If you’re a female this should concern and frighten you in a big way.
If you’re a human being in general this should concern and frighten you in a big way.
Australian Master Post
there it is. here it is. the magnum opus. im going to destroy myself. i knew it. i saw the caption and my entire life flashed before my eyes. it finally happened. it occurred.
LET’S CLEAR A MISCONCEPTION THAT’S RUNNING RAMPANT AROUND TUMBLR RIGHT NOW.
The Supreme Court did NOT rule that the Voting Rights Act is irrelevant today, and any source that tells you otherwise is incorrect. They did rule that the act, while still necessary, was outdated…
- Sam Seaborn, The West Wing (via theaccidentaloptimist)