Trump and the millennial with a trifecta complex
This month, sale a very private and intimate video of 23 year old model, Lira Galore, was leaked to the unforgiving eyes of the internet. In the unauthorised video, Lira Mercer appears to engage in consensual intimacy with her then boyfriend which was then exposed by a blogger.
Lira’s kick-ass response?
Despite making some head way to accepting that women can liberate themselves in any way they so please, the reaction from some shows that we still have a far way to go. The female body and the freedom to express yourself sexually are not aspects any woman should be apologetic for.
As Lira rightly tweeted; “ Y’all never seen somebody suck d*ck before?!”
What’s even more concerning is the utter failure to appreciate that a young woman’s privacy was violated. Her womanhood and self-respect was attacked and questioned over an intimate, consensual and very normal moment. A scrutiny that seems to only be afforded to women. Lucky us! (It’s not like there were two people in the video or anything.) Post Rick Ross, the internet clearly thinks Lira has taken a liking to dating ghosts.
Woman, man, animal or alien; revenge porn is not justifiable and we have seen this committed by ex-lovers, best friends (like myself), hackers and even work colleagues.
Leaking of nudes and sex tapes, also known as ‘revenge porn’, is a malicious trend that aims to humiliate and intimidate the victim through the uploading of sexually explicit material. A trend that we have seen increase over the last decade, with the growth of social media. It can be tempting to detach ourselves from the damaging consequences of this crime and share content to feed our gossip hunger; but this is wrong. Always has been and always will be.
The law agrees too as Miss Mercer wasted no time in demonstrating when she took legal action against the parties involved.
There has been a crackdown in revenge porn with over 200 people being prosecuted last year in the UK and sentences as long as three years being handed out in the United States. As well as publication of intimate photos or videos, revenge porn can also fall under harassment, blackmail, voyeurism and malicious communication; all criminal offences with heavy punishments.
You do not have to remain silent.
What to do if you are a victim of revenge porn:
- Collect and keep evidence: Collect as much proof as possible. Screenshot any direct threats of exposure or messages where it is apparent the person has or intends to distribute the images. Keep note of statements or accounts from other people who can state that a particular person or group sent the photo and anything else that may aid authorities in investigating the alleged crime.
- Request removal: If the picture has been made public, write an email and/or letter to the outlet requesting for the picture to be removed urgently. (Often social media platforms will delete the associated account as it violates their rules.) If this has been circulated to people, contact them and explain that you intend to take legal action. (Revenge porn covers any unwanted sharing, including sending the material to the person’s friends, on Snapchat, WhatsApp or private messages)
- File a police report: In your report, detail how the picture or video was obtained, attach your evidence and state the potential effects this may be having on you, your job or your family. You can file this under a criminal offence and/or a civil offence.
- Stay strong, stay positive and understand you have done nothing wrong: This is not something to be embarrassed about. You are a victim. If at any point you need to talk to someone, reach out to friends, family or trusted organisations like The Samaritans.
If you need any professional advice or to speak to someone, the following helplines are free and will support you.
UK helplines: Revenge Porn Helpline – 0345 6000 459
- US: CCRI (Cyber Civil Rights Initiative) Hotline at 844-878-CCRI (2274)
If you need any help drafting a removal email, general advice or to speak to someone who has gone through the above, my DMS are always open and welcoming (@Monrowe)
Finally, you do not need to live in fear of consequences for sending private photos. If this is the way in which you choose to express yourself, as Lira Galore did with her partner, you are entitled to do so. You are beautiful, respected and the law is on your side.
Written by Monique Monrowe (former revenge porn victim)
Life isn’t easy for a millennial in the 21st century. It’s even harder when that particular millennial fits into a trifecta of minority groups that, page despite modern times, sale still evokes a sort of bigoted response. So how do I, erectile a Somali-American Muslim female, navigate in a world where a racist, misogynist and Islam-hating straight white male presides over the most powerful country in the world? One Ben and Jerry’s ice-cream scoop at a time.
It’s been almost 2 months since Trump has taken over the reins of the U.S. presidency and unfortunately for individuals like me, the man sprung into immediate action. Disregarding the long held tradition of politicians failing on delivering on campaign promises, Trump wrote up and signed numerous executive orders that basically appeased his redneck voters, disrupted foreign affairs and bat signalled the remainder of his sect; the racists, misogynists, Islamaphobists and all the other societally frowned upon “-ists” that were still in hiding to come out of the closet and into a post-Obama regime.
Within a few weeks I have gone from thinking my biggest problem this year would be learning how to survive without Netflix to having to deal with the constant threat of discrimination to all facets of my being. Coupled with the fact that thanks to Trump’s travel ban, visiting my homeland has become more arduous than it already it is to my family and I as well as to my other Somali brethren.
Since I am the daughter of first generation Immigrants whom are very possessive of their cultural identity, the news of the travel ban hit my parents very hard. Primarily, because they would no longer be able to take my sisters and I on annual trips to the motherland in an attempt to retain whatever little knowledge we had left of our culture and our language. Moreover, my family manages a range of businesses back in Somalia; Businesses that to be quite honest has put food on the table in our household more times than I can count.
Then and there it became quite clear to me that Trump’s intentions with his policies was to derail, disrupt and antagonize many honest American families way of life. That he and his administration were intent on destroying the foundations many minorities fought hard to integrate into the country’s laws and constitution. True to Trump speak; the ‘American Dream’ despite its flaws is a concept that should be coveted, sought and achieved only by the white, the male and the straight aka the ‘privileged’ lot.
In spite of the prevalence of antagonistic attitudes, it was comforting to have found a wave support amongst my friends, my neighbors and fellow strangers on social media. It was heartening to know, to see that there were tons and thousands of people as opposed to the regime’s injustices as I was. That a resistance was alive, well, brewing and growing by the day, ready to clash with Mr. Trump and his minions whenever they hashed out fallible and prejudiced laws and executive orders. Because at the end of the day America is a democracy and my opinions matter and my voice no matter how small will be heard. I wouldn’t have to take off my hijab, get rid of my afro and in the process lighten my skin tone using harsh chemicals and keep my mouth shut if I wanted to have a peaceful existence. I can retain and fight for my intersectionality and just be me because there are people out there struggling to make sure that doesn’t change. That Trump despite wanting to socially back to the future us all into the 1950s will not succeed because no matter what and no matter where Love does and will always Trump hate.
Written by Idil A Farah