Guardian Column Calls for Unsolicited Sexual Images to Be Outlawed

Freelance journalist Sophia Ankel has written an article for the Guardian which has called for the sending of unsolicited sexually explicit images to be criminalised.

It was published as a follow-up to the news that a group of UK MPs have called for the government to introduce punishments for offenders.

Ankel called the act a form of harassment, and reported that 41% of millennial women in the UK have received an unwanted picture of a man’s genitalia.

She wrote: “This unwelcome input from male strangers has become so normal that it is frequently ignored and brushed off and, in some cases, even laughed about.

“Flashing your naked body on the street is indecent exposure – so why should it be excused online?”

The increased abundance and popularity of dating apps was said to have played a large part in men thinking that sending unsolicited naked pictures is acceptable.

“The rise of online dating apps, combined with inconsistent punishment of such offences, creates a hotbed for sexual violations against women.

“Men need to learn that these behaviours are not normal, that they are not and never will be acceptable.”

Bumble CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd revealed that she is working with US legislators to make the sending of lewd images illegal.

Wolfe Herd also noted that sending an unwanted eggplant emoji could be considered an act worthy of repercussions.

Sophia Ankel won the Hugo Young Award in 2018, which recognises political opinion writing from postgraduates, after publishing an article she wrote after naked pictures of herself circulated online.

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