I was horrified recently to hear on The Daily Show that a man, arrested for upskirting, got off on a technicality in a higher court, essentially making upskirting legal in the state of Massachusetts. (For the uninitiated, upskirting is secretly taking photographs up women’s skirts with one’s cell phone. Minutes later, these photos can be all over the internet.)
The man had been arrested under the Peeping Tom law and was convicted by a lower court, but then it was overturned in a higher court because that law is meant to be related to victims in complete or partial states of undress, and these poor unsuspecting women on the trolley were, technically, fully clothed. So the guy walked free.
That there should even be a question, morally or legally, that some scumbag has the right to violate a woman’s privacy in such a disgusting fashion leaves me speechless. Not to mention that this type of blatant disrespect tells you all you need to know about someone’s warped moral compass. But the law is the law.
But, in a rare instance of swift legislation, three days later the state of Massachusetts closed that creepy little loophole. Now, upskirting is a crime punishable by up to 2 ½ years in jail or a fine of up to $5,000.00. Sometimes politicians can actually get something right. Yay team!
Michael S. Robertson, upskirter
But on the bright side, given how computer savvy his generation is, he’ll probably never have close contact with the object of his photographs ever again. Power to the people!
High court rules ‘upskirt’ photos legal in Massachusetts
‘Upskirt’ ban in Massachusetts signed into law