This weekend, when my family was in LA for my younger brother’s graduation from college, I went to the hotel bar with my mom to get a snack and a few drinks.
As she paid, I took the food and drinks back up to our room, walking alone to the elevator. It wasn’t until I was on the elevator that I realized another male bar patron had followed me out of the bar and onto the elevator, his eyes shifting to look at me every other second. He seemed fidgety, which made me more nervous, but I reminded myself that I was also carrying two forks, just in case I needed to protect myself in a pinch.
Luckily my mother saw the man following me and caught up with us just before the elevator door closed, causing the man to mutter angrily under his breath. While we don’t know what would have happened had my mom not gotten on the elevator, it's an unfortunate realty that women have to be on constant lookout for creepy dudes, a reality that is now being perpetuated through the use of drones.
While most drones are sold commercially for fun, they have recently been put under the spotlight for their use as weapons, causing great speculation of the Obama administration and their improper use of drones. Unfortunately, where there are endless possibilities, there will always be creepy guys with cameras and a will to objectify women (because science).
Just recently, a woman in Seattle reported to local police that a male neighbor had been using a drone carrying a camera in order to film the woman in her own home. When approached by the woman’s husband to stop flying the drone so close to their windows, the man simply said that “it is legal for him to fly an aerial drone over our yard and adjacent to our windows.”
Really? Because it sounds like you didn’t actually receive consent to do that and when told to stop, you just kept going. Almost like you thought the woman was yours to film as you please, regardless of how she felt. Because women aren’t human beings, am I right? Who do we think we are, wanting privacy and control of our surroundings? Where exactly do we get off demanding such things?
What’s more upsetting about this creepy invasion of privacy via flying drone cameras, is that it lies in a legal gray area where it is technically legal for men to pull this off. While the First Amendment ensures a right to gather information, when it crosses the line of invading someone else’s privacy, it is not unbounded.
It may take years for the courts to decide how to prosecute men for using drones for their own creepy desires, but by then there will be too many women who have had their rights trounced by a creepy pervert. In light of the Cleveland abductions and this recent misuse of technology, one can only hope that a conversation is sparked and we begin to seriously discuss the right to privacy and control of their surroundings women are more than entitled to. Enough is enough, creepy dudes of America.