Last week, Massachusetts' highest court ruled that a man who took "upskirt" photos and videos of unconsenting women on the Boston subway had done nothing wrong, because the women were in a public place and couldn't reasonably expect privacy.
The very next day, following a public outcry, Massachusetts lawmakers quickly drafted and approved a bill to make upskirting a crime punishable by a maximum of two-and-a-half years in jail or a fine of up to $5,000.
But now in a ridiculous twist, these lawmakers may have offended some men's rights activists who apparently believe in freedom for peeping Toms.
On the somewhat infamous Men's Rights subreddit, one poster had this to say about upskirting last Thursday:
Image Credit: Reddit
As of writing, the comment had a score of negative 89 points from readers, although the original post, "Boston Area Rape Crisis Center: “Sexual violence doesn’t have to involve actual touching” - then what isn't?" had a mix of both upvotes and downvotes. Debate on the subreddit ranged from enthusiastically in favor to decidedly against. Some Reddit users claimed that men who show the waistband of their underwear above their pants deserve similar legal protection, while others questioned why taking upskirt photos of men in kilts isn't considered equally abhorrent.
While there are some valid and interesting discussions on the Men's Rights Reddit page, it's been known to foster unhelpful comments before.
On the campaign to ban bossy, a detrimental word used mainly for young, assertive women, one commenter wrote, "This is just another example of patriarchy blaming to justify ones own weaknesses. Apparently, boys need to be sacrificed to make way for girls." In another recent example, men's rights activists were suspected in the spamming of the anonymous online sexual assault reporting site at Occidental College in California.
Luckily, one user brought the voice of reason to the upskirting thread:
That pretty much sums it up.