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Tag archive for: privacy

Click, Cluck Goes the Online Shame Game

Every week it’s someone new. Perhaps you saw the Mexican singer two weeks ago whose maxi pad fell out from under her dress as she performed on live TV. Then a hacker outed the names of subscribers to Ashley Madison, the “discreet” hookup site for married cheaters.

From illegal (abusive cops) to immoral (campaigning politicians) to merely unfortunate (bozo parents), the online stranger-shaming game offers up viral gotcha videos every single day.

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Good-Bye, Private Parts

Have you ever been skinny-dipping? It’s just about the best feeling in the world: fretless, grin-in-your-skin freedom.

I was 11 years old and taking a bare dip in my backyard pool when I heard rustling in the neighbors’ tree and realized their pre-teen son was spying on me. Outraged and embarrassed, I skittered inside to tell my mother. I’ve never forgotten what she said:

“Eh, let him look. Why should he stop you from being at ease in your own yard? Don’t give him that power.”

The notion was radical — that I could simply choose not to feel violated by such an invasion of privacy. That I could disregard the peeping perv and refuse to waste energy guarding the confidential information his little eyeballs were gathering for who-knows-what degenerate purpose.

I’ve summoned that outlook countless times since then — when the tampon drops from my purse during a business lunch, the pharmacy clerk loudly inquires about my rash, and the neighbors hear me yelling at my kids. Eh, I think. Let ’em look.

But it’s harder than it used to be.

From the auto-fill feature in our Web browsers to the cameras installed at stoplights, our privacy is receding faster than a naked girl can scramble from the deep end of an exposed swimming pool into the folds of a blessed towel. And there’s more at stake than just a pre-adolescent fanny flash.

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My columns are collected in three lovely books, which make a SPLENDID gift for wives, friends, book clubs, hostesses, and anyone who likes to laugh!
Keep Your Skirt On
Wife on the Edge
Broad Assumptions
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