How did Emma Watson celebrate her 18th birthday?
Posted on 25th March 2023
Emma Watson has grown up in the public eye, after starring in the Harry Potter films as Hermione Granger. This has meant that paparazzi have always been keen to follow her, but her 18th birthday party was a particular draw.
As she left her party, surrounded by her equally famous co-stars, photographers were lying on the ground to try and take photographs up her skirt. Not only did they capture exactly what they wanted to see, but these photos were published on the front pages of several newspapers the next morning. If these photographs had been published only 24 hours earlier, they would have been illegal. They had planned for this, lying in wait for her - literally.
This experience, among other examples of harassment in her life, have led to her campaigning for gender equality within the arts, as well as speaking out on feminism and how women are treated in the public eye.
'Upskirting' is now a crime in England and Wales. The practice of taking a picture of a person under their clothing without their knowledge is distressing, and a humiliating violation of privacy. Perpetrators will face two years in prison, and where upskirting has been committed to obtain sexual gratification, offenders are usually placed on the sex offenders register. It had previously been prosecuted under the common law offence of outraging public decency, however, following concerns expressed by victims, a review of the law found that the existing criminal law may not have been able to capture all instances. The Voyeurism (Offences) Act, commonly known as the Upskirting Bill, was introduced in 2018, coming into force a year later, a decade after Watson's party.
Researching this article was difficult. Almost every website assumes that you are wanting to see the photos of 18 year old Watson, despite the fact that as a society we have moved on somewhat in a general understanding of decency and harassment, not to mention upskirting now being illegal. It just shows how far we still have to go.
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