Something Just Like This

It’s time for another round of “Things that Really Grind my Gears.”

Today’s topic; why people who hack phones and steal photos are disgusting people. Also, if you look at them, you’re fucking gross too. 

This week, a round of personal and private photos and videos made by WWE superstar Paige hit the internet. These were four years old. She was 19. But most importantly, they were hers. I will not link those photos. They are none of my business. I haven’t looked at them. Why? They’re none of my business. I had the privilege of meeting Paige a few years ago outside of a WWE live event. She was sweet and lovely to my 10 year old daughter. She told her they were best friends and gave her a hug. My daughter has never forgotten that day and tells me all of the time that she can’t wait for her best friend Paige to feel better and get back into the ring to win championships. Maybe it’s because I met her and saw a sweet young woman who adored her little fans that this whole thing upsets me more than usual. I don’t know her, but I caught a glimpse of Saraya Jade Bevis (Paige’s real name) that day and she was the sweetest and most authentic human being. She didn’t deserve this. No human being deserves to be violated and humiliated like this. I hope she has the support of family and friends and her fiancé & that the legal action she is pursuing protects her. 


Then came the memes. People sending the photos to Paige’s mom, Saraya Knight, her fiancé, & the wife of one of the men in the video. Then jokes were made. After all, this is just so funny, right? It’s not funny. It’s awful. If you follow me on social media and share this garbage, please unfollow. There is nothing funny about kicking someone while they’re down. 

The next day, WWE Superstar Summer Rae was threatened with badly photoshopped “leaks,” which forced her to respond. Apparently it wasn’t bad enough to humiliate one person; we needed to invent pretend photos to feel powerful and tear down a woman. 


 The women and men involved in these, real or doctored, are victims of a crime. They’ve been humiliated (or someone has tried to humiliate them). To the person who does this, you are fucking disgusting. If you are distributing them, you are just as bad as the people who stole them. 

Fun fact; I work with cell phones. I sell them for a living. I troubleshoot them when they get messed up. I see your search history and your photos. Glass houses friends. I see a lot of people claiming that they should know better, they shouldn’t take these photos. That this is what you get. Wait. What? Nope. That’s not how it works. That’s like me saying that if you bought a house and then got robbed, that you should have known better than to buy nice stuff. You did not have permission to see Paige naked. You didn’t have permission to see Summer Rae naked. Doctoring photos to pretend you saw Summer Rae naked is the equivalent of lying in high school about sleeping with a girl that said no. Every time you view these personal photos, or in the case of Summer Rae, pretend photos, you are just as bad as those who stole them. You are actively participating in the degredation of a human being in the attempt to humiliate them. When you post memes or jokes about the situation, you are basically saying that you’re cool with a gross invasion of someone’s privacy, or lying about another human being for your amusement. It’s wrong & gross. I’m pretty sure if the contents of your phone were dumped online, or those personal things you’ve sent your partner, you wouldn’t like it. So why would you be okay with it because it’s a celebrity? They’re humans, not trained zoo animals who owe you their dignity. 

When I go off on my soapbox about this (like I did a few years ago when this happened to Jennifer Lawrence), creeps always tell me that if a male celebrity’s nudes leaked, I’d be all over it. Well, you would be wrong. When WWE Superstar (& my celebrity crush) Seth Rollins’s private photos hit the internet, I made it a point not to look at them. Why? Because Seth Rollins didn’t want me to see him naked. Those photos were for his girlfriend, not me. I don’t want to participate in the degredation of a man who’s career I enjoy watching on TV. So, I refrained. It’s not that hard. It’s just called being a decent human. 


So, to my fellow browsers of the internet, I implore you; don’t be a douchebag. Stop making fake nude photos to attempt to humiliate someone. Stop distributing personal and private photos to humiliate somebody. Stop making memes to make light of the fact that someone was violated and the victim of a crime. Stop sending the photos to the victim’s mom, fiancé, etc. Stop throwing stones to shame these victims while hoping no one ever checks your glass house. Just be a decent human being. It’s not even hard. Before you look, think of the most humiliating moment of your life. Now, imagine if you’d want the entire world to be a part of that. 

I know it’s probably really tempting to go see a celebrity you think is attractive naked, but had they wanted you to see them naked; they’d have posed nude publicly. We need to stop acting like we own famous people and have the rights to their bodies, their privacy, their dignity, even their most personal moments. Everyone deserves dignity and control over their body. Stop taking it away from them. Don’t look; log off. 

Big & Loud

This has not been my week. I’ve been sick. I’ve had xrays. It’s actually super shitty. But I will figure this out in a few days & all will be well. 

But I refuse to let dark times cloud my awesome life. My life is the raddest. I’ve lost six pounds this month. My gym dues are paid & I can train. My kids got rad report cards. Oh, and I got some much needed time with some friends this week. It was just what I needed. 

  
But enough about my life. Let’s talk about mindless drivel. Today’s mindless drivel is why the WWE Divas Division continues to piss me off. 

It has not been since 2014 that WWE has had a true babyface Diva in Brie Bella. Brie was beloved by fans, as they hoped she would defeat the evil Stephanie McMahon & avenge her husband Daniel Bryan & sister Nikki (she didn’t. She was defeated & aligned with Nikki to reign as bad girls in Team Bella & now is used to elevate the NXT Divas). 

  
Since then, all of the dominant women have been stereotypes. Bad girl Nikki Bella. Jealous geeky girl AJ Lee. Manipulative Paige. Daddy’s spoiled brat Charlotte Flair. All until the unexpected rise in popularity of Becky Lynch. 

  
Becky Lynch has gone through many phases since her debut, but the core of her main roster character has remained the same; she wants to be a champion of integrity. Someone little girls can look up to. She wants to win the right way. All three of my daughters watched the Royal Rumble with baited breath, to see if Becky would overtake Charlotte Flair & become the Divas Champion. 

She didn’t. 

Instead, Charlotte’s father forced himself on her, she was pinned in dirty fashion, tossed out of the ring like trash by villainess Sasha Banks & left to sob alone. 

  
As a mom & a feminist, I find it horrifying that male “advocates for women’s wrestling” like Jim Ross & Mick Foley are more concerned about whether or not the word Diva is problematic than the actual treatment of the women. An old man forcing himself on a woman is a humourous plot point in 2016. Every woman except Becky Lynch is a stereotype, from mean girl to cat lady. They are booked as catty, jealous bimbos who are self serving & petty. Even my 14 year old daughter, who wanted to be a Diva, no longer wants that. She feels like she would have to become a character that her sisters couldn’t be proud of, or end up humiliated like Becky Lynch. 

  

WWE has an obligation to their female fans to give them a hero. I’m not necessarily about kids role modelling from TV people, my kids look up to me, my strength, tenacity, my work ethic. But little girls deserve to see the heroine win in the story. Celeste Bonin’s Kaitlyn was humiliated by man eating villainess AJ Lee. Brie Bella was felled by her evil twin and then joined her. Paige fought the good fight, but turned bitter. WWE finally has a chance to give little girls a chance for their hero to win, like John Cena or Roman Reigns for boys, as Becky is still fighting the good fight against two evil stereotypes. As the biggest event of the year, Wrestlemania approaches, I hope WWE finally shows that nice girls can finish first, and the big moment can go to the character who wants to show that you can become champion & keep your soul; Becky Lynch. 

  

Something Great

I watched WWE as a kid & still dig the camp factor. My daughters love it though, are very invested in the storylines & I’ll have to keep my two eldest in neutral corners as their faves AJ Lee & Paige compete for the Divas title tonight @ the Summerslam PPV event (yes, they are well aware it isn’t real, it’s all scripted & they’re all friends in real life, but you can get hurt if you try it. My middle daughter will tell you this is the best cartoon on TV & Daniel Bryan is everything).

However, I often complain at the lack of proper representation for their female characters. The Divas (until recently) were one note characters, either kind of trashy or innocent ingenue & their only storylines were bad girl wants good girl’s Divas title or is jealous of good girl. The only exceptions were the long & storied feud of Trish Stratus & Lita & the mean girls style antics of Laycool (Michelle McCool & Layla El). As a parent of daughters , it bugged me that there were no characters they could really get behind or rally around. Well, it’s as if Stephanie McMahon (the company’s principal owner & mom of three daughters) heard every mom’s concerns & did something about it.

The women have complex characters now. Divas Champion AJ Lee went from one note man eater jealous of the girls from the reality show Total Divas (on the E! Network) to complicated heroine struggling to keep her composure after an onslaught of machinations created by her “friend”. Newcomer Paige is a sweet young girl…or a master manipulator. The Bella Twins went from wooden bad girls to heroines protecting each other & their family (namely Brie’s real life & legitimately injured husband Daniel Bryan) from the aforementioned McMahon. Nikki put up with unfair advantage week after week believing that she could overcome & Brie, having had enough, challenged McMahon to stand up for her family & Brie vs. Stephanie is going to headline tonight’s PPV.

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That’s right: the main event is two women! Something unheard of in the sexist & misongynistic world of wrestling. Women are normally relegated to less than 10 minutes & put in the spot known as the “death slot,” so you can get nachos before John Cena appears. My daughters were heartbroken @ Wrestlemania XXX when they waited all night for the first Divas title match in the history of the event, only to see there were no entrances (save for AJ Lee) & their match was shorter than the time it took for the Undertaker to walk to the ring. The Divas disappear from TV for weeks while little girls sadly hope for a glimpse of Brie or Nikki & last year, a Divas t-shirt was a mythological thing. If little girls wanted something to represent their idols, they had to make it themselves.

But not anymore.

Seven women have merch for little girls to buy. There are two women’s matches a night. TWO. The women have actual storylines & Brie Bella, who’s match was famously pulled off a PPV to make room for Machine Gun Kelly to play John Cena to the ring is considered more important than the men. My daughters pleaded for their Bella shirts & I relented (& got one too) & they are excited for tonight like it’s Super Bowl Sunday with their Fearless Nikki & Brie Mode shirts. They’ve counted down the days for Bellaslam as they call it & tonight, they all get to stay up late to see if their beloved Brie can defeat the evil Stephanie McMahon.

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While to those who don’t watch, it doesn’t seem like a big deal; it’s just a campy, stupid TV show designed for rednecks & children, but to every girl who was told that they only watched wrestling for the hot guys or for the soap opera like atmosphere, this is our moment. For once, the girls we cheered for aren’t being marginalized in a dumbed down storyline that makes women look like shrews or like they only care about pleasing men or like women secretly hate each other & it’s all about jealousy. This is the equivalent of A Disney Princess grabbing the sword from Prince Charming & saving herself, or the Cubs going to the World Series. Fans waited so long & gave up hope that the day would ever come. Suddenly, for every little girl who aspires to be a Diva (including my 13 year old daughter), the main event, the star of the show, is an option. It’s attainable & kudos to WWE for realizing that girls can kick ass, girls do have feelings, & girls can star the show & people WILL care about them. Between this & the successful reality show Total Divas, it’s like WWE finally gets what they seemed to have forgotten since Trish Stratus & Lita retired; women are people; strong, resilient, confident, brave & emotional people & not just objects for men to ogle.

Now, I’m well aware that WWE will likely screw this up & break up the Bella Twins or something & turn this into a one note jealous sister storyline & remind me why they are sexist & can’t write for women, but right now I’m feeling very girl power for them & for my own kids, who get to ask to stay up without saying “if they don’t get cut” or “it’ll only be five more minutes,” because for the first time ever, the Divas are the star of the show.

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