Massachusetts Court Declares ‘Upskirt’ Photographs Legal, Lawmakers React Quickly

Massachusetts High Court declares ‘upskirt’ photographs legal, lawmakers react quickly

Image: Maxens M. Finch, flickr (CC_BY_2.0), filtered
Image: Maxens M. Finch, flickr (CC_BY_2.0), filtered

In what looks like an insane victory for creepy peeping tom types, the Massachusetts High Court has recently ruled that it is not illegal to secretly take pictures up a woman’s skirt, according to a report by Think Progress.

But why in the world would they decide like this, you may ask yourself?

According to the report, the court concluded that

[a] female passenger on a MBTA [Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority] trolley who is wearing a skirt, dress, or the like covering these parts of her body is not a person who is `partially nude,’ no matter what is or is not underneath the skirt by way of underwear or other clothing,

It seems that current laws are not keeping up with developments in technology, above all the ubiquity of camera-equipped smartphones.

Current “Peeping Tom” laws in Massachusetts “only protect women from being photographed in dressing rooms or bathrooms when they are undressed.” And because “upskirt photos are taken of fully clothed women in public, they don’t count,” reasons the Massachusetts court.

I think that it is not ok to take such pictures. I do think that this is a form of sexual harassment.

Update: Massachusetts lawmakers thought so, too, and passed a bill outlawing taking unconsensual upskirt pictures, including people of all genders.