These past few weeks, I must sadly say that I am ashamed to be a wrestling fan. I am ashamed that other wrestling fans are bullying a young woman after her privacy was invaded to the utmost extreme, calling her a whore. I am ashamed that many young men and women think that a woman enjoying sex is promiscuous. I am ashamed that people feel the need to hurt others in the most cowardly way possible; sitting in a dark bedroom or a musky basement, typing misogynistic rants and hateful comments to a person who is at their lowest, never having to face the consequences for their actions. I am ashamed to see that people see the suffering of others as a joke. I am ashamed that people think that it is okay that a woman’s privacy being invaded is something to celebrate. The recent leaking of private videos and pictures of WWE superstar Paige has shown the ugliest side of the internet wrestling community, and the ugly truth that female sexuality is still struggling to be accepted in our society.

In late March, several photos and videos were released depicting WWE superstar Paige either nude or in sexual situations. However, these were private videos meant to be shared between Paige and her partner at the time, and they were stolen from her. Paige has admitted the mistake of taking the pictures and videos in the first place, yet people still think it is okay to bully her or make disparaging remarks online. People seem to forget that what a person does behind closed doors with their partner is between them, and not for the rest of the world. However, we have seen many people say that it was Paige’s fault for taking the pictures, and that perhaps she was responsible for leaking them so that she could get out of her contract with WWE. These claims are ridiculous, as Ricky Knight, Paige’s father, stated that he was worried for his daughter’s mental health and safety after the incident. Paige’s mother, Saraya Knight, stated that she was scared of losing her baby girl. Paige herself stated that she was scared of her husband leaving her, and scared that her family would disown her. She thought of suicide. Yet, due to the support of her husband, fellow wrestler Alberto El Patron, and her family, she pulled through. While there was a large section of fans rallying behind Paige and showing support for her, there was sadly a perhaps larger section of the internet wrestling community that contributed to either spreading the videos around the internet, harassing Paige or members of her family online, or thinking that this situation was a joke.

People seem to not realize that breaking into somebody’s iCloud and releasing their private pictures, videos, and information to the public is illegal. Redistributing it is as well. People thought that the person who leaked these private moments between Paige and her boyfriend at the time was doing a service, when in fact he or she was committing a felony. The internet was never supposed to see what was going on in those videos, yet people still say that it is Paige’s fault that the videos were leaked, saying that if she didn’t want them leaked, they shouldn’t have been taken or recorded in the first place. This is missing the point, as it is just another flavor of the argument of “if a bank leaves its vault open, it should be blamed for being robbed, not the robber for robbing it.” While it was likely poor judgment to record those videos and take those pictures, or leave the theoretical vault door open, it wasn’t morally wrong to do so. Stealing what doesn’t belong to you, however, is. Blaming the victim is not an acceptable measure to take when a crime is committed. Blaming the perpetrator and punishing him or her, however, is.

However, it seemed that the internet community was determined to take to Twitter in Instagram to blast Paige, calling her names such as “whore.” This also leads into another issue that I think is something that society needs to work on. Yes, Paige enjoys sex, just as every other single human being on Earth does, and that’s okay. The only reason that she is called a “whore,” in this case, is because she happens to be a woman. Women’s sexuality isn’t nearly as widely accepted as men’s sexuality, and in fact, while a man’s sexuality is considered “normal,” a woman’s is considered taboo. This shouldn’t be. Enjoying sex, and participating in sexual activity with one’s partner, is completely normal, and shouldn’t be frowned upon, or met with negative reactions. Sex is a normal, important part of a healthy relationship, and we have to stop acting like people who have it are morally inferior. Paige is a human being who acted on human urges in a healthy way. It’s not the end of the world. Leave her alone, and instead of ranting about her being a “whore,” maybe rethink your horrible attitude.

With that being said, I am glad that Paige is okay. She is easily my favorite female wrestler and somebody who seems like a real sweetheart. She made a mistake years ago and was a victim of a horrible invasion of privacy, and I feel that people need to get over it. Bullying a woman over her choices is wrong, and in fact, is harassment. I would also like to thank all of Paige’s fans who stood with her during this difficult time. In time, this will all pass, but for now, there were some things I had to get off of my chest!

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