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The Face That Launched a Thousand LawsuitsThe American Women Who Forged a Right to Privacy$
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Jessica Lake

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780300214222

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300214222.001.0001

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(p.223) Conclusion
The Face That Launched a Thousand Lawsuits

Jessica Lake

Yale University Press

In the conclusion, I discuss the implications of privacy’s gendered history – did this doctrine reinforce traditional ideals of femininity or did it assist in women’s struggle for equal citizenship? Did the legal community initially frame the question of whether individuals should have rights to their images as one of ‘privacy’ because women brought the majority of the claims? Would it have been framed differently, such as an issue of property rights, if men brought cases in equal or greater numbers? The concluding chapter also comments upon the ways in which this history relates to and informs contemporary debates about the circulation and publication of naked or sexually explicit images of women on the Internet. I argue that current attempts by women and their advocates to address the phenomenon of revenge pornography or nonconsensual pornography echo the earlier struggles for image rights and the recognition of a right to privacy that began in the first years of the 20th century. I also reflect upon the importance of emphasising the experiences of plaintiffs as well as the outcomes of cases in legal history; and the benefits of interdisciplinary scholarship at the intersections of law, film studies and women’s history.

Keywords:   Privacy, Femininity, Property, Equality, Gender, History, Pornography, Plaintiffs, Interdisciplinary, Film

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