Not every state has rules on the books making it illegal for men to covertly photograph a woman’s genital region just because she’s wearing a dress or a skirt. (I’m sure lawmakers in those states just have more faith in people’s inherent respect for women’s bodies.) But New York does.
And with the city’s women wantonly greeting warmer weather with seasonally appropriate hemlines, the Manhattan district attorney’s office is launching a preemptive strike against the sadly expected spat of upskirt photos.
Their social media campaign includes a reminder that within state lines, at least, this is very much a crime—one punishable by possible prison time.
They’re also appealing to women to be vigilant:
And bystanders to be proactive:
Ultimately, as anyone who has ever ridden the subway during rush hour knows, it’s impossible to be completely aware at all times of any potential cameras. And as anyone with a passing understanding of the human psyche knows, making something illegal is not an exhaustive deterrent. So regardless of whether it’s a crime in your state or not, consider this your summer 2016 reminder to respect people’s privacy, and/or protect yours as best you can.