Intimacy: the series that tells the drama of digital harassment

Do you know what digital harassment based on revenge porn is? This is what the new Netflix series, “Intimacy”, is about, in which three victims will raise their voices in the face of abuse.

Intimacy: the series that tells the drama of digital harassment

Last update: June 21, 2022

Privacy is the new Netflix miniseries that recounts the drama of digital harassment of a sexual nature. The harassment takes place after the revelation of intimate secrets before a large public, mainly via the internet.

The series narrates the life of four women who are forced to defend themselves, after seeing how photos and videos in which they appear and that are of a sexual nature become public without their consent. It is set in Bilbao, where we meet Malen (Itziar Ituño), a mayoral candidate who is about to experience the unthinkable when a sexual video of her is leaked to the press.

So, where are the limits of our intimacy? What happens to our lives when our privacy becomes everyone’s talk?

Privacy is another exceptional plot that will keep you interested until the end. The solidity that we appreciate in the staging is produced above all thanks to the cast of actresses: Itziar Ituño, Verónica Echegui, Patricia López Arnaiz, Ana Wagener, Emma Suarez and Yune Nogueiras.

The series that talks about digital harassment by sexual videos or images

Privacy It is not based on a particular real case, but perhaps it can remind us of the case of Veronica, an employee of the Iveco factory. Years ago, this exemplary employee and mother of a family committed suicide after the broadcast of a sexual video in her workplace.

Veronica had to put up with the teasing and bullying of her peers. This case caused great consternation in Spain and served as inspiration for one of the plots of this series. And it is that when our privacy is violated, triggering sexual harassment, violent messages and threats, criminal acts are being committed.

In these cases, we know that the victims usually feel vulnerable to a maximum degree, totally overwhelmed by the situation. The actress Jennifer Lawrence, after the publication of her intimate photos on the internet declared: “this is not a scandal. It’s a sex crime.”

What is digital or cyber bullying?

Cyberbullying is a repeated pattern of conduct directed at a person to cause emotional distress and fear. The jurist and specialist in sexual crimes on the Internet Danielle Citron, author of the book hate crimes in cyberspace, defines digital bullying more broadly.

Citron points out that cyberbullying can include threats of violence (often sexual in nature). In addition, lies claimed as fact can be spread. It is also about posting sensitive information online (be it nude or compromising photos or social security numbers) and includes tech attacks (falsely changing or closing a person’s social media account).

Digital harassment through “revenge porn”

One form of digital abuse you may have heard of is non-consensual pornography, often called “revenge porn”.

This type of abuse intersects with sexual harassment as it involves the digital distribution of nude or sexually explicit photos and videos of a person without their consent. It is called “revenge” porn because the images or videos are often used in retaliation or as blackmail material by a current or former partner.

Too many people have experienced this form of harassment, especially women. Their sexual images and videos are used as a way to tarnish their “honor and respectability”.

When an ex-partner spreads these images, it is in order to ridicule the woman and feel that she is doing “justice” with respect to their relationship. Like all forms of abuse, revenge porn is extremely traumatic. The victim feels that they will never live a normal life again.

The feeling of public humiliation is so great that it feels like rape in public. In addition, the shame that the woman experiences in front of her relatives reveals much of the sexism of this crime.

If sexual photos or videos of a man were revealed, it would not be more than an anecdote. However, in the case of a woman, it can ruin her life. Much will depend on women’s coping strategies and the perceived and effective social support they have.

Digital harassment in different circumstances

Privacy tells us about a current problem directly related to our digital life. These are files that contain certain content that we want to remain private and that end up being exposed to public opinion.

In these cases, we expect them to suffer in silence; Even if they don’t, it is interpreted by many as a sign of weakness. The series tries to present an argument against these hegemonic ideologies and the established norms of society through three parallel stories of women who defend themselves in public in different ways.

The video of politics Malen Zubiri and public honorability

Malen Zubiri is deputy mayor of Bilbao and in the first episode of Privacy we see that his party was ready to announce his candidacy for mayor of the city. Everything changes when a private video of her having sex with an anonymous person is leaked.

The story that follows shows Malen trying to save a career in the public sector while a video of his sexual nature is broadcast. Her male counterparts assume she will withdraw her candidacy, as they expect her to be riddled with debilitating shame. She makes it clear that this emotion is reserved for those who try to weaponize her private life.

Ana Uribe: it is not a suicide, but a social crime

“It’s not a suicide, it’s a social crime.” This is how Begoña, Ana Uribe’s sister, accuses the workers of the company where her sister worked and in which she was harassed for some sexual photographs and videos leaked by an ex-boyfriend to a factory employee.

He tried to report the problem to higher authorities, but instead of taking punitive action against the factory member who circulated it, they blamed the victim and questioned his character and credibility.

Leire: the youngest victim who can’t find a role model

Leire, Malen’s teenage daughter, is also facing the consequences of her mother’s video being leaked. She is harassed by her high school classmates first and ignored by her boyfriend later.

It doesn’t matter the economic position or the job that her mother does, the consequences derived from the dissemination of the video also end up configuring a trauma in Leire.

A tremendously addictive series with a valuable underlying plot

The series brings us closer to different cases to conceptualize different ways of dealing with an event and the social responsibility that exists when it comes to disseminating intimate photographs.

It also looks at what privacy looks like in the modern age, especially when too often what little we have is betrayed: our intimacy. Are we ever really alone? Can we trust our surroundings? Is the reaction of people to the intrusion of another’s privacy typical of the most harmful morbidity? Privacy makes you think about it.

In a digitized society, are there intimate and private moments? The stories of Malen, Begoña, Alicia and Ana make it clear that we are facing an important problem when certain content transcends the sphere of privacy without the consent of the protagonists. This is so because, in many cases, far from denouncing the fact, the immediate environment, society and even the media multiply the pain that the fact can cause.

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