Family holiday photos are supposed to be cheerful, memorable and even funny—anything but controversial. However, one Louisiana-based photographer is taking heat after a recent family Christmas photo sparked outrage amongst her followers – and the rest of the internet.
Hannah Hawkes Photography has come under fire after sharing an image from a recent family portrait session. The photo, seen below, displays a mother and, presumably, her two daughters with green duct tape covering their mouths and a smiling father holding a framed ’Peace on Earth’ sign while what is presumed to be the couple’s son raises his fist on the side.
For those unaware of the issue people had with the photo, social justice seekers across the web were disgusted, even ‘revolt[ed],’ that the family portrait depicted the females of the family as a patriarchal insult that women shouldn’t have a voice – or if they are to have one, it should be silent for the greater good of the men/boys in the family.
While it’s not clear where the criticism of the image started, or who it was first pointed out by, it didn’t take long for the image to spread across social media. Within a day, Facebook had removed the image, the Hannah Hawkes Photography Facebook fan page was deleted and hundreds of people had shared the photo – and their thoughts – across the web.
Facebook user Christine Ciana Calabrese was particularly outspoken, sharing the following post on her Facebook profile:
HANNAH HAWKES PHOTOGRAPHY: WILL NOT BE USING. Her featured photo on FB (since removed)…It was a “Christmas” photo of a…
Posted by Christine Ciana Calabrese on Tuesday, December 15, 2015
At some point, the Hannah Hawkes Photography fan page came back online and posted the following response, stating the photo ‘was taken by request by the family, and was in no way meant to promote abuse.’
After being silent, now isn’t that ironic, I would like to speak! I have been called every name in the book, and have…
Posted by Hannah Hawkes Photography on Monday, December 14, 2015
The image went so far as to reach Ruth M. Glenn, the Executive Director of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. In a response to Daily Dot, Glenn said:
Unfortunately, we live in a culture that still perpetrates violence against women as evidenced by this photo. What is equally as disturbing as the duct taping of the woman and girls’ mouths and the binding of their hands is the image of the young boy behind them giving a ‘thumbs up’. It is obvious, he is already influenced. Though we are glad the photo has been removed, that people responded so strongly against it, and the photographer asserted that the photo was taken in jest, it is no laughing matter. Violence against women is commonplace and perpetuated by apathy and ignorance, as exemplified by this photo. Once again, it gives us a glimpse into the ongoing struggle to change how our culture views and treats women and girls.
The statistics of domestic violence go far beyond what the word ‘tragic’ could ever convey – between 25–35% of women experience domestic violence during her lifetime, pending the organization whose numbers you’re looking at. That means, at the very least, one out of every four women are domestically abused in their lifetime – with women ages 18 to 34 at the greatest risk.
All in all, it’s a messy situation that should’ve been caught before the shutter even snapped, let alone before the image was posted on social media. But, at what point is the photographer responsible for ‘promoting’ something as vial as domestic violence when that was never the intention of either party and done specifically at the request of a client?
[via Daily Dot]
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