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Beware: That nude photo on your phone could land you in trouble

 It can land you in trouble [Photo: Courtesy]

Violent quarrels, some leading to murder, between couples arise from the flimsiest of disagreements.

Like the size of ugali, ridiculously small amounts of cash and innocuous “Goodnight dear” text message from strangers.

But what if you snooped on your spouse’s phone and found pictures of a stranger’s genitals stashed away in a secret folder?

Take the coast couple that divorced less than two weeks after their in Malindi honeymoon in April last year.

Boniface Oduor from Ukunda severed marital ties with Sheila Kayuga — a businesswoman — after she allegedly, not only cheated on him with another man, but also discovered nude photos of the woman he had courted for six years posted on WhatsApp to a group of friends.

Women are seemingly suckers for their own graphic nudity.

America’s Cosmopolitan magazine conducted a survey of 850 readers — 99 per cent female - about taking nude pictures. Eighty-nine percent had taken nude photos of themselves at some point.

Of those readers, only 14 per cent regretted taking the pictures, while 82 per cent said they would do it again.

This trend of sending nude photos to prospective lovers is catching on and taking root in Kenya, especially among college girls and new jobbers aged 25 and above.

Communications expert Thomas Osanjo recalls a female friend who broke up with her boyfriend. Apparently, the man, out of anger, threatened to releases her nude pictures.

“I helped her report the matter to the police who told the young man they would arrest him if he did that. The issue was then sorted amicably”

Discovering nude photos on a spouse’s phone can escalate a strained relationship or marriage.

Leading family lawyer, Judy Thongori, says local courts now accept nude pictures as circumstantial evidence after realising that it is not entirely possible to catch a cheating spouse in the act.

“If the pictures you find in your spouse’s phone are incriminating and there is a divorce process, then the pictures can be used as evidence of your partner’s infidelity. It can also be WhatsApp chats, emails or even text messages that any level-headed person can perceive to be inappropriate,” explains Thongori.

Another family lawyer, Donald Raballa, concurs arguing that nude “incriminating pictures can be used to support divorce. It is only that the case will be heard in camera but the pictures can be used to justify that the other party has been unfaithful.”

Nude photos are also a form of infidelity says Faith Nafula Atsango, a psychologist with Marik Counselling and Therapy Centre.

“Cheating doesn’t have to be physical intimacy between a man and a woman. There is emotional cheating, and that’s precisely what your husband will be doing when he looks and admires a naked woman’s pictures on his phone,” says Nafula, adding that, “Sending a married man nude pictures is “wetting his appetite...giving him an appetiser as he waits for the main meal. A woman can’t send a man she doesn’t want to sleep with nude pictures. So, it is a form of cheating.”

Nafula says men who share and exchange nude female pictures are perverts temporarily filling a need as “no man will share his wife’s or sister’s nude pictures, but why will the same man happily share pictures of other women, if it’s not all about feeling powerful?” But why even share one’s nude photos?

University of Nairobi sociology lecturer Ken Ouko says the psychology of nudity is that being in the nude is akin to baring body and soul and should be only for self, or for a loved one. But the current fad of nude pictures is tantamount to ‘social nudity’ which has been accepted as a way to fame and wealth.

“Before technology, social nudity was always solely the preserve of mad men and women who, because of their mental disequilibrium, had lost all consciousness of decency. In the social media today, we seem to find it so easy to advertise nudity as if it were a ticket to glory – which indeed it is turning out to be because social nudity seems to be the surest and fastest highway to fame.

“In this regard, nudity is perceived as social currency that elevates the perpetrators to celebrity status only by virtue of the millions of ‘hits’ such postings invite translating into obsessive attention,” says the sociologist.

He gives examples of Kenyan socialites who all have nude pictures online for their ‘fans’ to feast on.

“Kim Kardashian claim to fame was a sex tape that was posted online,” says Ouko, adding that it may be wise for morality campaigners to remember that universally, the moral bars have been considerably lowered and hence social nudity does not seem as wrong as it was decades ago.

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