The Right to Privacy or Keeping a Secret

by Dorothy M. Neddermeyer, PhD - Date: 2007-01-22 - Word Count: 561 Share This!

Privacy and Secrecy has merged into one definition if one is to believe what is propagated by the media. A news flash recently hyped Oprah Winfrey's 'secret' childhood. Oprah's best friend and colleague, Gayle King served as Oprah's spokesperson confirming for the media following Oprah's statement in 'O' magazine. "Only my family and closest friends knew. I would tell no one until I felt safe enough to share my dark past: the years I was sexually abused, from age 10 to 14, my resulting promiscuity as a teenager, and finally, at 14, my becoming pregnant." Oprah Winfrey was shattered when a relative revealed in 1990 that she'd had a baby at 14, she says in the new issue of her magazine. The baby did not live. Gayle King reported, "Oprah did not tell me until several years into our relationship." Ms. King speaks as if it was a failing on Oprah's part to not tell her early in their friendship as if Oprah owed it to her to tell her everything.

Did Oprah keep a secret about her past or did she exercise her right to privacy?

The definition for the right to Privacy and keeping a Secret differs substantially.

Keeping a Secret or Secrecy: (adjective) 1 a : kept from knowledge or view :Hidden b: marked by the habit of discrete: Closemouthed c: working with hidden aims or methods : Undercover (a secret agent) d: not acknowledged : Unavowed (a secret bride) e: conducted in secret (a secret trial) 2 : remote from human frequentation or notice: Secluded Merriam Webster Dictionary

Right of privacy:

"The right of privacy (noun) has one meaning: a legal right (not explicitly provided in the US Constitution) to be left alone; the right to live life free from unwarranted publicity. Although not explicitly mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, a right to privacy has been held to be implicit in the Bill of Rights, providing protection from unwarranted government intrusion into areas such as marriage and contraception." Merriam Webster Dictionary

"A person's right to privacy may be overcome by a compelling state interest. In tort law, privacy rights protect one's intimate life and affairs from being exposed to public view or otherwise invaded. Less broad privacy rights protection are afforded public officials and others defined by law as public figures"-movie stars, media personalities, authors, business moguls (Donald Trump, Warren Buffet, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, et al) Merriam Webster Dictionary

Accepting these definitions, it is clear that Oprah exercised her 'Right to Privacy.' The persistent demand that some people are 'obligated' to make their lives an open book for the public and media as entertainment or la raison d' Ítre is a reflection of those who hold that belief and says nothing about the person whose life the public believes they have a right to invade.

It has become a world preoccupation for the majority of people-as the numerous tabloids, celebrity based magazines and TV programs attest-to live vicariously through others rather than creating an interesting, exciting and rewarding life for themselves. Princess Diana and Jackie Kennedy before her and a plethora of entertainment personalities come to mind-they were hounded worldwide as fodder for people's insatiable thirst for living life vicariously through someone else. While there may be some collusion between the public and the person who is hounded, they would much rather have their lives in their control as opposed to exposing every detail of their lives.

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Dorothy M. Neddermeyer, PhD, author, motivational speaker and inspirational leader specializes in: Mind, Body, Spirit healing and Physical/Sexual Abuse Prevention and Recovery. Dr. Neddermeyer empowers people to view life's challenges as an opportunity for Personal/Professional Growth and Spiritual Awakening. Your Article Search Directory : Find in Articles

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