Over breakfast yesterday, my kid is perusing the Fine brothers on YouTube. They were watching this:
Why, oh why do we have to get into such a heavy fucking topic at 6:30 in the morning?!? My blood sugar is low, my defenses are down, there is just not enough fucking coffee…
This is the first time I’ve ever heard of this girl, but with the recent events with Anita Sarkeesian, Zoe Quinn, Felicia Day and insurmountable amount of other women who have been getting harassed to a hate crime level on the internet, I’m getting really sickened with society. I know its not just women, but those have been in the media most recently. I, in no way, want to diminish the fact that guys get a ton of shit too, and then are expected to suck it up and take it “like a man.” It’s kind of a double whammy for them.
Essentially, the girl… being preteen and stupid was convinced to flash her chest on a webcam. A minor mistake considering any “Girls Gone Wild” video ever made. A facebook page was subsequently made with images of her, mocking her, demeaning her. She changed locations, changed schools… her friends bailed on her and joined in the lynching. The Scarlet Letter was less shocking than what occurred in this story and that was an era with which I thought we were long done.
She was brave to share her story, but a month after posting that video, she took her own life. She wasn’t even out of high school.
I remember high school. It was a thin slice of hell, not just because of the fellow students but the teachers as well. For every teacher that truly loved their job and made being there worthwhile, there were 20 others who made you want to explore your violent side. They bullied as well, but they were much more calculated at it since… they’re adults.
However, when you did something epically stupid, as we have all done, we may have had to deal with a shitload of backlash… but then it was forgotten. It goes away. With the inception of the internet though, NOTHING EVER GOES AWAY. We just have to rely and hope on the humanity of others to forgive and let our transgressions go. You just laughed at that idea, didn’t you? Me too. Then I get immediately sad about it.
We constantly evolve. I’m not the same person I was five years ago, I doubt I will be the same in another five. I’m most certainly not the shaved head, purple hair, combat boot wearing kid I used to be… sort of. I’d probably still rock some purple if I could get away with it. Or green.
My kid has already gotten to point where they don’t even bother to defend themselves at school when it comes to teachers. I have already been the recipient of one call this year from a teacher with which my kid already had a couple problems. Apparently, she also likes to trash talk one student in particular with the “Mean Girls”-equivalent clique in her class. Yes, she trashes one student to other students. A student who is already having a hard time making friends and doing the best they can is the target of her disgust.
Teacher:”Could you have a talk with your child about disrupting the class? They were talking and playing.”
me:”I don’t need to talk to them, they already told me what happened.You made an assumption, my kid’s neighbor wanted to chat, my kid told her neighbor to leave them alone. I don’t know what else my kid could have done to get out of that, but would love to hear your suggestion if you have one.”
Teacher: “Well, they didn’t tell me that. I was writing at the board and when I turned I saw them talking.”
me:”My kid wouldn’t tell you that. My kid wouldn’t bother to defend themselves. Kid has already learned the cold hard truth that teachers care little for truth when they want to make an example out of someone. Kind of sucks they couldn’t even make it out of elementary before learning that.”
Teacher:”…. uh, ….well, I’m new to this school. …Now I’ve had over TWENTY YEARS of teaching experience but, I’m, you know, new to this school so I’m still getting to know the kids.”
me:”I fail to see the relevance. However, my kid is the quiet type. Not because they have any disability in their social skills, they just don’t speak to anyone they don’t find interesting. Essentially, they pretty much cannot stand anyone in your class, so they will not be a problem for you.”
Since becoming a parent, my faith in teachers has declined immensely. My kid lucked out with their first one, but there seems to be at least one bully teacher in every grade since. Some so bad they cried themselves to sleep at night. When you have a kid who internalizes and tries to brave all the bullshit themselves, this can get maddening.
Where do you run when your friends abandon you? Where do you run when the teachers are just as bad, if not worse? Where do you run when your parent dismiss it? The internet makes your fuck-ups forever, so how can you ever move past them when they are constantly thrown in your face?
So, with the cancelling of that shit redneck and daughter show, and that other “OMFG someone get them some birth control” show, I propose they have a reality show in which cyberbullies the world over are outed. I might actually watch one then. We have the skillset to expose personal details and home addresses for celebrities in order to bully the shit out of them. There is no reason the same cannot be done of some douchebag in Inbred, Obrahoma.
Show up unannounced at the doorstep with camera crew in tow, and just ask “Why do you have to be such a dick?” Read every violent thing they have said or done to someone else, read everything in front of their family, their friends, their co-workers. Every person who encouraged that little girl to kill herself should on that list (if you want to maintain any faith in humanity, you will refrain from reading the comments posted on Amanda’s video). My theory is that the extremists are like cockroaches. If you shine a light on them, they will scatter.
Sure, there are probably who seriously get their rocks off thinking they somehow caused someone else to die, personally I think those should be shoved off a cliff with a packet a dental floss and a prayer. But most? I genuinely do not understand what the hell they are thinking. They have got to have people in their lives they value, would they do the same to them? Does it somehow make it ok to them if its a stranger?
I also think the laws need to change. Abuse to that level should constitute a hate crime, and the person who posts those details online and encourages others to “do something with it” about another person should be charged as an accessory. Law enforcement needs to get the hell out of the dark ages. If teens can get this information with just the computer mom and dad gave them for Christmas, why can’t adults get up to speed and do the same? The sad fact, there isn’t a good reason. It can be done. It just isn’t considering “important enough.” If it were a politician’s kid would that have changed things?