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Why isn't anyone talking about the misogyny involved in Amanda Todd's life and death?

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Photo sourced from R.I.P Amanda Todd Facebook page

With the death of 15-year-old Amanda Todd, BC schools have some reckoning on their hands. Will they take the opportunity to look at the systemic causes of Todd’s experience of harassment and violence, or let the lessons that can be learned from this tragedy get lost in a swamp of ambiguities?

While articles rolled in on mainstream news websites, conversation erupted on Facebook and in personal correspondence over email with women who are engaged in anti-violence and anti-oppression work across the country. In the spirit of our immediate reactions, I am quoting their comments in full.

“I wasn't sure if I should read the [Toronto Sun] article, but I started and I'm disgusted by the framing, at least in what I've read so far. I didn't like how the first part hints that the moral of the story is ‘girls, don't flash your breasts on a webcam,’ like it was her fault,” says Zoe Mallet, a human rights advocate and scholar in Ottawa.

“It made me want to take a topless photo and post it online with a statement of protest. Of course, I won't do this because I know most people wouldn't understand or get it, but the urge was there.”

Jarrah Hodge, member of the City of Vancouver’s Women’s Advisory Committee and founder of feminist blog Gender Focus says, “I found it odd how there seemed to be no specific attempt to address the gender aspects including the factors that led to ‘the mistakes’ she made and the way she was manipulated and slut-shamed. At one point yesterday after they took the video down from YouTube, it was still up at some other sites like ebaumsworld,[...]and it was horrible to see how a lot of folks who didn't know she'd committed suicide were on about how ‘emo’ the video was and how it was ‘whining’ from someone who ‘doesn't know how to give a good BJ.’”

Feminist scholar and writer, and former BC high school teacher Fazeela Jiwa posted: “Why isn't anyone talking about the sexism and misogyny involved in Amanda Todd's life and death? 'Bullying' is important, yes, but it is a vague term that glosses over the structural reasons for why it happens, like race/gender/class/ability. If we don't start talking about the specifics of power structures in high schools, every ‘bullying’ campaign will be a waste of time.”

(182) Comments

Kateen Stevens October 14th 2012 | 12:12 PM
StopIt JustStopIt! wrote:

Jason Bryan wrote:

I'll flash my cock right now to prove that no matter what sex you are, people will call you horrible names for exposing your body.

TELL YOU WHAT- THIS is not the time and place ya goof, go find a more appropriate place, hhhm, say, like a porn site ok?  byebye good lord! unreal

Sorry darlings ...you missed the point of Jasons statement...he is not trying to be inappropriate or show disrepect for Amanda ...all he is saying is that no matter the Gender ..our society labels a person for straying from what people consider to be acceptable in our society... or what our society considers right and proper behavior. sadly ,no gender is excluded ... It is time we as a society of Inelligent ...caring people .. mature and stop Labelling people..but instead wonder what is behind this behavior..do not ridicule your child and call them weak or a sissy because they can't take it ... a child of Amandas age needs guidance ... needs love and understanding...these children do not come into this world with a manual of rights and wrongs!!! They need to be taught gently what is aceptable in this society...they need to be taught right and wrong .... It is so sad that now after Amandas death there is so much talk about right and wrong..about what is acceptable and what is not ... about Sexual Preditors and placing blame ... No matter what is said nothing will ever bring Amanda back... How can you expect a child ..any child to accept responsibility for their actions when the one's who are supose to protect..cherish and Teach refuse to accept responsibity for their actions ... we as a society are too busy chasing the almighty dollar to take the time to teach our children anything ...(God gives us a pure clean slate with every child born ) what is written on that empty slate depends on us as adults and Parents.... Walk with the Angels ..Amanda ... for now you have found the peace in Heaven you did not find here on earth .... \
Shasha October 14th 2012 | 2:14 PM

It blows my mind how ignorant some ppl on here are. Did you know that women and girls can also be bullies towards other girls, due to internalized patriarchy? This phrase is used in the original article... It's a really good idea to think before posting comments... No one is blindly blaming MEN, there's this thing called patriarchy which women are not immune from either. It is patriarchal to slut-shame girls. How is this so difficult to understand?

Dawn Pilgrim October 14th 2012 | 3:15 PM

"Crime" is the word finally popping up. Kids can be little mean jerks, thats for sure, i remember junior high all too well. But the people involved in taking pics or vids (child pronography) and trying to use them to get her to do things (blackmail) and then chased her to torture her and destroy her sense of self (harassment)...those are 3 pretty hefty charges. Why haven't they been tossed in jail?

 

Juan Velasquez October 14th 2012 | 4:16 PM

The following is for clarifying some concepts about sexism and the original article question:

Sexism, also known as gender discrimination or sex discrimination, is defined as prejudice or discrimination based on sex or gender; or conditions or attitudes that foster stereotypes of social roles based on sex. Sexism is often associated with gender supremacy arguments in either men or women. If sexist attitude (hate) is against female is called Misogyny. If it’s against male is called Misandry. If it’s against Intersex is called Misandrogyny. If it’s against Transsex is called Cissexism. If a male threats other man or woman because he or she invaded his privacy this is a sexism fact. Or if a women threats another woman or man because she or he invaded her privacy this is a sexism act. Now it’s very clear that this death had involved sexism circumstances. If all of you read again this article, also it’s clear that its writer is talking about misogyny performed for a man, it never blamed to men in general. If the article is well read here there was a trust worth value fail. The involved man was a betrayer since he received from his partner in love one of the most beautiful gift sharing her intimacy. Any valuable, honest and gentleman guy when received this special gift from your partner in love must save it as valuable treasure non-shareable with anybody. This is one of the facts that we need condemn. This is the question of this article. And also this is the opportunity to remind all people, woman and men, boys or girls, gay or lesbian, please don’t be a bastard, respect intimacy that it was given to you in trust. Please be honest with the partner in love. Grow up in human values and love each other without problems. Love is the most beautiful gift from the heaven and share it in the right way is our challenge. Open your brain. And please no more systemic sexism. Thanks

Give it a rest October 14th 2012 | 4:16 PM
ohnonotagain wrote:

Misandry runs rampid when women refuse to take responsibility for their actions :


-Letting children have computers and iphones out of sight from parents with no surveilance whatsoever. (BAD PARENTING)

-Not noticing when their kids cry for help in the different ways they do. this was an ongoing thing. HOW THE HELL DID HER MOTHER NOT NOTICE THE SIGNS??? (BAD PARENTING)

- Not teaching her daughter that its WRONG to flash people on cam as a child or a teen (BAD PARENTING)

-NOT sitting down with her child and EXPLAINING the concequences of going online as a naive overtrusting toddler. (BAD PARENTING)

Its SOOOOOO easy to blame "men" when you are a piss poor excuse for a mother looking for an easy way out. If you send a child off into the jungle (the world is a jungle.. lets face it) and not warn them about the lions and tigers (males AND FEMALE predators. yeah i said it. females too!).. what good is blaming the lions and tigers after your kids are already dead? Putting the blame on the lions and tigers only ensures that the lesson wasn't learned and it's guarenteed to happen again. and again. and again. and again. Why deprive your kids of knowing how to survive in this world? Wtf was her mother THINKING??

 

too bad the mother didn't hang herself. that piece of shit parent should be locked up with the bullies for ignoring her daughters cry for help. Anyone who thinks it was only the bullies fault needs their goddamn head examined.

1) Why is this all about *women* refusing to take responsibility for their actions? Have you ever heard of a *male* parent, called a father? I only watched Amanda's video once, but I got the impression her parents were separated or divorced and she was living with her dad when it started. (She talked about moving to her mom's place.)

2) What makes you say nobody noticed? Amanda said in her video that she was seeing a therapist (or psychiatrist - can't remember, exactly). Her parents were *trying* to help.

3) Why do you say that nobody talked to her about the consequences of going online, or that flashing the camera was a really bad idea? She did it - that doesn't mean nobody ever told her not to. If you think 12 and 13 year olds always listen to the adults around them, you're living in a fantasy world.

There is no evidence that bad parenting played a part in this. There's *lots* of evidence that sexual predators and bullies did.

E October 14th 2012 | 4:16 PM
fed_up_with_the_bs wrote:

Sad part is... if this was a 16 year old boy who did the flashing and got bullied and killed himself, he would have been called a "sexual pervert" and he "deserved it"...

a girl does it, shes a heroine and / or a martyr. Notice the absence of females saying what she did (flashing online) was "wrong".

None of you. And with that absence, you are opening the door for it to happen to another female child because she doesn't know it's "wrong" cause you won't teach her that it is... and most of you got the nerve to call yourselves "mothers".

Amanda Todd's death is being used as a vehicle for feminazi's political ajendas and misandry ...that is just utterly disgusting. so once again, Amanda's being "used".. but this time by other women for their own selfish reasons.

Shame on you. Let the girl rest in peace and stop trying to politically rape her and scavange her death for fuel to run your  "misandry machine". Shes been through enough.

Stop being a bully.

I think the point is that a girl bearing her breasts shouldn't be looked down upon. The girl shouldn't be bullied, and neither should the theoretical boy in this case. 

 

Ben Giesbrecht October 14th 2012 | 4:16 PM

If you really want to break it down and see why the bullying happened its only  fair we look at all the causes because if we go out to the world and preach to them Amanda was in no way at fault for what happened then nothing will get fixed well just end up with kids having a disillusioned sense of reality. 

Facts:

a girl flash a man online. 

A man distributed her chest ppictures

girl was ostracized by her peers for actions girl. 

A girl commits suicide because of the bullying from peers and man.

we must condem and teach that this mans behavior was unacceptable, and also offer support for him as I'm sure he has his issues and reasons as well for ending up the way he has. But we must also not shy away from the fact that a girl, by nobody's choice but her own, decided to bare her chest online while full well knowing the consequences of showing herself on the Internet.  

The only question I had at the end of this article was, where was her parents and family throughout all of this?

Ben Giesbrecht October 14th 2012 | 5:17 PM

feminists....the most accomplished whiners in the world.  Manage to take all dignity from a girls death. 

 

 

Give it a rest October 14th 2012 | 5:17 PM
Ben Giesbrecht wrote:

we must condem and teach that this mans behavior was unacceptable, and also offer support for him as I'm sure he has his issues and reasons as well for ending up the way he has. But we must also not shy away from the fact that a girl, by nobody's choice but her own, decided to bare her chest online while full well knowing the consequences of showing herself on the Internet. 

Really? How do you know she "full well" knew the consequences. She was 12 or 13 (I don't know which, but she was in 7th grade). At 44, I wouldn't have necessarily predicted that a predator would track me down and distribute my pics, let alone trigger an avalanche of bullying. Why would you expect someone to be able to anticipate it at 12 or 13 years of age?? She was a child.

Quote:
The only question I had at the end of this article was, where was her parents and family throughout all of this?

Do you have some kind of evidence that they weren't present? People told her to drink more bleach next time. They beat her up, on school grounds, in front of multiple spectators, who then walked away and left her there. A sexual predator destroyed her life, because she wouldn't give him "a show"...and you're upset with her *parents*??

What, exactly, should her parents have done that they didn't do? (Before answering, keep in mind that you have no idea what they did or didn't do to help her.)

Sheila October 14th 2012 | 7:19 PM

The 1990's were an extremely emasculating time for men. Metrosexuals, advertising mocking men, female empowerment seemingly at their expense. But over the last 5-10 years, men (this is a gross generalization, but still valid) have rediscovered how to take that power back. They call us whores. A woman/girl who does ANYTHING even slightly sexual is instantly labelled a whore. It allows them to look at her as less than human, thereby enabling them to feel superior.  Anything that happens to her, she deserves. "It's not us guys, it's not our fault, she's a slut". It's how they make themselves feel like the masters of the universe again. Our societal balance is badly messed up...mark my words, male viciousness and dehumanization towards women is only going to get worse.

Give it a rest October 14th 2012 | 8:20 PM
Ben Giesbrecht wrote:

feminists....the most accomplished whiners in the world.  Manage to take all dignity from a girls death. 

I'm not a feminist, but I do wonder what dignity you think there is in suicide over bullying and sexual harrassment.

barb Levesque October 14th 2012 | 8:20 PM

Many of the people commenting here are missing the point of this article.  We have to start talking about what happened not in terms of what Amanda did, but in terms of what others did. 

The person who convinced her to expose her breasts committed a crime - sexual exploitation of a minor.  It doesn't matter how willing she was - just as it doesn't matter in more overt sexual crimes against children like rape - anyone who draws a child into a sexual activity is committing a crime. 

The re-posting of her photo is also a crime - distribution of child pornography.  It's importatnt to note that everyone, no matter what their age, who re-posted the photo can be charged with this crime.  After that, the ongoing communication and threats over the internet via Facebook and other social media was criminal harassment, maybe even stalking and blackmail.  The beating at school was not bullying - it was assault. 

Some commenters have pointed out that both boys and girls harassed and assaulted her over the years - Amanda says it was girls, not boys, who physically assaulted her.  

Misogyny means the hatred of women.  Anyone who understands misogyny knows that we're not just talking about male misogynists when we talk about misogyny - we're talking about a much larger cultural problem with how women and girls are viewed - and how women and girls view themselves.

There has been almost no discussion about the crimes that have been committed.  There's been no discussion about how Amanda's exploitation is just one tiny blip in the massive explosion of child pornography on the internet which feeds a growing male audience worldwide.  We're not takking about whatmen and boys need to do so that the horror stops.  There's been almost no discussion about how the male parallel of this situation is the horrible assaults and harassment in high schools suffered by gay male teens and the too frequent resulting suicides.

Girls that have suffered sexual exploitation and then public shaming and gay male teens have something in common.  They are not seen as conforming enough to a social structure that is largely built on a male perspective.   

The girls who assaulted and harassed Amanda did so within a culture that accepts their behaviour to a great extent.  We don't focus on what they did - we focus on what Amanda did.  We don't call it assault or criminal harassment - we've given it a nice soft name - bullying.  We are not talking about WHY they did what they did.  We're talking about how Amanda admitted she made a "mistake".  We're not talking about the timelessness of this kind of hate towards women from other women - as vicious now as it was 2000 years ago.  Instead, we're talking about how the mother should have done a better job of monitoring her daughter.

We have a big problem - and we're not really talking about it.  We just want to kibbitz about what Amanda and her mother should or shouldn't have done and make plans for more facile anti-bullying campaigns in schools. 

I like this article because at least it's a start on really talking about the mess we've created. 

Joe October 14th 2012 | 9:21 PM

What a slut!!! Why bother defending such a little attention whore?

angryblackwoman October 14th 2012 | 10:22 PM

If amanda todd was black, this would never have made the news and since "feminism" is a "white middle to upperclass privelage" thing, this article wouldn't exsist either.


Where were the white feminists when Don Imus called us "Nappy headed hoes"?

 

Thought so. You all stayed quiet like church mice.

 

 

Wow
Sam October 14th 2012 | 10:22 PM

Why turn this into an issue about race?  Open your eyes.

barb Levesque October 14th 2012 | 10:22 PM

Amanda Todd was Aboriginal. 

Sally Strange October 14th 2012 | 11:23 PM

I know it is a somewhat tricky distinction to make, but blaming the SYSTEM that devalues women and promotes the idea that they are inferior to men is NOT THE SAME THING as blaming all men. 

Many men are feminists. And many women enforce sexism and misogyny. 

So, defensive dudes who are upset about the idea of blaming misogyny for the bullying that led to Amanda Todd's suicide, lighten up! IT'S ACTUALLY NOT ABOUT YOU. You are not the patriarchy. 

 

Unless you want to be. Then you can be the patriarchy, just like the boys and girls who made Amanda Todd feel like she was completely worthless because she was a "slut," or, in other words, because she was a girl who exhibited sexuality that didn't fit the patriarchal mold. 

Sally Strange October 14th 2012 | 11:23 PM

It's also true that women of color are at higher risk of sexual exploitation, sexual assault, and rape than white women are. Disabled women, they are more at risk than able-bodied women. These are all issues that we need to deal with. And yes, it is sad that people notice and care more about the death of a pretty young white girl than they would about a pretty young black girl. Yes, feminism has had its problems with race issues and there's womanism and trans-feminism and all kinds of problems to address. I don't resent people bringing race into it. When an 11-year-old Latina girl in Texas was found to have been repeatedly gang-raped by a group of local boys and men, the news media and the local people they interviewed took the tone that she had brought it on herself because she wore makeup and dressed like a 20-year-old, so they said, and voluntarily hung out with those boys. That story was one of the few about a girl of color to get attention in the past few years. And yet this happens literally every day, hundreds of times a day. It's a huge problem, this culturally encoded contempt and hatred for women and girls, and when it's coupled with contempt and hatred for people of color, or queer people, or people who are disabled, or transgender people, the result is a toxic brew of dehumanization that creates the perfect opportunity for a sexual predator to take advantage and get away with it. We need to resist the dehumanization and the urge to create the illusion of safety for ourselves--victim-blaming creates a false sense of security. If she did something wrong, then all we have to do to avoid being victimized is act differently than she did. The reality is that it's the predator who is the determining factor. And we, as a culture, need to stop creating situations that make it easy for predators to exploit marginalized people. We need to take responsibility, stop victim-blaming, and take away the myths that those predators hide behind. 

Give it a rest October 15th 2012 | 12:00 AM
barb Levesque wrote:

The beating at school was not bullying - it was assault. 

<snip>

We don't call it assault or criminal harassment - we've given it a nice soft name - bullying. 

I agree that what Amanda was subjected to was criminal. I agree that the perp who sent her picture around should be charged. I agree that the underlying attitudes about women that permeate this entire situation are completely screwed up.

I disagree that "bullying" is a nice soft name. People don't understand bullying, so they say stuff like this. Bullying *is* assault. Bullying *is* criminal harassment. It's not a soft name. It's a label for an overall pattern of behaviour that can include physical and psychological abuse of various kinds...sometimes sexual, sometimes not. "Bullying" is not a soft term. People just don't want to acknowledge that bullying isn't simply calling someone a name or teasing them a bit.

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Amathyne October 15th 2012 | 5:05 AM

To all the people who wish to self-righteously proclaim how she brought this on herself.

I remember when I was in school, on the last day before summer break, a bunch of jocks - standing in front of the school, in plain view of everyone, kids, teachers, and people on the street, and mooned the school.

Everyone laughed and thought it was funny, adults included. They were never shamed, called names, harrassed or extorted over it. I remember one of them asking if anybody had gotten a picture, and could they get a copy.

Now, change the picture a little.  What if instead of guys it had been girls flashing their chests?  Imagine the difference in the reaction.

Weather she made a mistake or not is beside the point.  She absolutely did not deserve what happened to her.  When a child makes a mistake, this is not how it is supposed to be dealt with.

I'm a little disgusted that everyone is letting the pedophile off with a "well, what did you expect?" after he extorts and harrasses her for his pleasure, while expecting a 13-year-old child to have maturity and decision making abilities of an adult.  It's like we expect adults to act like children, and children to act like adults.  

She was a child.  The adults around her were supposed to protect her.

I'm also worried that we lumped things such as assault, harrasement, extortion and distribution of child porn all under the heading of "bullying."

 

Amathyne October 15th 2012 | 6:06 AM
Ben Giesbrecht wrote:

If you really want to break it down and see why the bullying happened its only  fair we look at all the causes because if we go out to the world and preach to them Amanda was in no way at fault for what happened then nothing will get fixed well just end up with kids having a disillusioned sense of reality. 

Facts:

a girl flash a man online. 

A man distributed her chest ppictures

girl was ostracized by her peers for actions girl. 

A girl commits suicide because of the bullying from peers and man.

we must condem and teach that this mans behavior was unacceptable, and also offer support for him as I'm sure he has his issues and reasons as well for ending up the way he has. But we must also not shy away from the fact that a girl, by nobody's choice but her own, decided to bare her chest online while full well knowing the consequences of showing herself on the Internet.  

The only question I had at the end of this article was, where was her parents and family throughout all of this?

I find it a little odd that you want to talk about what a naive young girl did to bring this on herself, yet when talking about the guy who distributed the pictures for the sole purpose of hurting her, you want to offer "support" for his "issues."

Seriously?  C'mon now...

 

 

Bob October 15th 2012 | 7:07 AM
Milano Lekensa wrote:

Can we please stop just thowing this word around? Do you call a woman a misandrist when she bullies or belittles a man?

Sorry, but systematic misandry does not exist. There has been no historical systematic oppression against men.

When a woman bullies or belittles a man, that is an act of prejudice against that particular man. While still not right or okay, it doesn't affect other men. I don't suddenly feel unsafe walking alone at night or in certain situations.

The main difference is that women face daily pressures and oppression that men in general simply have not come to know. There is a privilege men have in society that must be recognized and checked.

 

canubelieve October 15th 2012 | 7:07 AM
angryblackwoman wrote:

If amanda todd was black, this would never have made the news and since "feminism" is a "white middle to upperclass privelage" thing, this article wouldn't exsist either.


Where were the white feminists when Don Imus called us "Nappy headed hoes"?

 

Thought so. You all stayed quiet like church mice.

 

 

THANK YOU! that is SOOOOOOOOOOOOO TRUE!

Another totally appalling thing to take note of is there is a feminist organization called "slut walk" that will be marching & protesting in the street searching for justice in Amanda Todds death.

http://www.facebook.com/SlutWalk


Think about it for a second. they called it "SLUT WALK"  (really? "Slut walk"?? wtf) and they'll be doing it in the name of Amanda Todds death... the same feminists who say Amanda Todd wasn't a slut are now marching the street praising & flaunting the name "SLUT" in the name of her death. So basically they are giving off the message that Amanda was a slut, but only women are allowed to say it.. (didn't her female bullies call her that?) and its a "praise" not an insult unless men say it??

White feminists are the most dumbest, most stupid and ass backwards organization since christianity. Black people don't walk the streets in a "N*gger walk" because they know it gives off the message that anyone is allowed to say it then backpeddal and make excuses after the damage is done. Matter of fact, the last "slut walk" they had in the city was all white females (no black women).. one of them was a white girl holding a sign that says "Men are the n*ggers of the world" with a big old grin on her face.

http://www.womanist-musings.com/2011/10/dear-slutwalk-woman-is-not-nigger-of.html

Who the hell gave that middle/upperclass white girl the permission to use the word "n*gger?? at a white feminist march called "Slut walk"?? But yet men aren't allowed to use the word "slut"? See how backwards feminism is? How DARE you compare the word "Slut" to the word "nigger". if i see a white feminist using the word n*gger around me then saying "psst its ok.. we get called worse", she better know how to run real fast in the opposite direction.

 

 

 

 

Troy Hayden October 15th 2012 | 8:08 AM
I hope the piece of dirt that threatened her with the picture is caught and I also hope that his name and address is posted so that some good old backyard justice can be done. Someone must know how to find out who this guy is. I personally will pay 100$ if some one can tell us this guy's name and where abouts. Troy Hayden P.S. I wish I knew you Amanda so that I could have been there for you. "Those Whom The Gods Love Grow Young" ~Oscar Wilde
Robyn October 15th 2012 | 9:09 AM

In this day and age, is it not possible to track IP addresses and find out who it was that caused all this to start...isn't that one way they find pedophiles...that man or "boy" who coaxed her to take the picture should be punished...

Michael 5656 October 15th 2012 | 10:10 AM

I agree with almost everything the author posted here, but saying that people's reactions to this tragedy reveal hatred of women is not just unfair - it is taking advantage of this poor girl once again.

 

I know that some (strong word) people have been extremely cruel both online and offline, but to say that their behaviour is indicative of society in general hating women is a stretch beyond belief.  I am part of society and I do NOT tolerate their behavior - and reading through the posts here will reveal that many of us ARE behind the family and want swift harsh justice for the perpetrator.

 

Of course people react to say this girl shouldn't have posted photos of herself naked on the internet.  I think any parent would be upset about this whether it was their son OR daughter!  That isn't sexism - it is about sexual propriety and self-respect (and perhaps about leaving your teens unsupervised with a webcam).  Don't hijack this issue to push your agenda - support the family and punish the perpetrator, the society I live in doesn't want that guy around.

 

CM October 15th 2012 | 10:10 AM
Milano Lekensa wrote:

Can we please stop just thowing this word around? Do you call a woman a misandrist when she bullies or belittles a man?

This kind of comment completely ignores the power imbalance at work here. Men hold a stronger position of power and influence in our society. "Misogyny" doesn't just happen in single instances of a man bullying a woman. It is a systematic power structure, embedded in centuries of tradition and cultural norms, that manifests itself in incidents like what happened to Amanda. There is no equivalent systematic structure of misandry in our society.
Rickles October 15th 2012 | 11:11 AM
This was actually my second thought when reading about her story; another reminder of the unimaginable cost of humanity's illness. Contempt for women hides everywhere in our society, no less a tragedy being how many girls and women it infects, and the way it skews ones appreciation of self-worth. This has always needed to be addressed--more so all the time. I like to think that the real answer to such imbalance is to find a way to get people to see that we resolve these dangerous flaws in society's fabric by working together, not by increasing division and keeping everyone at each other's throats--that's what got us here. The person who wrote this article meant to get us talking and keep these concepts alive in our minds, because we never could afford to bury and dismiss them; not to get our fists flying so we'll waste a bunch more time in unecessry conflict while more girls and women feel the things Amanda did. Facing society's ills isn't self-indictment, it's the first step toward meangfull, vital change. My first thought reading her story was wondering how a young girl who obviously had such a big heart and the world just waiting for her could be left feeling so hopeless and alone. I can't change the way society is so badly misaligned, but I'm scratching my head trying to find a way to spread the message that there is always hope, that there is always someone who cares, who will do anything to help, with complete acceptance and never a trace of judgement. We're focusing on Amanda, but let us remember how many are vicitmized by this type of thing, every day, all over the world. Imagine if the bridge between that help and those who need it got as much attention in the press as the horror of the predator who led Amanda into the social wilderness of alienation, separating her from the herd to destroy her at leisure. It may be too horrible for most of us to accept, but it happens all the time. While we're busy arguing and belittling one another's thoughts, all I can think is that nothing we can do or say will ever bring that girl back to where she belongs. Trying to find answers and looking for someone to blame just isn't enough to make that stop hurting. It's a testament to her value and the weight of her loss that she is mourned around the world by generations of people who never had the blessing of meeting her. I hope I'm not the only one who refuses to let the sorrow of that loss fall into the abyss, when it could lead to real change and a necessary step forward in humanity's growth. Amanda took the first step for us, now it's our turn. Peace to all.
Jacob Russell October 15th 2012 | 1:13 PM
The main reason I'm not talking about it is because it undermines any difficulties that men go through when being bullied. There are several boys that commit suicide every year due to this and they are not getting any press. Part of it is that they are not photogenic. The second someone tries to trun this into a feminist cause half the population gets shut down and then forgotten. That would be a grave mistake. The photo attached is one I saw circulating today... as a quick example. http://www.facebook.com//////#!/photo.php?fbid=328574427240438&set=a.290454384385776.59641.289337027830845&type=1&theater