RIP, Amanda Todd

From the ABC News article:

A week later, she said she received a text message telling her to get out of school and then a group of students, led by the boy’s girlfriend, surrounded her at school and said, “Look around, nobody likes you.”

“A guy then yelled, ‘Just punch her already,’ so [the girlfriend] did,” Todd wrote. “She threw me to the ground and punched me several times. Kids filmed it. I was all alone and left on the ground.”

Todd said she “wanted to die so bad” when her dad found her in a ditch. She drank bleach when she went home and had to be rushed to the hospital to have her stomach pumped, she said.

“After I got home, all I saw was on Facebook–‘She deserved it. Did you wash the mud out of your hair? I hope she’s dead,'” she wrote.

Todd moved to another school in another city, but said the torture followed her through Facebook. Students posted photos of ditches and suggested she try another bleach.

From the Flurt analysis:

And now that Amanda is gone, we care – making Amanda a poster-child for cyber bullying. Now people will ask “where were the police?” or “what was she doing on Facebook?” while ignoring the deeper issues. Amanda was viciously slut shamed and hung out to dry by a society that tells you to wait until marriage while they consume vast amounts of internet porn. The prevalent culture around her sends mixed messages, such as take your clothes off to get the affection you desire, but don’t do it in the wrong way or with the wrong people or you’ll be seen as a dirty, worthless whore.

 From the HuffPo article:
Shock and disbelief cannot begin to describe my reaction when searching for Amanda’s name on twitter, and uncovering the thousands of hateful messages people have left in memorial to her. For every message of sympathy and compassion for her and her family, there was one that insulted her legacy and blamed her for her suicide. She is being labeled a “whore”, a “slut”, deserving less than life, and devalued in death. Many are saying that because “she had no respect for herself”, she is undeserving of the world’s compassion. Others are even proclaiming that the only reason she is getting attention is “because she was attractive”. This was a twelve-year-old girl who was first pressured into exposing herself to a stranger in a chat room, and then became the focus of his obsession. He circulated pictures of her body to her friends and teachers. He tormented her. He stalked her. Now pictures that were used by her stalker to abuse and extort her have been shared and retweeted by hundreds on social media. Pages entitled “Amanda Todd was a Slut” have sprung up on Facebook (I’ve reported them to Facebook and so should you). As one blogger points out, even the framing of the news stories seem to be focused on her “mistakes” rather than the pressure she was under.
I’m shaking as I read these articles. A teen girl has been bullied into depression and suicide can’t even be properly mourned by the people who loved her because of the vindictiveness of Internet voyeurs who get off on harassing girls and women who they deem violators of some unstated, undefined standard of purity. Poor kid.

Comments

  1. sbg says

    Jesus. I made the mistake of scrolling through the comments on the youtube page. I … I would swear that fifteen years ago humanity wasn’t so disgusting, but I suppose it was and we simply weren’t exposed to it so easily.

    That poor girl and her family. :(

  2. TansyJ says

    That there’s even an article titled “In Defense of Amanda Todd” after a bullied, stalked, and depressed teenager killed herself breaks my heart.

    It should be completely unnecessary.

    What I really want to know is why her face and name are everywhere and no one knows who the creepy perv who stalked and harassed her is or where he’s at.

    And do you know? While he is a waste of a human being, the kids who fell in line with his harassment are just as bad. I can’t even comprehend a bunch of teenagers beating a kid and filming it, and taunting her afterward. It feels like society is just getting sicker.

  3. Maartje says

    Wow this story ruined my day and I’m sort of glad about that.

    Maybe in the mind of the collective concious the ‘story’ HAS to focus on the mistakes Amanda Todd made because if it was her mistakes that led to this it would mean that it couldn’t happen to anyone, and certainly not to a loved one.
    Could that be how it works in the minds of the tormentors? Like ‘She’s shown her breasts=she’s bad. I have to reject/torment the bad as much as I can or people will think I’m bad and then I will get rejected.’ Which I can see for the followers (but not forgive) but the instigators… Power hungry and malacious is putting it mildly.

    So yeah, I’m upset about this. What that poor girl went through… what kind of hell must you be in when drinking bleach seems like the only way for the torment to end.

    It is too much to ask for this to have taught her tormentors and abusers a lesson, right?

  4. says

    Maartje: Maybe in the mind of the collective concious the ‘story’ HAS to focus on the mistakes Amanda Todd made because if it was her mistakes that led to this it would mean that it couldn’t happen to anyone, and certainly not to a loved one.

    Yes. Female jurors are more likely to “blame the victim” in rape court cases in the US than male jurors. There have been some studies into the psychology of this, and what they find is that the women need to believe something separates them from the victim – that she did something they’d never do, and that’s why she got raped but they never will.

    I am just so far beyond trying to educate people to not blame women AND GIRLS for all actions involving penises. Banks don’t cause people to rob them. Buildings don’t tempt arsonists into burning them down. Women AND GIRLS are presumed to have no agency whatsoever UNTIL a penis arrives on scene, at which time they suddenly are believed to have remote control over it, and the poor man attached to it has no control whatsoever. The only way this makes sense is if men are completely thoughtless, instinctive beasts. And in the case, they belong in zoos and we should be putting them in zoos instead of blaming women. So there is just no fucking way this worldview makes any sense at all, and anyone espousing it should consider committing suicide instead of advising others to.

  5. Cheryl says

    Everyone who bullied, harassed, and attacked Amanda needs to be arrested and charged, and prolonged suspension or expulsion as school admins deem fitting. Period, end of story.

    What’s needed even more is a major change of attitudes and views in society, so that a girl who made mistakes is not viewed as a slut and a waste and harassed so badly she kills herself.

  6. says

    Cheryl, and also wherein the guy who preyed on her is instinctively viewed as a predator. I think what bothers me here is that SHE experienced all the remorse that should have been his, but even worse, people DEMANDED she feel that remorse and completely ignored his culpability.. Lord have mercy, we actually teach male predators that it’s okay for them to harm people for fun, and in fact someone else should suffer all the consequences for them. Sometimes I’m amazed we have as few conscienceless predators as we do.

  7. says

    What Is History: Apparently people suddenly care about cyber-harassment when it affects a 30-year-old man.

    …or anyone else likely to be able to get a good attorney.

    To be fair, though, it was Facebook that allowed her to be stalked and harassed by this guy, and then punished for his actions by all the victim blaming shits. YouTube is owned by Google, who is far more strict about removing content that could be viewed as harassing or even just pornographic (he had a picture of her breasts as his FB profile pic – not so easy to do on YouTube). So I’m prepared to see YT’s policy as consistent. FB on the other hand had better allow people to harass and stalk the living shit out of this man, because they let him do that to her in the first place. They allowed themselves to be used like that.

    BTW, I am SO not a Google fan. Their ethics generally suck, and they’re probably only being so good on YT because the FTC has been on them for a while (and is about to recommend the government sue them like it did MSN years ago). But Facebook is SO much worse. Google’s corruption by absolute power took a while (and absolute power WILL corrupt any group – welcome to human nature). Facebook got so nasty so fast, I have to wonder if that narcissism wasn’t already present.

  8. Wren says

    Anyone who takes to the internet to express their glee over the extended sexual, physical and emotional abuse and eventual death of a child should seek serious counseling and help.

    That’s all I’m going to say about it because nothing else happening in my head will come out right just now.

  9. says

    Wren,

    Unfortunately, unless they are children themselves, there isn’t any counseling for them. They are not simply unenlightened. They are monsters and wanna-be predators getting their jollies vicariously through other predators. Psychology has well established that people like this don’t change.

    So I propose we dump them all on an island by themselves, cut off from the rest of the world except for fresh supplies ever so often – nothing inhumane – and let them work out who amongst themselves deserves to be raped and should stop complaining about it and so on. Then the rest of us who are willing to see monsters for what they are can finally go about forging a society that’s not bass-ackward to all things good and just.

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