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.
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.
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.