Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Misogyny Kills: RIP With the Angels Amanda

Canadian teenager, Amanda Todd, was found hanged, this tragic event occurred after she was the victim of an online bullying campaign. Just weeks before the teenager committed suicide, she made a heartbreaking video in which she held up cards to tell her story; one read “Everyday I think why am I still here.” This, no doubt, evoked harrowing feeling for those who knew Amanda and anyone who has ever been a victim of bulling.

What is most shocking about this extreme case is the level of sexism involved the abuse she receive; the twelve year old girl was persuaded by an older male online to reveal her breasts, he captured the image and proceeded to use it to torment Amanda, sending it to her friends and family. The man threatened to send the image to everyone she knew if she didn’t give him more, Amanda refused to send him more, and true to his word, he released the image to everyone at Christmas. Amanda’s ordeal was even more horrifying because instead of her friends rallying around her, they took it as an opportunity to ridicule her and torment her further.

Amanda, suffering from anxiety and depression, relocated in an attempt to rebuild her life. However, the man did not let alone and he started a Facebook group with the image as the profile picture. As word spread, Amanda lost all her friends; one of the cards in the video read “Nobody liked me.”

Relocating a second time, Amanda was in touch with a former male friend, who she thought genuinely liked her and she ended up having sex with him. The boy turned out to have a girlfriend, who cruelly, along with her friends took it upon themselves to tell Amanda that nobody liked or wanted her around, and in case she never got the message, they gave her a beating too. Amanda then attempted to commit suicide, instead of people realising this had gone to far and this poor girl was really suffering, she was met with comments on Facebook stating she should try again and not fail the next time. The police are currently tried to find the man who posted the images.

The tragedy runs deeper as during her whole order, Amanda was made to feel she brought the abuse on herself and in someway deserved it. With a celebrity culture that highlights the double standard applied to men and women, who was there to tell Amanda it was not her fault? For example, singer Chris Brown, who severely assaulted his then girlfriend, Rihanna, was quickly accepted back into the music industry; some of his fans even tweeted they would gladly take a beating if it meant they could be his girlfriend, as if Rihanna deserved what she got because she should have felt privileged to be in his presence. After this incident, questions were raised as Rihanna, sported a sexier look accompanied by some rude song lyrics.

Another example of these double standards applied to men and women is when Kirsten Stewart was rumoured to have had an affair with direct Rupert Sanders. Despite being married with children, Sanders received no attention, yet Stewart was subject to death threats from her alleged boyfriend Robert Pattison’s fans, who were outraged that she had the cheek to cheat on him.

Though Amanda Todd’s case is an extreme one, her struggle is an all too common occurrence. We are all equal and there is never a justification for bullying! Whether it be in home, school, or workplace it is not something anyone should have to deal with ever!

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