Amanda Todd

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Brachina
Amanda Todd

I'm sure most of you have heard about the tragic suidicide of Amanda Todd. I'm so sick of the assholes that think picking on people is okay. I wish I had known her, I could have given the benifit of my experience as someone who was bullied and how I dealt with it successfully. I wish I could have given her the tools I used to get through highschool. And I wish the asshole who shared the pics of her gets hit with child porn charges.

ryanw

if only it was just "an asshole" and not the dominant culture that hates women to be blamed, normally that kind of scorn is only for pregnant teen moms

all my scholarly male colleagues at work musing about the 'unexplained mystery' of women these days and their decision to partake in internet courting rituals which of course signals the decay of society, and its change of course towards hell with handbacket firmly gripped.

maybe some research into the new availability of pornography starting from age 8 would clear that up

janfromthebruce

I agree. Reading the situation around Amanda's suicide and leading up to it, sounds like sexual harassment and violance more so than "cyberbullying".

Maysie Maysie's picture

Systemic sexism and the death of Amanda Todd

Quote:

But calling it "bullying" or even "cyberbullying" doesn't do it justice. "Bullying" erases specific social factors and makes it seem like something that you age out of. Adding the "cyber" prefix doesn't necessarily make it more accurate. Technology was a catalyst, but webcams, cellphones and the Internet aren't the key to understanding what happened to Amanda; systemic sexism was.

Girls in North America are under incredible pressure and subject to conflicting messages. On the one hand you're told to protect your purity in order to maintain your reputation. On the other hand, practically all the role models around you in the media -- in romantic comedies, advertising, even Disney movies -- are telling you that your worth is based on your desirability. You get the message that you are nothing without a boyfriend.

 

janfromthebruce

Thanks Maysie.

Unionist

[url=http://www.straight.com/article-810811/vancouver/fazeela-jiwa-bullying-t... Jiwa: "Bullying" is too vague when we're dealing with sexism and misogyny[/url]

Quote:
Internalized misogyny is an important aspect of the structural violence associated with patriarchy: the young women in Todd’s life turned against her rather than supporting her through harassment, despite surely facing similar pressures to capitulate to male definitions of, and demands on, female sexuality. Thanks in part to the media frenzy surrounding the controversial SlutWalk, the conversation about woman-blaming is active; women around the world have rallied with the message that we are not to be held responsible for sexist violence against us. This analysis should continue in the commentary about Amanda Todd’s experience—it is hypocritical to shun a young girl for engaging with her sexuality or falling prey to a coercive man’s attentions online, while media and other cultural influences reiterate the message that a woman’s worth is tied to her sexual appeal. [...]

October has been named a National “Anti-Bullying” month. If institutions like schools and government-funded media outlets do not begin addressing the specifics of social violence as their own issues, in ways that are relevant to students and adults, generic anti-bullying campaigns will continue be a waste of time. We must name sexism and other power imbalances for what they are before we can consciously diminish their influence on our social interactions.

And this is amazing:

[url=http://www.vancouverobserver.com/blogs/feminista/why-isnt-anyone-talking... isn't anyone talking about the misogyny involved in Amanda Todd's life and death?[/url]

 

6079_Smith_W

Hackers have revealed the name of Todd's alleged tormenter:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/story/2012/10/15/bc-amand...

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

Thx Maysie.

mark_alfred

ryanw wrote:

maybe some research into the new availability of pornography starting from age 8 would clear that up

That's a troubling thing in society today.  When someone goes to see a movie, access is regulated (IE, Restricted, Adult Accompaniment, etc.)  Or buying magazines in a variety store.  Or if cable television access is purchased, there are different packages, and for specialty adult channels (aka smut channels), extra must be paid. 

But with ISPs, there's no such separation.  Thus, unlike magazines, movies, or cable television, any regulation or filtering of content is expected to be done by the end user rather than by the provider (the ISP).  Years ago there was talk of setting up a new top-level domain --> ".xxx".  Had they followed through with it, I imagine ISPs could have sold packages that would be the regular internet, and then charged extra for the smut domains (.xxx), similar to television providers charging extra for specialty channels such as adult programming channels.  Or at least filtering would be easier.  Anyway, sites and sellers of domains could be regulated by a board like movies are. 

I don't know why they didn't follow through with that plan for top-level domains.  I suspect laziness on part of the government, and resistance for some big business, though.  I think taking some steps to address the easy availability of smut could help reverse the nasty atmosphere that seems to exist (IE, kids being sexualized and judgemental toward one another).

Unionist

Judy Rebick's Facebook comment:

Quote:
I have received more requests to sign a petition to ask the RCMP or the police to arrest those responsible for bullying Amanda Todd than I have on any issue, ever. It makes sense that so many of us are devastated by the tragedy of Amanda's suicide. But I don't think bullying is the reason. As many young feminists have written, what happened to Amanda is vicious sexual harassment: http://rabble.ca/news/2012/10/systemic-sexism-key-understanding-what-happened-amanda-todd.

Second I am not convinced that the answer to this problem is arrest. Rather I believe teaching young people solidarity in face of either sexual harassment or bullying is the way to avoid these problems. In other words, it is a problem of our culture for which we all have responsibility. I won't sign or post the petitions that put the responsibility on the police.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

I heard a Psychiatrist on the CBC talking about the proper media response to a suicide.  The recommendations are exactly the opposite of what our media is doing.  Studies have shown that this type of coverages leads to COPYCAT suicides. Our MSM is far more interested in the bottom line than protecting young people from suicide.

Money mouth

http://www.cpa-apc.org/browse/documents/341

mark_alfred

Unionist wrote:

And this is amazing:

[url=http://www.vancouverobserver.com/blogs/feminista/why-isnt-anyone-talking... isn't anyone talking about the misogyny involved in Amanda Todd's life and death?[/url]

It's a very good article.  Interestingly, though, the suicide rate for males (both proportionately and in total numbers) is greater than it is for females.

Unionist

mark_alfred wrote:

Interestingly, though, the suicide rate for males (both proportionately and in total numbers) is greater than it is for females.

Why is that "interesting"? Why is it relevant to this conversation?

Males are twice as likely as females to be murdered in Canada. Is that an "interesting" observation in discussing the harassment, humiliation, intimidation, and abuse of women?

I don't think so.

 

mark_alfred

You're right, it's not particularly relevant.  I agree with her thesis that systemic sexism was a factor leading to Todd's suicide. As a commenter on the page stated,

Quote:
Would this happen in a place like France where women sunbathe topless? Never. Would a man who mooned over the internet have the image captured and have a facebook page made to harass him? Ridiculous.

Her thesis of systemic sexism against women being a contributing factor to Todd's suicide did get me wrongly expecting to find that suicide rates for women would be higher than it would be for men.  I checked, and found that not the case, which I found interesting at the time.  However, as you say, it's not particularly relevant to this event.  Apples and oranges.

mark_alfred

double-post

zazzo

.....As an indigenous mother, I feel I should say this, and this is all I am going to say.  Our people have been killing themselves for years. Our young people have the highest rates of suicide in Canada....

Jacob Two-Two

While the suicide rate for males is higher than for females, that rate has been dropping for a while, and the rate for young women has been increasing dramatically. This is the only demographic that is rising. It's highly speculative, but there is a likely connection between the recent prevalence of social media harrassment and this troubling trend.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Thank you Zazzo. 

The studies show that women attempt suicide more often than men but men succeed more often. Tragically FN's young adults are the ones who have the highest rates and are the most determined.

Quote:

Suicide

The loss of human life through suicide is a tragic reality in First Nations and Inuit communities. These two communities experience a much higher suicide rate than the Canadian population as a whole.

Suicide rates among Inuit are shockingly high at six to 11 times the Canadian average. In Nunavut in particular, 27% of all deaths since 1999 have been suicides. This is one of the highest suicide rates in the world, and it continues to rise, especially among youth.

For the First Nations population, suicide rates are twice the national average and show no signs of decreasing. However, these rates differ from community to community. Some communities have had “epidemics” of suicide, while others have had few or no suicides for several years.

In both Aboriginal groups, females attempt suicide more often than males. This trend is also seen in the general Canadian population, but the difference in rates is alarming. While the Canadian average is around 4% of females and 2% of males reporting they’ve attempted suicide, in the Aboriginal survey, it was 19% of females and 13% of males.

Rates of completed suicides, however, are higher among males. And young adults ages 15 to 24 represent the age group with the highest rate of suicides. Completed suicides among First Nation young adults is five to seven times the Canadian average for the same age group.

Youth with a close family member who had committed suicide in the past 12 months, or who had a parent who attended a residential school, were more likely to have experienced suicidal thoughts.

http://www.heretohelp.bc.ca/publications/aboriginal-people/bck/3

mark_alfred

Jacob Two-Two wrote:

While the suicide rate for males is higher than for females, that rate has been dropping for a while, and the rate for young women has been increasing dramatically. This is the only demographic that is rising. It's highly speculative, but there is a likely connection between the recent prevalence of social media harrassment and this troubling trend.

I checked the statscan site for suicide rates from 15 years old to 34 years old, from 2000 to 2009, and there's been a bit of a decline in the suicide rate for males, but there's really not been much difference in the rate for females. In 2000 for females aged 15 to 19 yrs it was 5.2 per 100,000, and it was the same in 2009. For 20 to 24 yrs old, it was 5.9 in 2000 and 6.5 in 2009. For 25 to 29 yrs old, it was 5.8 in 2000 and 4.7 in 2009. For 30 to 34 yrs old, it was 5.1 in 2000 and 5.7 in 2009.

ryanw

its also worth noting theres a significant 'suicide' rate masked within substance using populations

where they are depressed and not truly addicted to one thing or another but use recklessly with the intent to end their life and are mislabelled and axised solely as addicts, where those 'accidental' overdoses aren't actually accidental.

onlinediscountanvils

sodisarmingdarling.tumblr: [url=http://sodisarmingdarling.tumblr.com/post/34106027759/what-its-like-bein... it’s like being a teen girl[/url] [TRIGGER WARNING: Discussion of Rape Culture and Casual Sexism]

mark_alfred

onlinediscountanvils wrote:

sodisarmingdarling.tumblr: [url=http://sodisarmingdarling.tumblr.com/post/34106027759/what-its-like-bein... it’s like being a teen girl[/url] [TRIGGER WARNING: Discussion of Rape Culture and Casual Sexism]

Good article.  Simultaneously disturbing and enlightening.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Thx Online that was a great article.

mark_alfred

Patrick McGuire claims that there's a group of slimy men who refer to themselves as "cappers" who were involved in blackmailing Amanda Todd and make it a sport to try to blackmail teen girls who use webcams.  Basically, they chat with girls via webcam, encourage them to flash the camera, and capture this by screenshots, later using this capture to blackmail the girl into providing additional more explicit shows.  Here's the link:  The Disgusting Rivalries of Webcam Extortionists.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Well said.

Nora Lereto wrote:

The extreme hatred spewed from the Right online (and I keep referring to “the Right” because I simply cannot think of anything equivalent that comes from the “left”) normalizes and entrenches extreme discourse. If you believe in the theory of the Overton window, where extreme opinions help to mix and push along less extreme positions to a more extreme place, the existence of trolls who demonize, terrorize, dehumanize and humiliate from a position of [relative] power is dumped into the ether of ideas and further normalizes what should be considered to be extreme.

Consider Amanda Todd’s suicide where it took feminist bloggers to ask the question, wait… what the hell? A girl kills herself as the result of a man harassing her with photos of her own body and it’s dubbed bullying? In an age where deeply troubling misogynistic harassment can be called the same thing as someone having their lunch stolen, we must acknowledge that the Internet’s metre stick has been moved further to the Right than many people are ready to admit.

http://noraloreto.ca/