Rehtaeh Parsons, a young Canadian woman, committed suicide. She committed suicide after being gang-raped, and after being forced to endure the inevitable “slut-shaming” and bullying that ensued following the pictures of her rape being scattered around the internet. She committed suicide because so-called friends abandoned her and no new ones stepped forward. She died because she – like so many other young rape victims – was surrounded by young men and women who acted like they were raised by wolves in a barn. Kids yucked it up, snickered and giggled and guffawed and made light of this young woman’s violation, all while Ms. Parsons’ life, full of misery and pain and despair, was ultimately too much to bear – and she ended it.
There is a remarkably simple solution to this kind of abuse heaped upon a young victim of a violent crime: Arrest them all. Every person who tweeted or posted a picture on Facebook or Instagram, everyone who sent a text message or an email, or had any inside knowledge at all of this crime (or others like it) should be arrested and charged with . . . whatever. Criminal conspiracy, failure to report a crime, being a fucking psychopathic idiot. I don’t much care what the charge is; what I do care about is that these young people, whose parents never taught them morals or compassion or what being a victim means, should have to learn the hard way – behind bars. Oh, and yeah – throw their parents in there with them. And I’d also be cool with teachers and school counselors and administrators, who look the other way while kids are being mercilessly bullied, copping a squat in adjoining cells.
The job isn’t getting done on the local level; nobody, apparently, is addressing these amoral young people who find violent crimes against women amusing. It took the hacker group with a social conscience, Anonymous, to bring the Steubenville rapists to justice, and Anonymous has become involved again, vowing to bring “justice” to this case. In a statement addressed to the Nova Scotia Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Anonymous wrote, “We do not approve of vigilante justice as the media claims . . . That would mean we approve of violent actions against these rapists at the hands of an unruly mob. What we want is justice. And [t]hat’s your job. So do it.” Anonymous says it plans to release the names of the alleged rapists if law enforcement won’t, in fact, do its job.
So are we taking bullying and harassment seriously yet? Did Steubenville clue us in? Is this Canadian case a wake-up call? How about the Georgia boy, the 13-year-old, who was bullied mercilessly after alerting the school that a classmate was threatening to harm a teacher with a knife? After months of being called a “snitch,” harassed and bullied, a 13-year-old boy hung himself. Did you get that? 13 years old.
Rehtaeh Parsons and this young boy from Georgia, and who knows how many others, died because of sociopathic classmates, parents who have taught them nothing, and schools that don’t care.
Throw their young asses into a prison cell, and let the learning curve begin.