I will never forget how excited I was to be invited to watch a movie with the popular boy I liked. I primped for hours. (I was, after all, a teenager grappling with my own new sexuality.) When I got there, he did not put on the movie we agreed to watch, but a porn film. I had never seen one before. He unzipped his pants, pushed and pulled at me. I cried the whole walk home. We don't talk honestly enough about what it's like being a teen girl, or what it can be like. If we did talk about it, what it was like for us, perhaps we wouldn't be so harsh on them. Perhaps we'd see their lives for the small and large violations they're often made up of; and what those violations do.
In reading about the tragic case of Amanda Todd, I was unable to find a single news source prepared to follow the evidence to its logical conclusion -- that she was the victim of male sexual violence. Here on display was the familiar and rank hypocrisy by which women are routinely sexualized and then attacked for their supposedly wanton ways. .
I think it is safe to say that the anti-bullying campaigns and the pink shirt days are not working. Once again we have a tormented teen who could only see one way out of her struggle and that was taking her own life. It is time to rethink how we are handling this whole "bullying" thing. As a parent of two school-age children, I have a feeling that the definition of "bully" has been lost in translation.
The anxiety and depression that resulted from cyber-bullying were too much for Amanda Todd, resulting in her suicide. And yet a large faction of the public, is reticent to the notion of legislating on this issue. In an interview Christy Clark made it clear that her preferred avenue to combat bullying is through education and not legislation. I am unable to comprehend why education and legislation have to be mutually exclusive, but perhaps when the next teen commits suicide, I can have Christy explain it to me. We have attempted to educate children on the detrimental effects of bullying, and yet, they do not seem to be learning. Perhaps it is time we change the lesson plan.
After the tragic suicide of Amanda Todd, there has been an outpouring of attention on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook, as well as traditional media. Social media has played a huge role in Amanda's story, from her heartbreaking YouTube video confessions, to the conversations about bullying popping up all over the web since her death. Amanda's story has started the country talking about some of the real issues behind such a senseless death. Here are just some of the thoughts and reactions from a stunned nation.
The back to school time of year is full of anxiety for most kids because there is nothing worse than going to school and being made fun of, picked on or the topic of juicy gossip. While you can't control what people say about you, you can do things to avoid beind the brunt of hurtful comments about your looks. While many of these tips may seem obvious, I'll bet you have posted things about yourself that could make you an easy target.
According to the Cyberbullying Research Center, almost 21 per cent of American youth between the ages of 10 and 18 have been the target of some form of virtual harassment or "cyber-bullying." I asked Trend Micro's Lynette Owens, who runs the Internet Safety for Kids and Families program, for some amazing insights.