Amanda Todd’s Slut Shaming & Suicide

by October 13, 2012
filed under Activism
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Amanda Todd, a 15-year-old Vancouver teen allegedly committed suicide (the preliminary investigation shows she took her own life) after suffering years of cyber bullying. In the last weeks of her life, she posted a haunting video on YouTube that has been labeled both “anti bullying” and “a cry for help.”

Her story is all the more depressing because it has become a common narrative for teenage gurls. In the years of early adolescence, Amanda was webcamming with friends and meeting people. This is a time in a gurl’s life when she feels isolated from her family and yet greatly desires to belong to her peer group. Amanda tells her story in the 9 minute video by silently showing cure cards. She met men who would call her ‘stunning’ and ‘perfect’— things all young gurls desire to be called. Lured in by the compliments at only 13, Amanda flashed one of her admirers. The man resurfaced a year later, demanding “a show” or else he would send the photos to all of her friends and family. She didn’t give him that show, and in turn, he carried out the threat.

Because of the embarrassment Amanda suffered, she became diagnosed with anxiety and depression. She turned to drugs and drinking to try to stop the pain. After switching schools, the man relentlessly bullied her online, creating a Facebook page with her naked breasts as his profile photo. Amanda tried to kill herself twice before she finally succeeded – much to the supposed pleasure of the commenter’s on YouTube.

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.

Amanda’s parents are going to be an obvious target of blame for not intervening, but it’s very likely that they did not know the full extent of her situation. Teenagers hide things from their parents, and this was a pretty big secret for Amanda to reveal. Amanda lived in a world where kids are cruel; they’ve always been that way. My grandmother used to have rocks thrown at her on her way home from school. My 15-year-old niece receives nasty text messages from her peers. Back in grade school, my clothes were stolen out of my locker and thrown into the shower during gym class. The internet makes bullying worse with a veneer of anonymity and a feeling that what you do or say doesn’t matter. Will Amanda’s suicide finally convince people to start talking? Will the man responsible for distributing child pornography be convicted of murder, or will we shame the gurl who succumbed to peer pressure and push the issue under the rug?

We at Flurt! mourn Amanda’s passing, and wish we could have been there to talk to her — to tell her that things get better. If you’ve been a victim of cyber bullying, email us your story and we’ll post it on the website anonymously. Or post in the comments below to show your support for Amanda.


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  • It’s a damn shame

    There is a clear difference between having consensual intercourse with someone you love and showing your little tits on the internet to people you have never seen. THAT is not appropriate behaviour, especially for a thirteen year old. It’s a shame that she took her own life, but in the end she decided to blame everyone else for her troubles when in fact she caused them. Instead of owning up to them and facing the consequences she decided to kill herself.

    • Nocturnus Libertus

      She’s a child. She isn’t mature enough to understand these kinds of things. What she did wasn’t justified, but she *was* bullied throughout the most difficult time in a persons life. She was thirteen and hasn’t even began to discover herself as a person, or her sexuality. I mean, it’s typical for young girls to be naive. Remember when you were in high school? I remember my time. They always told us not to do drugs, to stay out of gangs, all that jazz. Yet I still went to raves, I got hammered, hell I actually did join a gang. Those are mistakes I have to live with for the rest of my life. The only thing that kept me from offing myself, is my passion for the arts. Maybe if she had something like that, or even a friend — she’d probably still be alive.

    • Sarah

      You are the problem.

    • JustAGirl

      Totally missing the point.. you must be a child. A girl flashing her boobs harms no one, and though I wouldn’t recommend it since the world is full of perverts and pricks, there is no reason to bully, torment, or harass a person for relatively innocent sexual behaviour.

    • http://www.facebook.com/gianna.carangi.7 Gianna Carangi

      you have no clue what this is all about, imbecile.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Sarah.AndersoninHiding Sarah Anderson

    WHY are you calling her a slut???? You are SICK

    • http://www.facebook.com/Sunshine.Paradis Danielle Paradis

      Me? I am not calling her a slut.

  • DeAndre

    She was 12 in the picture most of us know of.

  • Pingback: To Live and Die in Social Media: What We Can Learn From Amanda Todd and Felicia Garcia « Media Make Change

  • Sonia

    Its is easy to blame on the victim. She did nothing wrong, she saw it has the only way out for her life. I’m sorry for Amanda and for her parents. Their life’s will never be the same again. Most of us eventually will have children, and we just want them to be OK. That was a trauma for her and for her family.

    • think&question

      Saying Amanda did nothing wrong also one way of teaching somebody not to take into account what their actions may cause. There are always consequences from whatever actions we choose (consciously or unconsciously) to do. Unfortunately, majority of people in the planet don’t live alone in solitary confinement. Even then your actions still can affect others. If there is any lessons to take from the article, everyone is capable of creating chain reaction of events and contributing positively or negatively to those events. No one is perfect and everyone is like everyone else…a human being capable of greatness or destructions.

  • Naked Nelly

    To: “It’s a damn shame”. We are all human. Mistakes are made at a young age and as adults. So good of you to be so perfect. Mind providing your name (and your children’s) so I can verify?

    Besides, I question why you Americans think flashing or having sex is such an evil thing. Really? Are you one of those fairy tale believers that state we must be ashamed of our bodies and having sex? Look to Europe, then look to the middle east – where do you fit in?

    I think the only good thing that can from all this internet bashing is that sooner or later we will all be desensitized by it. It’ll be so common place that there will be no one left without an internet past. Perhaps we’ll accept that boobs and sex aren’t so bad after all. They’re kinda nice actually. Let’s celebrate them.

    • http://www.facebook.com/Sunshine.Paradis Danielle Paradis

      The author, me, is a Canadian. Just sayin’.

  • Lauren

    People kill themselves every day for real problems.. They got no help and no sympathy. Yeah it’s obviously sad that she’s a child, and lord knows I know a load of people who’s nudes have been passed around (myself included) when we were stupid kids.  But man, people don’t care that much about a tit shot. That shit runs rampant these days.  If you speak to Amanda’s school mates they certainly have a bit to say about the situation… Apparently not a nice person, the reason she was ‘bullied’ was because she wasn’t nice first. After putting alot of time and effort into making her hair perfect and drawing up some cue cards before taking her life, I’m glad everyone feels sorry for her because I’m sure that’s exactly the reaction she wanted. 

  • Hahahaha

    She decided to be a slut, there is nothing to say to defend her actions, it was her fault.

    • http://nocturnuslibertus.blogspot.com/ Nocturnus Libertus

      You’re a parasite to society.

    • think&question

      I feel sorry that you have no compassion or empathy. I hope that you will never experience a situation where your life and death is depend on compassion and empathy from others. At the rate that majority of human display right now compassion and empathy are rare traits which mean chances are your likely to be dead than alive.
      Actually I take that back…you should be put in a situation like that.
      I want to see if you can still laugh and mock others so lightly when that gun is pointing right on your head.

  • Wow

    Its funny how the people that are defending Amanda Todd are the ones saying nasty things to the people who are just saying what they honestly feel about her whole situation.

    • think&question

      Funny how the person who commented and insinuated negatively upon people who say nasty things to those supposedly honest people are also unable to see that the supposedly honest people have no more compassion, empathy or sensitivity than the ones who say nasty things. Have it ever occur to you that maybe these people are saying nasty things because they felt that these honest people have no compassion/empathy/sensitivity?
      We will go round and round if everyone goal is to maintain ego (I am right and I am better than 7 billions people in the planet or every other human beings that ever been born and lived in this planet).

  • Wow

    She’ve been having nudes pics from 12 years old to 15…umm she has alot of experience o.o

  • think&question

    I wonder how many people actually think and put themselves on Amanda’s shoes before posting their comments. Based on the article, Amanda did show her body to “the man” which sets a chain of events that lead to her death. Yes, she showed her body to “the man” but that doesn’t give you the right to judge her. Perhaps she was trying to gain attention; perhaps she needed to feel love; perhaps she was just being a naïve teenage kid who doesn’t know better or maybe she is fully aware that she is doing whatever she is doing to get whatever she is hoping to get…There is so many different scenarios “what if/how/but” that readers don’t know about unless you are living as Amanda Todd.
    Are you telling me that you are so perfect you have never made mistakes in your life? that you have never been a teenager who made decisions based on feelings and hormones rather than careful conscious thinking? Are you saying that you have never feel alone/abuse/hurt in some ways? So why the righteousness? You are just another being that bleed when your flesh is cut; tear up when you cry; smile when you are happy…
    The truth is Amanda, “the man” and all who condemn Amanda contributed on her decisions to take her own life. Ultimately she is the one who took her own life but that doesn’t mean that others didn’t influence her decision. Can you really be honest and tell the world that you have never once since birth have thought and acted certain way because you were influenced by or concerned what others may think of you?
    If “the man” has any compassion or understanding about good morale, he would have not done what he did. He is nothing but a selfish lost human being driven by his own lust or whatever his motivation was. Those who feel victimized and those who candidly blamed the action of others are basically as lost as any other human beings.
    Look deep into the mirror
    Reflect on yourself ,your actions, behaviors in the past and the present… Be honest and take down those walls of denials
    Chances are there are things that you can do today to become a better person/husband/wife/son/daughter/employer/employee etc
    So why busy yourself with condemning others while you can improve and make the world a better place?
    You probably already guess the answers…
    Because if you have to look deep into the mirror, you may find things that you have done in the past that make you feel guilty and painful
    Because it’s easier to tell others what to do than to deal with your shortcomings and weaknesses
    Because it’s much more comfortable to remain the way you are then to initiate change
    Because it actually took effort to improve yourself and your life with your own hands
    Because if you hurt others then you don’t have to be the only one who fell hurt and misery. In fact you may get enjoyment out of it.
    and the excuses go on and on..