Category Archives: Feminism
I’ve been thinking a lot about “traditional” femininity, and I’ve come to one conclusion: I really suck at a lot of the things girls are “supposed” to do, and that’s kind of awesome.
I have more colors of eyeshadow and nail polish than anyone really should, but I am hopeless with things like makeup or doing my nails. I keep thinking “oh, well, maybe if I have the right things, I will magically be able to look all pretty and feminine and girly!” I subscribe to multiple versions of makeup grab bags, and I have at least 50 different makeup brushes. I don’t know what I’m supposed to do with most of them. I can’t do those cool smoky eye looks (or anything that goes beyond wearing one shade of eyeshadow, really, and even then it ends up looking uneven), I end up looking like a clown when I attempt to use powdered blush, and my at-home mani-pedis generally look like a 5 year old went crazy with the nail polish.
I also can’t do anything with my hair that goes beyond a ponytail, half ponytail, braid, or messy bun. I am adept at washing and drying it, and my at-home touch ups on my hair color are passable. I have been known to use Pinterest to find cute hairstyles, and then I spend two hours trying to get my thick, straight-as-a-pin hair into a cascading braid, or some other adorable up-do, before I ragequit in utter frustration. Attempting to curl my hair is just a way for me to completely waste time. Within 15 minutes that perfect curl is flat again, no matter if I use a curling iron, styling products, or hot rollers.
I am, however, a professional at walking in high heels without looking like I’m about to fall over.
As an adolescent, when I imagine most girls were figuring these things out, I was more interested in figuring out a cure for the profuse sweat that would pour out of my armpits whenever I was talking to a cute boy. Thank god I was in middle school and high school when it was still acceptable to wear a flannel over your t-shirt, because I would stand there, horrified, as I felt the growing patch of wetness travel down my torso to my waist. It was like my deodorant would magically evaporate in the presence of a cute boy. It still does, sometimes. Now I just carry a spare stick of deodorant in my purse and reapply as needed.
I hate cleaning and doing the laundry. Right now, there are at least twelve coffee cups in my room, and I can’t be bothered to take them to the kitchen and wash them (sorry, housemates!). I never make my bed. I actually hate doing the laundry SO MUCH that I take it all to a wash-and-fold, and pay at least $40 once a month for someone else to do it for me. Even then, I forget to put it away at least every other month. I love to cook and bake, but I am terrifically lazy about purchasing ingredients for dinner before the local grocery stores close.
I have realized that the time I could spend on learning these things is better spent doing things like writing my blog or working on my book, reading, or spending time with friends (who could probably teach me about the makeup/nail/hair stuff).
I am fortunate that I live in a place and a forward-thinking culture where I am encouraged to better myself, instead of just looking pretty. I am so thankful that Fiance doesn’t think my worth as a woman is directly tied to how clean I keep our living space, or having dinner on the table when he comes home from work. My brain matters more than how I live up to the cultural standards of femininity. And that’s pretty awesome.
Thanks, feminism, for creating that culture!
Her name was Susan Cox Powell.
We went to high school together. Though we didn’t know one another very well, we had a lot of mutual friends. I remember her as someone who was gracious, intelligent, and kind. Susan had a beautiful smile. She disappeared in 2009. Interviews with Susan’s friends have shown that her relationship with her husband was abusive. He shoved her, slapped her, wouldn’t allow her to buy groceries for the family, and locked her out of the house. Her father-in-law had a disturbing obsession with her, and took voyeuristic photographs of her. Susan left a will in a safe deposit box that said if she disappeared it “wouldn’t be an accident”.
Her sons’ names were Charlie and Braden.
They were taken on an impromptu “camping” trip at 12:30am, in the middle of a snowstorm, by their father, the night that Susan disappeared. Three years later, Charlie and Braden had started talking about that night. Braden drew a picture of a car with three occupants, and when he was asked about his drawing, he said “Mommy’s in the trunk”. One year ago today, they were killed by their father, who took a hatchet to their tiny bodies before setting a fire that would ultimately kill all three.
I am convinced that Susan’s husband killed her. I am convinced that we will likely never find her, her friends and family will probably never have closure. I am convinced that we should learn from this, that we should be tireless advocates for those who are abused by their partners.
- Intimate partner homicides account for 30% of all deaths of women.
- Everyday, in the US, three women are murdered by their partner.
- Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women—more than car accidents, muggings, and rapes combined.
- Every year, more than 3 million children witness domestic violence in their homes.
It is easy to think that you are smarter than a woman in an abusive relationship. It is easy, to look at the situation, and think “she should have left him”. In reality, it is incredibly difficult to leave an abusive relationship, especially when you have children. It is common for abusive partners to use children as a way to get their partner to stay in the abusive relationship. According to her will, Susan’s husband told her that he would “destroy” her if she tried to leave him.
It is hard to be the friend or family member of someone who is in an abusive relationship. It is hard not to have those thoughts. It is hard to watch someone’s personality deteriorate in the face of abuse. It is hard to be supportive, to lend an ear, to watch your friend or family member walk back into the home they share with their abusive partner. The National Domestic Violence Hotline has some very helpful tips on how to help a friend or family member who is in an abusive relationship.
Since the National Domestic Violence Hotline was established, domestic violence and intimate partner homicide has taken a drastic downward turn. The Hotline is funded by the Violence Against Women Act. The VAWA is currently being debated by our nation’s elected leaders, and it may not be re-authorized. This would be an unspeakable tragedy. Please, write to your senator, write to your congressional representative. Tell them to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act.
Her name was Susan Cox Powell.
Her sons were Charlie and Braden.
I am burning a candle in their memory today.
I am also emailing my representatives, in their memory, to try and make sure that other women in her situation have the resources necessary to leave abusive relationships.
Edit: For those of you who would like a form letter, please see the one I have drafted below.
Dear Senator/Representative/Congresswoman/Congressman ,
I am writing you today in memory of Susan Cox Powell, and her sons, Charlie and Braden, to urge you to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act.
This act provides the funding necessary to assist women who are in domestic violence situations, and since its inception in 1994, the number of domestic violence incidences have decreased dramatically.
Decreasing domestic violence is not a partisan issue.
My emotions today have reached a heretofore unprecedented level of sappiness. I kid you not, as of 1:30pm Pacific time, I have cried over three different things I have seen online. I’ve decided to share them with you here.
First up is Anita Sarkeesian’s TEDx talk, where she discusses the potential psychology behind the cybermob that attacked her so viciously over her Tropes vs. Women kickstarter project.
I teared up at the end. Male and female video game characters pander so excessively to the heterosexual male fantasies that it leaves little room for those of alternate genders or sexual orientations to also indulge in the fantasy. I love playing video games. Love it. But just once, I’d like to see a female character that isn’t weak, or aggressively sexualized. Am I really asking too much when I ask to play a female character who isn’t wearing a chainmail bikini over the balloons on her chest?
And then there’s this picture.
That is Dan Savage (one of my personal heroes, though we disagree from time to time) and his longtime partner Terry, getting their marriage certificate signed in Washington state. I wept like a baby. I am so happy that my home state has made same sex marriage legal.
Finally, the fact that this is an actual film that will be shown at SXSW 2013 did me in.
I am so very excited for this film. Wonder Woman is a personal favorite superhero of mine (and really, she should be for anyone else too!). I recently read The Supergirls: Fashion, Feminism, Fantasy, and the History of Comic Book Heroines, and the entire premise of this movie ratcheted my geekcitement up to 11. I’m interested to see how the filmmakers will compare with the author of The Supergirls.
Has anything touched your heart today? Maybe made you squee a little? Share your excitement with me in the comments below!
Yesterday, I reported a Facebook group that I found incredibly offensive. It was portraying young girls (possibly some that were under the age of 18), calling them sluts, and advocating their rape. I reported them under the “hate speech” section of the “report page” function.
I was horrified to receive the following response email from Facebook:
Thanks for your recent report of a potential violation on Facebook. After reviewing your report, we were not able to confirm that the specific page you reported violates Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities.
Learn more about what we do and don’t allow by reviewing the Facebook Community Standards:https://www.facebook.com/communitystandards.
So, I went to the Facebook Community Standards. The only thing I could find that would have excluded this particular page from suspension falls under this part of the criteria:
Facebook does not permit hate speech, but distinguishes between serious and humorous speech. While we encourage you to challenge ideas, institutions, events, and practices, we do not permit individuals or groups to attack others based on their race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation, disability or medical condition.
Huh. So, you think it is okay to suspend or remove posts from pages like A Girl’s Guide to Taking Over the World, which challenges gender constructs and other feminist issues, but pages like Slut Memes (choice quote: “What did the left leg say to the right leg? Nothing, they’ve never met. Get it. Cause you’re a slut.), Sluts Embarrassing Themselves, I Kill Bitches, My Whore Wife, and the cleverly titled Whores are allowed to remain because they are somehow satire? I just found those through searching “slut” “bitches” and “whore” on Facebook.
Come on Facebook, get it together, and make sure that the people you have checking these things are versed in feminism, misogyny, misandry, and other forms of societal marginalization or oppression.
In a somewhat sad turn of events, San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors has voted to ban public nudity.
Yeah, I can understand the sentiment behind the ban. The number of people who are grossed out or who find public nudity disturbing far outweigh people like myself, who find it mildly amusing at best. I always giggled a little when I saw our resident nudists in the Castro, and I found it outright hilarious when one of the gentlemen decided to go to Fisherman’s Wharf and give the tourists an eyeful. There were three women who were running from him and screaming while laughing. I’m sure they will be regaling their friends back home with the story of “that weird naked guy” they saw in San Francisco for years to come.
San Francisco has always been the place to go to push the envelope and challenge the status quo. From the Summer of Love in 1969, to Harvey Milk, to the Pride Parade, to Folsom Street Fair (don’t google that at work, please), we are a haven for those who don’t fit in with mainstream society. The nudists were part of that push against normalcy.
As a part of our mainstream society, it seems that people automatically equate nudity with sexuality. Naked bodies mean sex in popular culture. If you are a parent taking an adorable picture of your child in the bathtub, you’re suspected of child pornography, not thinking your child’s chubby thighs are cute.
If you want to sit outside and sip your coffee while naked, then you’re assumed to find the idea that someone is looking at you arousing. But that’s not what nudity is about. Just like any other subculture there are cultural rules, like putting down a towel before you sit down somewhere, and becoming visibly aroused is explicitly within the realm of Not Okay for nudists. It is about being free from clothing, not exhibitionism or voyeurism. It has absolutely nothing to do with sex, and I really think that is what the general population doesn’t understand.
I find it sad that the Board of Supervisors have banned public nudity. It seems like a cultural step backwards for San Francisco, especially considering the city’s rich history of being socially progressive. No one was being harmed by the city’s nudists. In fact, it forced me to re-think my attitude about nudity, and come to the conclusion that my initial feelings of “ewwww” were due to cultural conditioning.
There is nothing gross about the human body. It’s a pity that we can’t all just grow up and say, “If you don’t like it, don’t look!”
I am suffering from some serious writer’s block. I was unexpectedly too busy to post yesterday, but I’ve had a couple of hours to write, and I just don’t have a topic that I can write a full post about today. So today, you get snippets of things that are rolling around in my brain.
First off, can we please STOP calling other women “whores” and judging them for having sex? One of my family members shared this on her Facebook wall, and it made me see red. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I have definitely judged other girls that I didn’t know well, and called them “whore”. But you know what? I look back at those times, and every single time, it was an insult made out of jealousy.
You heard me. I have called other women awful names because I was jealous. I was jealous because I thought they were prettier, or because they had a nicer body, or they wore clothing that I could never pull off, or they were more socially confident than me, or they were better at flirting, or they had the attention of the guy that I thought was cute/dating/liked. Look deep within yourself when you decide to label someone “whore” or “slut”. Unless that person actually works in the sex industry, chances are, the reasons behind your loathing of another person is actually emotions that you’re directing at yourself.
Calling somebody else fat won’t make you any skinnier. Calling someone stupid doesn’t make you any smarter. And ruining Regina George’s life definitely didn’t make me any happier. All you can do in life is try to solve the problem in front of you. - Cady from 2004′s Mean Girls
I’d like to add that calling someone a whore doesn’t make your sex or love life any better.
A couple of weeks ago, I was trying to be funny on the Nice Girls twitter account, and joked that The Ultimate Guide to Kink by Tristan Taormino was so sexy, I was scared I’d run out of batteries.
One of my followers, who is also a friend of mine in real life, said that I should invest in a Hitachi Magic Wand. When I replied that I didn’t really have the money to spend on it, she actually bought me one! It gets delivered tomorrow, and you can expect a review after I’ve taken it for a test drive.
There are some really amazing conferences that I want to attend, but I always find out about them too late. I really wanted to go to CatalystCon, the Good Vibrations Sex Summit, and I barely found out about Arse Elektronika in time to attend one day of the conference. How does one go about getting on the mailing list for these things? Readers, if you hear about an interesting sex conference that you’d like to see me at, or read about on Nice Girls, could you let me know about it?
I read what seemed to be a really amazing, sex positive, open relationship positive book called Sperm Wars: Infidelity, Sexual Conflict, and Other Bedroom Battles. I say that it seemed to be that way, because up until the final chapter, it was purely discussing how women and men are programmed to seek out partners outside of their primary relationships, and it even had some interesting theories regarding homosexuality. In the last chapter, it had a cloying story about an elderly couple and how being monogamous throughout their entire lives was the best possible reproductive strategy. It seemed like an odd way to end an otherwise open minded and rather engaging book. I’m still wrestling with how to review it properly.
In the interest of giving Nice Girls some more diverse voices, I am approaching some of my fellow sex educators about writing articles or columns for this blog. I’m also planning on starting a YouTube channel, so that I can interview some of the interesting people I come across in this line of work, and you can see it all!
Finally, today is the Transgender Day of Remembrance. I’d like for you all to take a minute, and take a look at that website.
And now, I’d like to challenge you to be a transgender ally. When you see injustice, bullying, or any sort of hate-motivated violence (whether physical or verbal), take a stand. Make sure that your words are not going to hurt another. Intervene. Call the police, and then stand witness when they arrive. Make sure that those around you, whether straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or queer, know that you won’t stand there and let someone else hurt them.
While engaging on twitter regarding my post on Tuesday, one of the awesome people I follow re-tweeted some very disturbing images. The original poster’s brother came home from school with a classmate’s paper. This paper is supposed to be a debate piece, and it argues about rape and pregnancy by citing Todd Akin and 12th century British texts. This kid is apparently 15 years old.
I took debate for 3 years in high school. Let’s go point for point here.
Ladies and gentlemen: the topic for today’s speech is that: women who get pregnant after rape were not really raped.
I firmly agree that women who get pregnant after rape were not really raped.
Firstly, this is stated in the book of Fleta published in circa 1290.
In addition, this is a long lived legal argument and is also contained in Samuel Farr’s Elements of Medical Jurisprudence, published in 1814.
In this case, young sir, you are correct. Farr did indeed make this argument, and the Fleta did discuss this very topic. However, Farr also believed that the normal signs of puberty in a young girl were sufficient evidence that she could not be raped (because if she was undergoing puberty, then she probably was having sex), and he also believed that an imbalance of “humours” were the way that someone became sick.
Moreover, this valid medical point is supported by many reputable, well-educated and informed people such as Todd Akin, Senator Steve King, Dr. Fred Mecklenburg and GP John C Wilke to my first argument.
I’m sorry, what? For starters, politicians are never a good source for a medical argument, so we are striking those two right off the bat, especially since they both cite your third and fourth examples of “reputable, well-educated and informed people” for their poorly informed arguments.
This is stated in the book of Fleta, which was the standard legal handbook of Britain in the 13th century.
“For without an excitation of lust, or the enjoyment of pleasure in the venereal act, no conception can probably take place. So that if an absolute rape were to be perpetrated, she would not become pregnant.”
This paragraph is from book one volume two, although this is an old point, it makes it no less valid and is stated in many other medical journals.
This clearly demonstrates both the value of the book of Fleeta and even in the 13th century that people and Doctors knew the truth about rape and pregnancy.
Yes, the Fleta was the standard legal handbook during the time of Edward IV. You have that correct. But that is most definitely not from the Fleta. In fact, that quote comes directly from your second source. Not the Fleta. Doctors in the 13th centry also believed in trepanning, bloodletting, and that birthmarks were a sign that a child was conceived via witchcraft. 13th century physicians are not reputable sources for your arguments here.
And now to my second point,
Sir Samuel Farr, who was a reputable doctor and medical researcher with over seven published medical journals, stated that:
“If, however, the woman should have conceived at the time alleged in the appeal, it abates, for without a woman’s consent she could not conceive.”
Although this was published in 1814, this was a time of many medical breakthroughs and is still constantly being proven by doctors and medical researchers and has the full support of many people.
Oh! There’s the quotation from the Fleta! Really, young sir, this was poor debating strategy on your part, and indicates that you were not paying much attention to your paper.
I believe that there is an underlying point to both of the original arguments that you are missing. At both of these points in history, doctors actually believed that a woman could not conceive if she did not orgasm during intercourse. In fact, both of these treatises drew from the ideas that a woman’s sexual organs were simply the inverse of a man’s. The vagina was an inverted penis, the ovaries were actually testes, the uterus was a scrotum, etc. I’m sorry, was that too much for your still-developing brain to handle? Of course, “many medical breakthroughs” that are “still constantly being proven by doctors and medical researchers” have shown this to be patently false.
This has the support of many reputable people such as:
- Todd Akin, who is a reputable politician and Republican, he is also a strong Christian and family man.
- Senator Steve king, who is a congressman for Iowa and scored a 100% rating with the National Right to Life Committee
Ohhhhh. I see where you’re going with this. I’m sure that much like these men, you believe that if a woman was raped, she was “asking for it”. Or, conversely, that those sluts who dare to have sex before they are ready to care for a child should just keep their legs closed or suffer the damned consequences, right?
- Doctor Fred Mecklenburg, who has four published medical journals on the subject.
- And GP John C Willke who has a distinguished career as a physician.
Once again, your failure to delve deeper into the subject at hand has failed you, young sir. Mecklenburg and Willke used the one test performed by the Nazis on the very same prisoners who they were starving, beating, raping, and putting to death by the millions to inform their opinions regarding rape and pregnancy.
The Nazis chose women who they believed were ovulating, and put them in a gas chamber, but didn’t turn on the gas. Because, as the Nazi researchers claimed, these women didn’t ovulate, Mecklenburg and Willke then extrapolated that data and spun it to assume that when under extreme stress, like, oh, during rape, that women were incapable of ovulating. Never mind that most of these women were literally starving! Did you know that women who are malnourished won’t ovulate? Of course you didn’t. And I bet that you didn’t know where Mecklenburg and Willke got their information.
In fact, according to research done by the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology (a peer-reviewed journal, unlike the publications that your illustrious doctors have published) in 1996, at least 5% of women who are raped annually become pregnant. That’s over 30,000 unwanted pregnancies due to rape. A separate study in 2001 showed that the number was closer to 6.5%.
You forgot one other politician in your list of crazies, young scholar. Former Pennsylvania state Rep. Stephen Freind claimed that women have some special secretion that will kill a rapist’s sperm even before it reaches the uterus. I can only imagine that when he was asked how this occurs, he just threw up his hands and said “I dunno, MAGIC!”
You see, your examples have been proven wrong, time and time again. [Hold onto your seats, dear readers, you're not going to believe the next part!]
The bulk of people opposed to this argument are feminists and people wanting to cash in on child support.
Evidence of this is that the mother of a child can receive 10% of the father’s income, which can amount to large amounts of money.
You’ve got to be kidding me. 10% is a large amount of money? According to the US Census Bureau, in 2006, the average wage for a man in the US is $39,403. Do the math, kid. 10% is $3,940.30. The average cost of raising a child to the age of 18 is currently estimated to be $295,560. No, that piddly 10% figure that you have quoted does not mean “large amounts of money” to the average person.
[Here's where we veer into the territory of the truly crazy.]
With the issue of Feminists, these people are women, usually with poorly paid jobs with no skill or training who wish to receive more money than men doing the same job and are more often than not balding.
I laughed so hard at this point that I had tears streaming down my face. No, young sir, we are not. More often than not, we are college educated, have high paying jobs, we just want to be paid the same amount as a man doing the exact same job, and we have hair in all colors and styles. Yes, some feminists are bald, but I imagine that’s only because they choose to shave their heads.
I suppose that, being all of 15 years old, you have embraced the popular culture’s idea of what a woman should look like, right? Thin, gorgeous, impeccably dressed, perfectly shaped big breasts, long hair, makeup (but not too much, or she looks like a whore). Well, kid, you’re in for a rude awakening when you learn that not everyone lives up to your impossible standards. I’m a feminist, but I have long hair. I’m a little overweight, and I prefer to wear jeans in my everyday life. Your idea of what a real woman (and a feminist!) looks like is skewed so far that I feel sorry for you, and any girl you date.
So look at the facts, would you trust a balding woman attempting to cash in on child support or many reputable people, including doctors.
I’ll take the bald feminist any day of the week over the men you cited. At least they will research their positions thoroughly, and have credible sources to back up their viewpoints.
I hope your teacher is a feminist.
Let’s get one thing public here, right off the bat. I am a self-identified “geek”. I wasn’t one of the “cool kids” in high school, though I stood up for myself enough times to never be outright bullied to my face. I’ve always managed to find my fellow geeks in whatever city I reside. [Please note: although I am sure that there are people who will react with vehement outrage, for the sake of argument, I am going to use the words "geek" and "nerd" interchangeably.] Read the rest of this entry
Last night was a night of things both wonderful and heartbreaking. Here’s my pros and cons:
- Same sex marriage (also known as “marriage”) has been legalized in three states (Maine, Maryland and Washington), and a fourth (Minnesota) struck down a proposed constitutional amendment to ban same sex marriage. I’m pretty proud of my former home state, Washington.
- Wisconsin elected the first openly gay Senator, and she’s their first female Senator! Congratulations, Tammy Baldwin!
- The first Asian American female Senator, and the first Buddhist Senator, is Mazie Hirono from Hawaii.
- Bonus points to Hawaii for electing the first-ever Hindu Senator too.
- There are now 20 women in the Senate. That’s an additional three from the previous record!
- All of New Hampshire’s delegates, AND their Mayor are women.
- Most of the candidates who made headlines with ill-conceived notions regarding rape, abortion, or contraception were defeated!
- Proposition 35 in California won by a landslide. But there’s some good news, as the EFF and ACLU have already filed suit to strike it down as unconstitutional. I will remain heartbroken about this until it is struck down. I have friends who are sex workers, and I am very concerned about how this will affect them.
- Some really awful people decided that calling our President a monkey, and the “N” word were totally acceptable on Twitter.
- Donald Trump completely lost his mind last night.
Overall, I think that it was a great night, with impressive leaps forward for women and the fight for equality. I am proud of my country for making huge strides forward. Now let’s fix that economy!
PS: This marks the 100th post for Nice Girls! Thanks for joining me on this ride, and here’s to a few hundred more.
Have you heard the name Amanda Todd? Hers is a heartbreaking story of a young teenager who was relentlessly bullied by an anonymous online man, and then in person by her classmates because of a youthful indiscretion. Specifically, she was encouraged to lift her shirt and flash someone on a cam-chatting site, and the man who encouraged her then shared a screenshot with others, including her classmates. The man has been identified by Anonymous, they of the “we are legion” variety, and his personal information is now available for any person who has the desire for vigilante justice. I admit, I felt a little thrill of joy when I saw the video on the Anonymous YouTube account, stating the name of Todd’s harasser, but I immediately felt guilty about it.
How about the name Violentacrez, also known as Michael Brutsch? He’s been outed from his anonymous screen name as a chief moderator and expert troll on several unsavory subreddits. He’s also been targeted, and he has subsequently lost his job, and his wife has become a target as well.
I have shared my opinion on “naming and shaming” publicly before, and I am going to do it again. Right now. I find it all incredibly distasteful.
Amanda Todd and her parents should have gone to the police with the information she had regarding her harasser. He was ACTUALLY distributing child pornography, and blackmailing her in the process. When her classmates were harassing her in person, she and her parents should have gone to the principal, or called the police. The Gawker writer who outed Brutsch should also have turned over his information to the police, as he was also distributing child pornography. Yet no one is talking about the things that could have been done to stop these people from hurting others. There is no discussion of how the legal system is the proper venue for reporting harassment, or turning in evidence that someone is committing illegal acts.
Instead, there are Facebook pages about how the man who was accused of harassing Amanda Todd is going to die; two men are being held up as the worst that society has to offer, but that’s okay because now they’ve been caught and aren’t we glad that now we know their names?
Knowing their names does nothing but allow other assholes on the internet to use the same tactics of bullying and harassment, which sinks these would-be white knights down to the same level as those they purport to abhor. It allows those who are innocent in these dealings, like Brutsch’s wife and children, to be caught in the crossfire as the internet burns and pillages real names in a virtual world. It creates a mob mentality that makes scapegoats out of the unsavory in their thirst for blood, and we are better than that.
Use experiences to educate about the bad situations and behaviors you want to see changed, but don’t give the internet the names of those who are guilty of perpetuating the bad situations and behaviors. Allowing a particular person to become a scapegoat for broader problems only allows the group who accepted or encouraged the behavior to disavow that person, and then claim that they have changed. It is the best form of misdirection, and allows the group to continue, essentially unchanged.
Using the heartbreaking story of Amanda Todd as a tool to educate other young women about how to deal with coercion, blackmail, mental illness, harassment, and bullying would be a much better way to make sure that this happens less frequently. Turning in Brutsch privately would have given the US justice system a much better chance at a fair jury trial, and would have prevented his family from being vilified along with him.
Don’t get caught up in the sensationalism of the story, learn and teach the lessons that the story has to offer.