Sextortion, What we can learn from Amanda Todd and Monica Lewinsky

I would like to start off by saying just how sad Amanda Todd’s story is. And I send out my deepest condolences to her family, friends and everyone else who has been affected.  I find it terrible what she had to go through for a mistake that so many teenagers make and have made. I can guarantee that many of her classmates either sent out nudes or perhaps even engaged in some sort of sexual activity in person. However for whatever reason Amanda was the one who had to take the brunt of it all because her predator sent out her photos to so many people resulting in nearly of all her classmates ending up with the photo. It is unfair what she was forced into, and all of the pain she had to endure at such a young age. This video was very eye opening to me, and was very sad for me to watch, and hit a lot of emotions just because I know so many people could have fell victim to this trap.

 

It is clear that online dating is a thing of the future,

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As the image shows just how many people use online dating. An interesting thing to note is that this does not include people who have met online through various social medias, via Instagram, Facebook or Twitter and other sites that people can connect on which sole purpose is not to meet a partner. I am not saying online dating is bad, I think it can be a good way for people to meet one another. However one thing that I do fear is that people will become too at ease with talking to people online, and will trust people too easily, and  that they will expose themselves too quickly and will help predators to blackmail them. This is why it is so important we teach the precaution behind talking to people online, and making sure that you remain safe online. It is also important that girls and boys do not feel pressured into anything, because like in the Amanda Todd video, Amanda’s one friend says that girls will strip down for attention, to feel important, because guys will be extra nice to you, encouraging you to strip down. Although after when you think back to it, it seems creepy, but at that moment in time it seems like flattery. The girls feel pretty, and it is nice for them to feel that way, but we need to teach them that you know that the guy is being sincere and you do not put yourself in a position where a mistake will have a such a severe consequence. I posted a photo in my last blog stating that, Nearly 1 in 5 Sext recipients have passed the sext along to someone else. Which is another, of many reasons why people should be so careful in who they send private images out to because these photos do have the capability of coming back to haunt you.

It is crazy to me how Monica Lewinsky and Amanda Todd are so different yet so similar. Both Todd and Lewinsky were victims from men who were sextorting them. Both were vastly different though, one perpetrator was arguably the most powerful man in the world, president of the United States and the other fell victim to an online predator. Regardless of the scenario both females were victims and felt powerless. Lewinsky and Todd were both publicly shamed. Lewinsky on the internet as well as on a national level. Whereas Todd was on the internet as well initially it was done at a municipal level at school which then turned into a story which was heard nationwide.

I also found it interesting how both were treated. It was disheartening to see the level of care Amanda Todd was shown by the police. The police simply told Amanda to log off of all of her accounts, and do her best to protect herself. In the documentary the reporter makes the analogy that if a girl were being victimized by a predator at a park, the police would warn her to stay away from the park, however they would still do their best to try and locate this predator, but when online there is less of a concern from authority. Many of the people involved in the police force feel it is the victims fault because they put themslves in that position. A sad reality is that many perpetrators will never face justice. Which is one reason why so many females  fail to report this abuse because they do not feel that justice will not be served. I find that extremely scary to know that authority has such little care when it comes to females being harrased by males. Perhaps this is just another case of white male privilege and males being at the top of the hierarchy dictating the law.

 

Monica Lewinsky mentioned how she was one of the first people to be publicly shamed online. She was a pioneer to be bullied through another media outlet, that wasn’t from a magazine, a newspaper or a watching the news on television, rather it was 1998 and all of her information was leaked online, and people were able to find out more and more information by surfing the web. She shares that this is bad because this is a huge business and people make a ton of money from “reporting” news online. People will “report” news online and then their website will make a large sum of money off of advertising based off of the number of hits their website gets. Unfortunately people do not always report legitimate findings. I know that I have been guilty of helping these reporters. As I have read tons of articles of famous people who have self destructed. Many of these people being some of my biggest idols growing up, such as, Jake “The Snake” Roberts, “Razor Ramon” Allen Iverson, Mike TysonDMX, and many others. While reading these articles I was amazed to see how these superstars, larger than life humans were able to collapse and fall from grace. The only thing that I failed to realize during reading these articles that you shouldn’t always believe what you read. Take for example Allen Iverson, he says that the fact people are saying he is broke is a complete  myth .This is why it is so important that we teach our students to be aware of what they are reading and that what they are reading is coming from a reliable source, and isn’t just written so the writer can make money from these innocent celebrities wh they know people will read up on.

 

I think it is important that we learn about all of these horror stories, such as Monica, and Amanda so we do not repeat history, and we can position our students in a better way so they do not have to endure the same kind of cyberbullying. In addition we can teach our students to be more respectful to others, whether it be people online, or classmates. Teaching students the main principle of treating people the way you would like to be treated.

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4 thoughts on “Sextortion, What we can learn from Amanda Todd and Monica Lewinsky

  1. I also watched these videos. It really saddens me. In the case of girls, I think it is important to teach them that they are more than their looks. Young girls and women look for validation and unfortunately, the internet likes to give it and also take it away. It is important to have these discussions. I agree that in many cases you shouldn’t believe everything you read. Some once famous people have been labeled, ‘broken’ or ‘washed up’ because they are not in the spot light anymore. In many cases it is the celebrities decision to be out of the spotlight and the media does not like that so will label them. Media has a lot of power and it is kind of scary. Thanks for the good blog!

    Like

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