[Trigger warning] sexting, suicide and shame

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Re: [Trigger warning] sexting, suicide and shame

Postby setzer777 » Thu Dec 03, 2009 2:26 am UTC

Diadem wrote:
Anubis wrote:As a final note, one of the things that really irritates me is schools overstepping their authority, and I think it's pretty clear that they did so in this case. Unless the picture was taken on school grounds (extremely unlikely), this should have been completely outside their jurisdiction.

Even if it were within their jurisdiction, it would still be evil and stupid. This is a girl making a (stupid) mistake. She did not hurt, or try to hurt, anyone. She did not do anything immoral. She wasn't trying to be bad or anything like that. She, at the immature age of 13, merely did something that was not very wise. Punishment is simply not appropriate for such a situation. In fact it is an evil response. Even if she broke the rules. If there were any rules against what she did, surely they were for her protection and nothing else? When a 13 year old girl breaks a rule you made for her own protection, the proper response is not to destroy her! It is to offer help and protection.


Of course, that's assuming that the rule actually is for her own protection (I'm sure that's the *claimed* justification for such rules...). I suspect that many such rules are actually motivated by the same thing that motivates the bullies.

I feel like an alternative title for this thread could be: "Much of humanity still sucks." Stuff like this makes me want to stop caring entirely.
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Re: [Trigger warning] sexting, suicide and shame

Postby Princess Marzipan » Thu Dec 03, 2009 2:40 am UTC

Vaniver wrote:My sympathy to the poor girl and her family.

Mine doesn't so much go to the family. They GROUNDED her for something that was in no way wrong. And even if punishment were actually necessary, the shit she had to go through at school would have been more than enough without making her summer vacation miserable. (And probably removing whatever social support she had in the form of friends.)
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Re: [Trigger warning] sexting, suicide and shame

Postby Diadem » Thu Dec 03, 2009 2:45 am UTC

setzer777 wrote:Of course, that's assuming that the rule actually is for her own protection (I'm sure that's the *claimed* justification for such rules...). I suspect that many such rules are actually motivated by the same thing that motivates the bullies.

True.

I feel like an alternative title for this thread could be: "Much of humanity still sucks." Stuff like this makes me want to stop caring entirely.

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Re: [Trigger warning] sexting, suicide and shame

Postby The Reaper » Thu Dec 03, 2009 3:09 am UTC

Diadem wrote:Homo Homini Lupus Est.
Those words were first written down 2 millenia ago. It sometimes seems like not much has changed in that time.

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Re: [Trigger warning] sexting, suicide and shame

Postby tzvibish » Thu Dec 03, 2009 3:40 am UTC

Princess Marzipan wrote:
Vaniver wrote:My sympathy to the poor girl and her family.

Mine doesn't so much go to the family. They GROUNDED her for something that was in no way wrong. And even if punishment were actually necessary, the shit she had to go through at school would have been more than enough without making her summer vacation miserable. (And probably removing whatever social support she had in the form of friends.)


Hey, I know you're pissed. But seriously, that's out of line. When someone loses a child, you don't go pointing out how they screwed up in raising their kid who just died. I have a child, and I can't even begin to imagine what the parents must be going through right now. I hope I never have to feel whatever it is they're feeling right now.
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Re: [Trigger warning] sexting, suicide and shame

Postby Kyrn » Thu Dec 03, 2009 3:46 am UTC

tzvibish wrote:Hey, I know you're pissed. But seriously, that's out of line. When someone loses a child, you don't go pointing out how they screwed up in raising their kid who just died. I have a child, and I can't even begin to imagine what the parents must be going through right now. I hope I never have to feel whatever it is they're feeling right now.


But you're letting your emotions override your morals. I can't begin to imagine what a murder/genocide convict on death row feels like, and hope I never have to feel whatever it is one would feel either. But I can understand why the families of victims might not be sympathetic.
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Re: [Trigger warning] sexting, suicide and shame

Postby Cynical Idealist » Thu Dec 03, 2009 4:10 am UTC

Princess Marzipan wrote:It's also just incredibly fucked up to charge MINORS for violating laws that exist to protect them from being manipulated or taken advantage of by adults.

My personal favorite is when they're charged as adults.

I swear I read about that happening a few years back, though I can't find the article in question.
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Re: [Trigger warning] sexting, suicide and shame

Postby Belial » Thu Dec 03, 2009 4:16 am UTC

tzvibish wrote:Hey, I know you're pissed. But seriously, that's out of line. When someone loses a child, you don't go pointing out how they screwed up in raising their kid who just died. I have a child, and I can't even begin to imagine what the parents must be going through right now. I hope I never have to feel whatever it is they're feeling right now.


Even if they very possibly contributed to her suicide in a large way with their fuckneckery?

Maybe in the interest of preventing such things in the future, it's best to illustrate that if you fail that egregiously, to the point where you're punishing your child for being bullied, your child gets sympathy, but you don't.

I feel sorry for the girl. That's it. She did nothing wrong, and she deserved better parents, better teachers, better school administrators, and better classmates. Everyone whose job it was to protect her persecuted her instead, and now she's dead. You'll excuse me if I'm not crying for them.
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Re: [Trigger warning] sexting, suicide and shame

Postby Pez Dispens3r » Thu Dec 03, 2009 4:18 am UTC

Kyrn wrote:
tzvibish wrote:Hey, I know you're pissed. But seriously, that's out of line. When someone loses a child, you don't go pointing out how they screwed up in raising their kid who just died. I have a child, and I can't even begin to imagine what the parents must be going through right now. I hope I never have to feel whatever it is they're feeling right now.


But you're letting your emotions override your morals. I can't begin to imagine what a murder/genocide convict on death row feels like, and hope I never have to feel whatever it is one would feel either. But I can understand why the families of victims might not be sympathetic.

Yeah but the parents are guilty of questionable parenting, and being a little dickish in response to their child's emergence into adolescence. They thought they were doing what was best (repressing their daughter's sexuality until she was older) and then their child committed suicide, mostly because of bullying. It's not the same as your example.
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Re: [Trigger warning] sexting, suicide and shame

Postby Gelsamel » Thu Dec 03, 2009 4:24 am UTC

The parents definitely fucked up, bad. But I would say I feel sympathy for the girl and her parents... They certainly made a mistake (a huge one) however it is just that, a mistake. They almost certainly wanted to help their daughter, but they failed.

It should be pointed out to try and prevent future occurrences but they still lost someone that (I assume) they love greatly. So in that respect I can sympathise with them.
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Re: [Trigger warning] sexting, suicide and shame

Postby Princess Marzipan » Thu Dec 03, 2009 4:26 am UTC

tzvibish wrote:Hey, I know you're pissed. But seriously, that's out of line. When someone loses a child, you don't go pointing out how they screwed up in raising their kid who just died. I have a child, and I can't even begin to imagine what the parents must be going through right now. I hope I never have to feel whatever it is they're feeling right now.
It'd be out of line if I found a way to actually attack the parents about it in some fashion or try to make them feel wholly responsible for their daughter's death. But in all honestly I view them as part of the system that tore the ground from underneath her. They clearly loved her and wanted the best for her, but that doesn't mean that their actions didn't contribute to this tragedy.

I think I misrepresented myself in what you quoted though. I meant to imply that pretty much all of my sympathy is with Hope. Her parents' loss is tragic and even though I think they're wrong this still isn't something they deserve. But I in all honesty have little sympathy (which colloquially would actually mean no or negative sympathy, but the idea I'm expressing is exactly as stated: I have a little) for them.

We're talking about it on an Internet forum, not actually addressing our statements to the people involved. But after Hope's parents have come to terms with her death, I would have no problem with the idea of suggesting to them that their handling of the situation was not ideal. I hope that in time they can maybe come to realize it, because they could do a lot to help prevent future tragedies.

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Re: [Trigger warning] sexting, suicide and shame

Postby juststrange » Thu Dec 03, 2009 4:47 am UTC

Wait.. what?

Its a terrible thing that teens are dicks and the forwarding and subsequent bullying drove this girl to the point it did. But are you really suggesting that you wouldn't take the phone away from your 13 year old daughter if you found out she used it to send nudes? Christ, a friend of mine dropped his daughters entire phone plan when she was 16-17 and he found she was sending nudes to her bf. If your kid is engaging in risky behaviour, that can have serious negative consequences (such as being forwarded all around the school), you stop that by 1) taking the phone 2) grounding the kid. I think the parents did right in those respects. That called being a responsible parent. The crux is here: Now would be a great time to sit down with her and have a talk about sexuality, and being pressured, and the dangers of this that and the other thing. And grounding for the entire summer seems a bit excessive if you can make headway with said talk. Just stop acting like you expect the parents to be totally cool with a MINOR sending nudes over the airwaves and not take the phone / inflict some sort of grounding.

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Re: [Trigger warning] sexting, suicide and shame

Postby kiklion » Thu Dec 03, 2009 5:01 am UTC

juststrange wrote:Wait.. what?

Its a terrible thing that teens are dicks and the forwarding and subsequent bullying drove this girl to the point it did. But are you really suggesting that you wouldn't take the phone away from your 13 year old daughter if you found out she used it to send nudes? Christ, a friend of mine dropped his daughters entire phone plan when she was 16-17 and he found she was sending nudes to her bf. If your kid is engaging in risky behaviour, that can have serious negative consequences (such as being forwarded all around the school), you stop that by 1) taking the phone 2) grounding the kid. I think the parents did right in those respects. That called being a responsible parent. The crux is here: Now would be a great time to sit down with her and have a talk about sexuality, and being pressured, and the dangers of this that and the other thing. And grounding for the entire summer seems a bit excessive if you can make headway with said talk. Just stop acting like you expect the parents to be totally cool with a MINOR sending nudes over the airwaves and not take the phone / inflict some sort of grounding.


Actually, beyond reacting emotionally if I were a parent, after getting past the emotion if I used my logic for a punishment instead I would realize, "Hey I was having sex at that age so sending pictures is less extreme." What's wrong with that is that if you remove the tool used to do whatever you felt was wrong, they will simply find another way of doing so. You take away the phone, she ends up seeing him at a party/ballgame etc and strips for him. Or flashes him. Or w/e. If the "talk" did anything and she did learn that you were disappointed so she wouldn't do the above, then there is no reason to take the phone away as she will no longer be sexting.

Just incase that doesn't make sense as I am typing quickly off my head so I can sleep, if the RIAA sends someone a SnD letter, or shuts down torrent capablities, then people will have one person on a network get a CD, and people would share the files only with those they know. People are very resourceful and if you attempt to stop them through limiting their means, they will find a new, potentially worse way of achieving their goals.

On a aside, I am most worried about the girls friends. I know what it's like to have a friend commit suicide when you are that young. They probably don't trust their peers much at this point, the school officials did nothing it seems to help the girl before... I hope they can find comfort in each other or their families.

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Re: [Trigger warning] sexting, suicide and shame

Postby iop » Thu Dec 03, 2009 5:31 am UTC

Diadem wrote:My experience is: Bullies will find a way. Ultimately their reason for bullying is pretty immaterial. It can be red hair, glasses, or a funny accent, or whatever, it doesn't really matter. It's not the reason for their bullying, merely an excuse. And if they can't think of one for you, they'll pick on someone else.

Sure. But in most cases, all the authority figures are going to be on the side of those who are bullied. I guess I am still alive thanks to my family. However, in this case, the girls only help were a few friends - and at the age of 13, that's not enough for most people.

Seriously, these were kids. They may realize that they're dicks, but they don't know how bad things can get. Being a parent myself, I know that it's really difficult, and that I have basically no clue what I'm doing. Yet, this is no excuse. The parents are responsible for her kid. However much they hurt (and I would not wish that upon anyone) - they failed big time. Maybe a mitigating factor I can see is that they themselves are living in a culture where offenders are supposed to be punished, not rehabilitated, so they did what good citizens are supposed to do, and the other is that they live in a culture where a split-second view of a taped-over nipple can cause a major outrage.

juststrange wrote:But are you really suggesting that you wouldn't take the phone away from your 13 year old daughter if you found out she used it to send nudes?

Why would I? I would explain to her how utterly stupid she's behaving, and I would let her try and do better. I would only take the phone away from her if she cannot keep from being stupid and putting herself in danger.
Sending nude pictures once won't kill her. Not supporting her while she has to live down the consequences of her mistakes might.

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Re: [Trigger warning] sexting, suicide and shame

Postby Princess Marzipan » Thu Dec 03, 2009 8:25 am UTC

juststrange wrote:But are you really suggesting that you wouldn't take the phone away from your 13 year old daughter if you found out she used it to send nudes? Christ, a friend of mine dropped his daughters entire phone plan when she was 16-17 and he found she was sending nudes to her bf. If your kid is engaging in risky behaviour, that can have serious negative consequences (such as being forwarded all around the school), you stop that by 1) taking the phone 2) grounding the kid.
Something being risky doesn't mean it merits punishment. Driving, AT ALL, is risky. But it's not punished; it's even ENCOURAGED.

Objectively, it is, yes, fairly risky to send nude pictures of yourself. But not because that itself is inherently bad. It's risky because if other people are assholes about it, you can face negative consequences outside the parents' control. So it makes sense not to want your child to do it, and to counsel your child against it, but it doesn't make sense to punish your child for it. If you kid plays around with matches, you punish them. If your kid throws a tantrum and breaks some shit, you punish them. If your kid gets hurt because some third party dicked them over, you support the fuck out of them and let them know you're doing it.
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Re: [Trigger warning] sexting, suicide and shame

Postby juststrange » Thu Dec 03, 2009 12:39 pm UTC

Princess Marzipan wrote:Objectively, it is, yes, fairly risky to send nude pictures of yourself. But not because that itself is inherently bad. It's risky because if other people are assholes about it, you can face negative consequences outside the parents' control. So it makes sense not to want your child to do it, and to counsel your child against it, but it doesn't make sense to punish your child for it. If you kid plays around with matches, you punish them. If your kid throws a tantrum and breaks some shit, you punish them. If your kid gets hurt because some third party dicked them over, you support the fuck out of them and let them know you're doing it.


I can agree with most of that. Where our views depart are what things were bad. Yes, the 3rd party is the major contributing factor to this, it is THE important point. Yes, those are forces beyond her control. Thats getting to the point where the parents should have noticed and spoken to other kids parents in the "hey, you probably don't know this, but your kid is being a (potentially hazardous) dick. Maybe talk to them about that k?" We are in agreement there

I also hold that a 13 year old child producing semi-nude photos of herself, and sharing them, is a bad idea worth punishing if it becomes public (edit - i.e. known to the parents, not nessecarily public public). Just because increasing technology makes it easier for children to act like adults, and perform actions once reserved for adults, does not make them adults. This is a fairly new problem, due to the availablity of digital cameras, and camera phones. Prior to that the only way to get a tangible record of 13 year old boobs was a film camera, and the photo-shop people don't tend to let that fly. I hold that its inherantly risky for a 13 year old to be creating such photos of herself. Im not saying its a moral outrage, but if the parent finds out they should step in, even if she hasn't sent them to anyone else. 13 year olds are fragile and vulnerable, regardless of how adult they feel, case in point.

(The story about my friend followed more the lines of "Yea? Your 16, you want to go sending nudes to the bf, you can get a job and pay for your own cell because you aren't gonna be using my money to be texting minor boobs")

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Re: [Trigger warning] sexting, suicide and shame

Postby Diadem » Thu Dec 03, 2009 1:29 pm UTC

Belial wrote:I feel sorry for the girl. That's it. She did nothing wrong, and she deserved better parents, better teachers, better school administrators, and better classmates. Everyone whose job it was to protect her persecuted her instead, and now she's dead. You'll excuse me if I'm not crying for them.

This. I just couldn't agree more. This is exactly it.
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Re: [Trigger warning] sexting, suicide and shame

Postby Jessica » Thu Dec 03, 2009 1:49 pm UTC

If I found out my thirteen year old daughter was sending nude photos of herself to people, I'd be concerned for her. Because I'd wonder why she thought she needed to send nude photos of herself to people. I wouldn't punish her, and say it's bad, but I'd sit her down and try and talk to her about it. See why she did it, and try and explain why it's not always a good idea to do that, and that if a boy really likes her she doesn't need to send photos of herself to them. I wouldn't ground her.

I then, would protect my daughter to my full ability, from the bullying. If it was that bad, I'd change the school she was in. I'd do everything in my power to bring the full wrath of my parenting might down upon the horrible douchefucks who hurt my daughter. Because, no one should have to go through with that.
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Re: [Trigger warning] sexting, suicide and shame

Postby Diadem » Thu Dec 03, 2009 1:53 pm UTC

juststrange wrote:But are you really suggesting that you wouldn't take the phone away from your 13 year old daughter if you found out she used it to send nudes?

No, I wouldn't. In fact I think it's a very bad idea to do that. You should punish a kid if they do something bad (ie: immoral). If they do something stupid, council, not punishment, is the appropriate reply. Simply put: If your kid steals from the cookie jar, you punish them. If they put their hand on a hot stove, you don't punish them. You first treat their burns, and then explain why hot things are dangerous.
(Hey, this singular they thing is starting to make sense.)

By punishing for sexting you're sending the completely wrong message. You're telling her that sexuality is a bad thing. That she should literally be ashamed of herself. That's a horrible thing to tell a kid. Also you're reinforcing sexist stereotypes, because something I don't think the response would've been the same for a boy sending around pictures of his chest - or even his genitals.

Taking away the phone plan is an even more stupid form of punishment. Because now you're also denying your kid the chance to learn how to behave responsibly.

When raising kids you should protect them from harm. But not at the cost of learning how to do keep themselves out of harm. If I had a young daughter, and I saw that she was dangerously close to a pot of boiling water, I would step in and stop her. But if I saw her play with matches, I would merely warn her - if after that she still insists in playing with them, getting burned is a better lesson than any I could ever give her.
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Re: [Trigger warning] sexting, suicide and shame

Postby iop » Thu Dec 03, 2009 2:40 pm UTC

Diadem wrote:But if I saw her play with matches, I would merely warn her - if after that she still insists in playing with them, getting burned is a better lesson than any I could ever give her.

I do not think that is a good example. Or maybe your kid would be living in a concrete dungeon, and there is nothing flammable around.

Also, as I said, I would definitely let her keep the phone the first time - isolation is brutal when you're being bullied. However, if she keeps doing stupid things with the cell phone, she is clearly not old enough to use it responsibly yet, which means she doesn't get to use it for another year or two.

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Re: [Trigger warning] sexting, suicide and shame

Postby Dream » Thu Dec 03, 2009 3:12 pm UTC

iop wrote:
Diadem wrote:But if I saw her play with matches, I would merely warn her - if after that she still insists in playing with them, getting burned is a better lesson than any I could ever give her.

I do not think that is a good example. Or maybe your kid would be living in a concrete dungeon, and there is nothing flammable around.

Also, as I said, I would definitely let her keep the phone the first time - isolation is brutal when you're being bullied. However, if she keeps doing stupid things with the cell phone, she is clearly not old enough to use it responsibly yet, which means she doesn't get to use it for another year or two.

Indeed. Sometimes punishments are intended to artificially create consequences for the child to learn from. You don't wait 'til your child burns the house down to let them learn the lesson that matches are dangerous things. You punish them for playing with the matches that they might avoid the potentially terrible consequences and yet still learn the lesson.

In the case of the girl at issue's parents, they clearly should have seen her as already being the victim of consequences, and not requiring punishment. That was a terrible mistake for them to make.
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Re: [Trigger warning] sexting, suicide and shame

Postby Freakish » Thu Dec 03, 2009 3:25 pm UTC

Princess Marzipan wrote:
Vaniver wrote:My sympathy to the poor girl and her family.

Mine doesn't so much go to the family. They GROUNDED her for something that was in no way wrong. And even if punishment were actually necessary, the shit she had to go through at school would have been more than enough without making her summer vacation miserable. (And probably removing whatever social support she had in the form of friends.)


Not entirely true. iirc There have been a few instances where teenagers have been caught with photos of themselves or their girl/boyfriend and charged for it. This could have landed her in legal trouble.
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Re: [Trigger warning] sexting, suicide and shame

Postby Princess Marzipan » Thu Dec 03, 2009 3:59 pm UTC

?

What the bloody fuck is your point? Are you arguing that legal punishment is deserved? I don't think you're arguing that there exists any action that merits legal punishment of a minor but not parental punishment of a minor; the fact that legal punishment is POSSIBLE doesn't mean that it's merited and doesn't mean parents should punish for it.

If you're punishing for sending nude photos to someone, then you'd have to punish just as much for letting that person see you naked.
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Re: [Trigger warning] sexting, suicide and shame

Postby Freakish » Thu Dec 03, 2009 4:46 pm UTC

Princess Marzipan wrote:?

What the bloody fuck is your point? Are you arguing that legal punishment is deserved? I don't think you're arguing that there exists any action that merits legal punishment of a minor but not parental punishment of a minor; the fact that legal punishment is POSSIBLE doesn't mean that it's merited and doesn't mean parents should punish for it.

If you're punishing for sending nude photos to someone, then you'd have to punish just as much for letting that person see you naked.


It's like catching her with pot. It's not going to directly harm her, but it could land her in jail, or she could fail a drug test for a job. The punishment is just an attempt at deterring her actions.
Last edited by Freakish on Thu Dec 03, 2009 4:55 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: [Trigger warning] sexting, suicide and shame

Postby guenther » Thu Dec 03, 2009 4:47 pm UTC

Diadem wrote:
Belial wrote:I feel sorry for the girl. That's it. She did nothing wrong, and she deserved better parents, better teachers, better school administrators, and better classmates. Everyone whose job it was to protect her persecuted her instead, and now she's dead. You'll excuse me if I'm not crying for them.

This. I just couldn't agree more. This is exactly it.

I find it encouraging when people go out of their way to express compassion. I get disheartened when people go out of their way to express a lack of compassion.
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Re: [Trigger warning] sexting, suicide and shame

Postby iop » Thu Dec 03, 2009 4:53 pm UTC

Princess Marzipan wrote:Are you arguing that legal punishment is deserved?

It's not about that. If you live in a society where 13-year olds can be legally prosecuted for possessing nude photos of themselves [citation needed!], then you may want to make sure as a parent that picture-taking does not happen in the first place. It's the same as not letting your kid accidentally set fire to your house, really. In other words, as a 'good' parent, you have to explain the law to your kid before giving them a cell phone, and if the kid still goes and breaks the law, it's bye-bye cell phone until you can trust them to use it responsibly.

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Re: [Trigger warning] sexting, suicide and shame

Postby Princess Marzipan » Thu Dec 03, 2009 4:56 pm UTC

Why does the possibility of legal punishment for an action necessitate that you punish a child for that action?

Because now you're telling me that parenting means you punish your kid for breaking the law, with no consideration for the actual ramifications of breaking that law.

There's definitely reason to tell your kid not to send naked pictures of themselves, yes. It CAN cause a load of a bullshit. But something like, say, coming out as homosexual in high school can cause a lot of similar bullshit, so would you punish your child if they revealed to friends in their high school that they were gay?
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Re: [Trigger warning] sexting, suicide and shame

Postby Spacemilk » Thu Dec 03, 2009 5:12 pm UTC

This is probably going to be a long post and lots is going to be posted before it goes up but... oh well.

This is how I see this situation: There are multiple "walls" of protection that should have prevented this from happening, but it still happened because these walls failed.

Think of these walls as being in a line. Each wall has a hole in it, where it can "fail" and let things through, but hopefully you construct the walls such that any holes will be covered by a succeeding wall. Society's cruelty is at one end of the line of walls, the girl is at the other end. You hope that this line of walls protects the girl.

One wall consists of authority or "management" figures: The school, teachers, counselors, parents, law enforcement figures who never should have allowed this bullying to happen. Another wall consists of practices and principles: It is the positive things we teach our children and others, about how you should treat people well and not like shit. Another wall consists of peer support groups; i.e., the girl's friends, other students, and peers who should protect her from any idiots who didn't absorb the lesson from the second wall, and who aren't stopped by figures from the first wall. If your system of walls is constructed properly, each one is strong enough to block any holes left by the other walls. In this case, the girl didn't have the first wall at all; the second wall was a giant gaping hole; and the third wall was so small and weak it couldn't do much. And so the girl was unprotected.

People in this thread seem to be arguing that another wall is required but did not exist: This wall consists of teaching young girls that there is something wrong with sending nude pictures; teaching girls that they shouldn't trust others, ever; teaching girls that it's their own fault if they leave themselves vulnerable. This wall should not have to fucking exist. Claiming this wall should exist is the basis of victim-blaming theory. Girls should not have to be distrustful of every single person, because hopefully the "practices and principles" wall should hold up: People shouldn't be douchebags and we shouldn't have to assume everyone is a douchebag. Don't get me wrong: I will teach my children this. I will teach them not to trust strangers, and to scream if someone touches them, and not to trust anyone with their personal information. But I shouldn't fucking have to, and my children shouldn't be blamed if they don't absorb this lesson perfectly.
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Re: [Trigger warning] sexting, suicide and shame

Postby Dauric » Thu Dec 03, 2009 5:46 pm UTC

Spacemilk wrote: This wall should not have to fucking exist.


In a Utopian universe, yes. Last time any of us checked this Universe isn't.

Claiming this wall should exist is the basis of victim-blaming theory.


It can be the basis of victim blaming, or it can simply be a statement that....

Girls should not have to be distrustful of every single person, because hopefully the "practices and principles" wall should hold up: People shouldn't be douchebags and we shouldn't have to assume everyone is a douchebag.


... the Practices and Principles wall is dependent on other people and the only practices and principles that we can actively maintain is our own. While it would be nice to believe that we can rely on the Practices and Principles of others, again we don't live in a Douchebag-Free Utopia. We don't need to believe everyone else is a douchebag, but we do need to acknowledge the -possibility- that people we don't know could-be. From that standpoint we hold true to the axiom that "Trust is Earned" and that there is a reason we make others earn our trust before sharing certain information.

Don't get me wrong: I will teach my children this. I will teach them not to trust strangers, and to scream if someone touches them, and not to trust anyone with their personal information. But I shouldn't fucking have to, and my children shouldn't be blamed if they don't absorb this lesson perfectly.


And you acknowledge that we need to be aware of the -possibility- of douchebagieness in others by teaching this to your own children, and it's a healthy thing to do because we don't live in a utopia. It would be nice to not have to teach these lessons, it would also be nice to live in a world where our bodies didn't need immune systems because there was no possibility of getting sick. Unfortunately there are dangers out there, and we do need to teach and be taught how to defend ourselves against those threats to our well-being.

Now for my part I think that this applies to everyone regardless of gender, and why I made the point that I'm not laying blame, however in an age of advancing technology that regards information we -as a culture- need to be more aware of our information and where it goes. This is hardly ad isolated incident of photographic indiscretion amongst teenagers. The fact that we have a word, "Sexting", to describe the practice says that this is far removed from the fault of any individual but rather this is a broader societal problem.
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Re: [Trigger warning] sexting, suicide and shame

Postby Princess Marzipan » Thu Dec 03, 2009 5:52 pm UTC

Dauric, all of what you're saying is in agreement with what I and SpaceMilk have said as far as what to TELL your children. Telling your child "Hey, don't send naked pictures of yourself to people on your phone, because it can have REALLY nasty consequences if someone breaches your trust" is PERFECTLY FINE and honestly pretty advisable. But that's a far cry from punishing your child for disregarding such advice.

Sexting is an action whose negative consequences are more than punishment enough. It serves absolutely zero purpose to punish for such an action simply because it can have negative consequences, and it ESPECIALLY serves to zero purpose to punish after those negative consequences have started.
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Re: [Trigger warning] sexting, suicide and shame

Postby tzvibish » Thu Dec 03, 2009 6:04 pm UTC

The thing with parenting is that you can never be a perfect parent. Nobody gives you classes, every kid is different, and there is simply no right way to do it. You can't deny that there is another side to the argument that sexting is bad, and just because you don't agree with it doesn't make your way the only way. Also, there are so many other factors in the decision of the parents to ground in this case. Maybe this wasn't a first offense. maybe she didn't want to tell her parents she was bullied, so she played down the coercive nature of the story. These things, especially parenting issues, don't happen in a vacuum. Discipline is probably the hardest thing about parenting, because (if you're sane) you want your kid to be happy. You only punish them if you know that they need it, and that it will protect them from themselves. In the case of adolescence, most kids need that protection. You absolutely cannot expect a teenager to make the right decisions in a pressured situation, and sexting is just a pretext for other peer pressure-caused actions in the future. Discipline is not a science, and you can't take each case and view it under a microscope. Parenting and childhood is a continuum that is dynamic and more complicated than many people understand. Nothing is easy about parenting, and parents screw up. In a normal situation, this screw-up would not have led to suicide. It was a combination of many things, many of which are far beyond the control of the parents. And guess what, they managed to get her through at least most of High school, so they were obviously doing OK.

As a parent, as a parent who has screwed up, I feel a different kind of sympathy for the parents than for the girl. The pain they feel right now must be horrible beyond imagining. Anyone who would go to them and ever say "This was your fault" doesn't understand what being a parent is, and has no sensitivity in general.
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Re: [Trigger warning] sexting, suicide and shame

Postby Princess Marzipan » Thu Dec 03, 2009 6:15 pm UTC

tzvibish wrote:As a parent, as a parent who has screwed up, I feel a different kind of sympathy for the parents than for the girl. The pain they feel right now must be horrible beyond imagining. Anyone who would go to them and ever say "This was your fault" doesn't understand what being a parent is, and has no sensitivity in general.


Yeah, you would have a different perspective on it. But just because you can understand why they made a certain decision doesn't negate the fact that it very likely contributed to the overall problem, or at best failed to help it. Because keep in mind that punishing her for her action implies that her action was actually morally wrong. This poor girl felt guilt and shame and felt that she had fucked up.

Do you think Hope should honestly have felt that she acted immorally? That is how she felt. She felt like she had let people down, had committed some god-awful infraction. She didn't do anything that was actually wrong. Her own actions were not the immediate cause of the negative consequences she suffered - those consequences came about because other people took deliberate and malicious action against her. Given all of that, punishing just reinforces the mistaken idea that she was EVER in the wrong to begin with. Punishing reinforces the mistaken idea that all of the negativity that result from others' malicious actions was more Hope's FAULT than anyone else's. Yes, if she hadn't sent that naked picture, none of this would have happened. But punishing her for that makes as much sense as charging the parents for murdering her - after all, they bought a phone for their teenager and didn't disable picture messaging. If they hadn't given their daughter the ability to send pictures via phone, this never would have happened, and therefore they deserve punishment. Yeah - the very concept is absolutely fucking ludicrous, isn't it?

And as previously stated,
tzvibish wrote:Anyone who would go to them and ever say "This was your fault" doesn't understand what being a parent is, and has no sensitivity in general.
No one here IS going to them and saying "this was your fault." And even though I believe they CONTRIBUTED to the problem, I still do not believe they deserve any punishment, and I would never attempt to make them feel like they were solely responsible. You're reading a lot of malice into my arguments and statements that quite frankly isn't there.
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Re: [Trigger warning] sexting, suicide and shame

Postby iop » Thu Dec 03, 2009 6:17 pm UTC

Princess Marzipan wrote:Why does the possibility of legal punishment for an action necessitate that you punish a child for that action?

Because now you're telling me that parenting means you punish your kid for breaking the law, with no consideration for the actual ramifications of breaking that law.

Parenting means, among other things, to prevent permanent harm to the child. You draw boundaries of what is ok and what is not ok, and doing what is not ok must be followed by consequences. If possible, the consequences are such that the kid cannot overstep the boundary again for a while. That specific loss of freedom should be enough 'punishment'.

Depending on the risk for the child (or you or your house), the boundaries are more or less strict.
If all sexting can lead to is bullying and maybe a suspension from school, it is hopefully sufficient to clearly explain to the kid why this is a bad idea, and to support the child as much as possible through the harsh years of bullying if it ever happens. However, if the kid keeps sexting even though you made it clear that there cannot be a second time, the kid has demonstrated an inability to take care of themselves, so you take away the cell phone.
If sexting can lead to a permanent entry in the sex offender registry, you want to be much more strict about it. You have to make it very clear that sexting is not supposed to happen before you equip the kid with the cell phone, and finding a nude picture on the phone has to have severe consequences, even if it was you, and not a police officer who found it. Of course, in case it was the police officer who found the picture, you again try to support the kid as best as you can through the really bad consequences.

There's definitely reason to tell your kid not to send naked pictures of themselves, yes. It CAN cause a load of a bullshit. But something like, say, coming out as homosexual in high school can cause a lot of similar bullshit, so would you punish your child if they revealed to friends in their high school that they were gay?

Again: What are the consequences of coming out? If it means bullying, you may want to talk to the kid about the possible consequences, but if the kid is mature enough, the decision is up to them in the end. If coming out means arrest (because it's illegal), or if it means being shot (because of too many crazies in the neighbourhood), then you better tell your kid to not do it at all.

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Re: [Trigger warning] sexting, suicide and shame

Postby Princess Marzipan » Thu Dec 03, 2009 6:26 pm UTC

iop wrote:Again: What are the consequences of coming out? If it means bullying, you may want to talk to the kid about the possible consequences, but if the kid is mature enough, the decision is up to them in the end. If coming out means arrest (because it's illegal), or if it means being shot (because of too many crazies in the neighbourhood), then you better tell your kid to not do it at all.

Right. And like I've BLATANTLY STATED, *telling* your kid not to send naked pictures of themselves is actually a pretty good idea. Is there any purpose to punishing your child for coming out in a situation where, say, they've been shot or arrested because of it?

Honestly, I could even understand a parent just FINDING a naked picture and considering punishment for it. But only as a last resort, if that's your only means of influencing behavior. You talk to your damn kid, man. You tell them WHY it's something they shouldn't do. You make sure they understand it's not wrong in and of itself, but that it's extremely risky behavior and you're their parent god dammit and they'll listen to what you say. (You're responsible for them and if they're a minor then you have the right to determine how much risk is too much.) If they keep doing it and completely disregard your warnings and you punish them so that they'll stop, then the purpose of the punishment is positive - you're attempting to prevent the negative consequences by preventing the action. But once those consequences have occurred, the ship has sailed. Punishment is absolutely fucking useless at that point.
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Re: [Trigger warning] sexting, suicide and shame

Postby tzvibish » Thu Dec 03, 2009 6:27 pm UTC

Princess Marzipan wrote:
tzvibish wrote:As a parent, as a parent who has screwed up, I feel a different kind of sympathy for the parents than for the girl. The pain they feel right now must be horrible beyond imagining. Anyone who would go to them and ever say "This was your fault" doesn't understand what being a parent is, and has no sensitivity in general.


Yeah, you would have a different perspective on it. But just because you can understand why they made a certain decision doesn't negate the fact that it very likely contributed to the overall problem, or at best failed to help it. Because keep in mind that punishing her for her action implies that her action was actually morally wrong. This poor girl felt guilt and shame and felt that she had fucked up.

Do you think Hope should honestly have felt that she acted immorally? That is how she felt. She felt like she had let people down, had committed some god-awful infraction. She didn't do anything that was actually wrong. Her own actions were not the immediate cause of the negative consequences she suffered - those consequences came about because other people took deliberate and malicious action against her. Given all of that, punishing just reinforces the mistaken idea that she was EVER in the wrong to begin with. Punishing reinforces the mistaken idea that all of the negativity that result from others' malicious actions was more Hope's FAULT than anyone else's. Yes, if she hadn't sent that naked picture, none of this would have happened. But punishing her for that makes as much sense as charging the parents for murdering her - after all, they bought a phone for their teenager and didn't disable picture messaging. If they hadn't given their daughter the ability to send pictures via phone, this never would have happened, and therefore they deserve punishment. Yeah - the very concept is absolutely fucking ludicrous, isn't it?

If the girl went to her parents and said "Listen, I was coerced into doing this. There was nothing I could do, and I was scared", I don't think this would have gone down the same way. Not saying it's her fault for not doing so, but I don't think the parents saw the situation with the same amount of clarity that we see it with now. I have just enough faith in humanity to assume that a parent wouldn't punish a child for something they were intimidating into doing.
And as previously stated,
tzvibish wrote:Anyone who would go to them and ever say "This was your fault" doesn't understand what being a parent is, and has no sensitivity in general.
No one here IS going to them and saying "this was your fault." And even though I believe they CONTRIBUTED to the problem, I still do not believe they deserve any punishment, and I would never attempt to make them feel like they were solely responsible. You're reading a lot of malice into my arguments and statements that quite frankly isn't there.

I got that, and forgive me for not mentioning that. You made yourself clearer. I was just saying that in general. I hope no one is thinking of actually accusing them of legal negligence or something.
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Re: [Trigger warning] sexting, suicide and shame

Postby Princess Marzipan » Thu Dec 03, 2009 7:04 pm UTC

tzvibish wrote:I hope no one is thinking of actually accusing them of legal negligence or something.

Yeah, I think what they did was something with negative consequences and I think they shouldn't have done it, but I don't think they deserve punishment. (Notice any similarity here to anything else I've been saying?)

I have just enough faith in humanity to assume that a parent wouldn't punish a child for something they were intimidating into doing.
My judgment of the parents' actions is in no way affected by the fact that Hope was coerced. If she hadn't been coerced, I would still think the parents handled it just as wrongly.
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Re: [Trigger warning] sexting, suicide and shame

Postby tzvibish » Thu Dec 03, 2009 7:36 pm UTC

I have just enough faith in humanity to assume that a parent wouldn't punish a child for something they were intimidating into doing.
My judgment of the parents' actions is in no way affected by the fact that Hope was coerced. If she hadn't been coerced, I would still think the parents handled it just as wrongly.


It wasn't the fact that she was coerced, it was whether or not the parents knew she was coerced. It makes a huge difference. if she did because she thought it would be fun, then the parents need to figure out the proper course of discipline and act according to what they can determine to the best of their ability is the right way to do it.

If they knew she was coerced, and the parents still disciplined her, that's a whole lot worse.
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Re: [Trigger warning] sexting, suicide and shame

Postby Princess Marzipan » Thu Dec 03, 2009 7:56 pm UTC

tzvibish wrote:If they knew she was coerced, and the parents still disciplined her, that's a whole lot worse.
Clearly, but my point is that it's still bad even she wasn't.
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Re: [Trigger warning] sexting, suicide and shame

Postby iop » Thu Dec 03, 2009 7:59 pm UTC

Princess Marzipan wrote:If they keep doing it and completely disregard your warnings and you punish them so that they'll stop, then the purpose of the punishment is positive - you're attempting to prevent the negative consequences by preventing the action. But once those consequences have occurred, the ship has sailed. Punishment is absolutely fucking useless at that point.

Exactly my opinion. I'm glad we agree.

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Re: [Trigger warning] sexting, suicide and shame

Postby tzvibish » Thu Dec 03, 2009 8:03 pm UTC

Princess Marzipan wrote:
tzvibish wrote:If they knew she was coerced, and the parents still disciplined her, that's a whole lot worse.
Clearly, but my point is that it's still bad even she wasn't.

It's bad, if you agree with the ideology that sexuality can be healthy for high school teenagers. For those who don't agree with that (and there are valid arguments both ways), then your child is doing something wrong by sexting and should be disciplined.

I guess my point is that there are different degrees of wrong. One type of wrong can lead to self-harm and suicide, and one is a question of personal ideology that can lead to minor issues of typical teen angst.
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