Is Rape a Joke to Our Youth?

  • Share on Tumblr

Jadapose

On the 4th of July my aunt and uncle allowed their son, my sixteen-year-old cousin, to have a few friends over. The small gathering consisted of a few boys and two girls. At the end of the night the boys stayed over and the girls needed to make their way home. Unbeknownst to my uncle, who had ran to the store, the girls began walking. Just two teenagers, oblivious of the potential danger, headed clear across the city at 1:30 in the morning. They hadn’t got far when my uncle spotted them on his way back from the store. He pulled over. He demanded to know what they were doing walking at that time of morning. The girls hopped in his car and he headed back home to scold his son before dropping the two girls off. My uncle was disappointed that his son had used such poor judgment in allowing his young lady friends to venture out into the night alone. He used this incident as a teaching moment for all of the boys staying at the house that night. His words were not light when he expressed his concern that they did not see the error in this scenario. “You were raised better than that, you know better than that,” he said to his son. He also shared with the young ladies that they should never tolerate that type of disrespectful behavior from anyone…his son included.

My first thought when my uncle shared this story was that my cousin’s young friends could have been kidnapped, raped, or killed during that innocent ninety-minute walk. Then last week the Internet was buzzing with the news of a Houston teen, Jada, whose alleged rape went viral. It is believed that she was slipped a laced cocktail at a house party, became unconscious, only to wake up not knowing what happened to her. It seems that the assault was not reported initially, which is giving some people cause to speculate if she was in fact raped. Outrage followed when her alleged attackers thought that it would be a brilliant idea to post images of, what seemed to be, her unconscious half clothed body all over social media. They treated it as a joke. A sickening hashtag #jadapose soon followed with disturbing images of mostly young boys mimicking the posing of her limp body.

How could anyone closely associated to this incident or not, make light of such a violating experience? Is rape now something to joke about? Parents can’t monitor their children constantly, but just as my uncle did in the above story, you have to take time out to talk to your children in those teachable moments. I wonder if the parents of the children who made light of this situation are even aware of their children’s insensitive actions? Do the participants of the viral explosion even realize how disrespectful their actions were? Not just disrespectful to the young lady Jada, but to themselves as well. A potential rape situation is not a trendy thing to be a part of. It’s not excusable to make light of someone’s potential pain and embarrassment. Yet somehow I get the feeling that point is being lost on our youth.

It seems apparent these days that young impressionable minds are becoming driven by the idea of social media celebrity. They lack good sense when it comes to the lure of likes and retweets. They are looking for perceived notoriety at all costs. Is social media truly making all of us insensitive? Is it creating the largest follower mentality that we will ever know?

While researching this story I also came across a disturbing subculture. Young men and women are airing out each others dirty laundry in the form of nude or compromising (sexting images), and labeling them EXPOSED or #exposedhoes. Everyone makes mistakes, and sending someone a nude photo could be your biggest mistake in life. Does that mistake make it okay for someone else to feel comfortable enough to plaster that image all over the net?

Maybe it’s the case that as adults we have to take more responsibility for what we display online, so that we can turn around this culture of insensitive youth that is being created. If I were a parent I would take this tragic situation and use it as a teaching moment for my children. From the cautions of underage drinking at house parties, to the careless nature of sharing disturbing images, and participating in harmful social media nonsense. I strongly feel that raising a responsible, productive, and accountable addition to society starts at home. What do you think?

xoxo

Ahyiana Angel

About the Author: Ahyiana Angel is a Cali girl who has turned the Manhattan streets into her playground. This sassy storyteller—a former sports entertainment publicist at the National Basketball Association (NBA)—is anticipating the release of her first novel, Preseason Love Oct.21, about dating in New York, coveted careers, complicated relationships, and ultimate deception. Angel is the creator of the salacious and popular blog Life According to Her. It’s contrived like reality TV, fictionalized for fun (also to protect the innocent), and sensationalized for your entertainment.

Website

Facebook

Twitter @Ahyiana_Angel

Instagram @Ahyiana_Angel

  • Share on Tumblr

From Our Partners

  • DB

    In the situation with your cousin, I think not enough blame is being put on your aunt, uncle, and the parents of those girls. That was a situation someone should have seen coming. How did the adults expect the girls to get home? Assuming that none of the boys at the get together had a car, did the adults actually expect the boys to make a three hour trip just to make sure the girls got home safely? There should have been a plan in place to make sure the girls would not have to walk home at night and I blame the adults for that.

    • Ahyiana Angel

      Your point makes perfect sense. But I didn’t go into full background. One of the girls older sister normally drops her off and picks her up. So the parents just assumed that would be the case that night. However, the girl’s sister got sick and couldn’t pick her up. The sister wasn’t answering the phone. So instead of calling her own parents or my cousin consulting with his mom and dad, the girls decided to walk. That’s why my uncle was upset with his son, because all he had to do was tell his parents the situation and they would have taken the girls home. But my uncle also felt that if nothing else, the boys should have offered to walk them home no matter how long it took. That was at least a better idea then letting them walk alone. Realistically knowing that if my cousin went upstairs and told his parents that he was walking the girls home they would have interjected and given them a ride.

  • Lashuntrice

    I definitely understand your point. These children are too stuck on internet popularity. My 17 year old brother RT’d one of those vines making fun of Jada and I scolded him on it so much. I was pissed because he knows better. I also think the men online need to set better examples for these young boys. It really made me even angrier that these so-called relationship experts ignored this story and continued to talk about how women should act and think and breathe. These boys need so much guidance. What upsets me even more is the people who write something like this off just because it didn’t happen to them. However, it was them then they would want all the attention. It takes a village for real.

    • Ahyiana Angel

      You raise some great points and I totally agree. I also commend you for taking the time to address the issue with your brother. That’s what we need more of, people speaking up and talking about how we can do things better.

  • http://stanoffewwords.wordpress.com/ Tristan

    Its an overwhelming lack of respect for women these days, it starts at home. Parents and parental have taken on this dangerous thinking of “not mine, not my problem”, I’m not that far removed from being a teen myself i remember being told to watch out for these “fast little girls” and “hoodrats” just as much as i was told about decency and respect.

  • onyxsta

    Saddens me to the core that rape culture was normalised and condoned by the mass posting (viral) of the #JadaPose meme.

    Wrote a post on it: http://bit.ly/1zylpBl