Sunday, October 12, 2008

Help me out here...

Read this.

Eighth grade girl texts nude a photo of herself to some male classmates at her school. One of the guys (13 years old) who got the picture has been arrested, suspended from school, and spent a night in a juvenile detention center. What is wrong with this?

1. Why is only one of the recipients of the photo in trouble? They seem to know that several people received the photo yet only one is doing down for it. Maybe the others have already deleted it from their phones. Or someone took a look at the sender's phone to see who received it. Whatever the reason it seems odd that only one of many is getting in trouble without explaining why.

2. Why would a receiver of the photo get in trouble and not the sender? If this were an 13 year old boy that sent a nude photo to a young girl he would be under the jail by now. But for some reason when the sender is the girl all of a sudden she is a poor victim. If he had gone out of his way to get the photo (like sneaking into the girl's locker room to take a pic) I would say that he should go down and go down hard.

What in the world has happened that has caused blatant shifts of responsibility like this? How can an underaged child distribute a nude photo of herself and then walk away free while a receiver of the photo get in trouble? This reminds me of the woman in Las Vega earlier this year that blew all of her money gambling and then tried to sue the casino because they didn't try to stop her from gambling. Is it so hard for people to take responsibility for their actions?

BTW I bet this woman won't get in trouble either.


frau sally benz said...

Unfortunately, I don't really think this is any kind of change. Whenever the woman/girl is the one doing something wrong, there is still that double standard. Whether it's a mother (remember the mother with the fake MySpace page and the girl who committed suicide?), or a little girl, whatever. It's definitely a problem, but there are people on one side who just don't say anything and people on another side are all "it just isn't a crime when women do it b/c men like it" and then there's people like us who are like "errrrrr what?"

I have no idea how this is going to change.

Llencelyn said...

I actually think this is an example of the concept of "benevolent sexism" that I think you mentioned you were having difficulty with. The girl should have been held responsible, but the ingrained sexism in our culture prompts us to infantilize women/girls so as to make it seem that they "can't" be responsible for their own actions/decisions - so that when society doesn't want them to be (e.g. abortion), we don't bat an eye.

As for the actual legality of the situation, I have no frakking idea. :) It seems to me that there's no way to know what a text message will contain before you open it... Did the authorities find out because the kid was showing it to everyone? It just seems weird. They didn't really explain much in the article.

Danny said...

I actually think this is an example of the concept of "benevolent sexism" that I think you mentioned you were having difficulty with.
Actually I think I get the concept my problem is the name. When something unfairly goes in a man's favor its "privilege" but when something goes unfairly in a woman's favor it not? Both situations are wrong but for some reason they are labeled differently.

And reason I say this is because the men that are at the top don't do the things they do to benefit all men (or else all men would much better off than they are right now) but to benefit specifically the men at the top. In the discussion of privilege over on Feminism 101 they say that institutional power makes the difference between privilege and benevolent sexism. Why is it that institutional power is added to the mix when differentiating "male privilege" from "benevolent sexism" but then is removed from the mix when applying it to all men and all women?