Man, does this demonstrate what a double-edged sword social media can be when it comes to issues of assault and bullying. On one hand, social media can be used to pile on someone who is already the victim of abuse. The Houston Press reports that after Jada gave her interview to KHOU, another round of ugliness started when idiots started tweeting pictures of themselves splayed out on the ground, mimicking the pose Jada was in when someone snapped the photo of her passed out.
I’ve seen some more on that hashtag. Callous, brutal – simply horrible.
It’s a shame that anyone would feel like they might as well come forward because they have lost so much control of their own situation. But, by putting her face out there, Jada is taking some power back. It’s much harder to marginalize or even demonize an alleged sexual assault victim who makes you acknowledge her humanity. As Emily Bazelon argued in defense of Daisy Coleman, another alleged rape victim who bravely showed her face on TV, while it is a “huge personal risk,” it “can only help erase the stigma of being sexually assaulted.”
As Emily noted about Coleman and another young woman who was speaking out at the time, Jada is also “teaching a lesson in resilience” by “being clear eyed about what they say happened” but “not letting it own them.” She is refusing to be reduced to a few blurred-out photos. She is looking directly at the camera, and that’s the pose I’ll remember.
High school boys? Don’t be evil.