Rehtaeh Parsons, Bullying and the Cyclical Nature of Rape Culture

In 2011, 15-year-old Rehtaeh Parsons attended a party with a handful of friends. At this party, Parsons consumed a substantial amount of vodka – substantial enough for her recollection of the night to be minimal. She did remember throwing up out a window; she did not completely remember being raped by four boys.

According to Parsons’ mother, Leah Parsons, “Rehtaeh doesn’t remember all of it. She remembers a guy leading her up the stairs, guys taking turns on top of her.” It is alleged that while one of the boys was raping Parsons, another boy yelled, “Take a picture! Take a picture!” According to Leah, “That picture began to circulate in her school and community three days later.” Just three days after being raped while virtually unconscious, a 15-year-old girl had her rape shoved in her face, with the all too familiar response to attacks such as this forced on her, as well.

No, there wasn’t a swift reaction to punish the boys who participated in the rape – both those who physically violated Parsons and the ones who traumatized her further by taking photographs and circulating them. There wasn’t a rallying cry within the Nova Scotia community in which Parsons lived to have a discussion about rape and rape culture and what needs to be done so that this does not occur ever again. Instead, Leah says, Rehtaeh “walked into school and everyone started calling her a slut.” A few days later, Rehtaeh confessed to Leah what had happened, and the two called both an emergency health team and the police. After a year of investigation the Parsons were told that there simply wasn’t enough evidence to press charges; it was a “he said, she said” case. According to RCMP Cpl. Scott MacRae, “We have to deal in facts and not rumours.”

The family moved from Cole Harbor to Halifax, hoping that a new school would make a difference for Rehtaeh. But news and gossip moves quickly in high school. According to her mother, “She was never left alone. Her friends turned against her, people harassed her, boys she didn’t know started texting her and Facebooking asking her to have sex with them since she had sex with their friends. It just never stopped.”

In March, Rehtaeh admitted herself for suicidal thoughts. On Thursday, she attempted suicide and was put on life support. On Sunday, she was taken off. By Tuesday, an online petition calling on the Nova Scotia police to investigate Parsons’ rape had garnered more than 2.000 signatures. By Tuesday night, Nova Scotia Justice Minister, Ross Landry, announced that he is asking government officials to present options to review Rehtaeh’s alleged rape. Landry told CTV news, “I’ve listened to Nova Scotians…I’ve received many comments from across the country and it deeply affected people, so from a justice perspective, as the minister responsible, it’s very important that I’m listening to people and that I respond to their concerns.” Landry is also quoted in a release saying that he hopes to meet Leah Parsons, adding, “It’s important that Nova Scotians have faith in the justice system and I am committed to exploring the mechanisms that exist to review the actions of all relevant authorities.”

The most difficult aspect about reading about a news story like this is that I have read nearly the same story so many times before. This is far from the first time I’ve heard or read about a young girl being raped while unconscious, and certainly not the first time I’ve read about a rape occurring while others watched on, either unable to, or simply refusing to intervene. I’ve read about photographs being taken of an attack in progress before. And I’ve experienced this same anger and frustration about a rape victim bullied into believing that she is somehow responsible for her rape just as many times. The discussion about who’s to blame is just as difficult.

Halifax IWK Chilren’s Hospital psychiatrist, Stan Kutcher, places some of the blame on the easy and quick access of social media and children and teenagers’ inability to use it appropriately and responsibly, which he believes creates a forum for bullying: “We spend an awful lot of time teaching kids how to drive, we spent an awful lot of energy ensuring that they can drive responsibly, and we need to do the same with social media.”

Well, Dr. Kutcher, I didn’t go to medical school, but I can assure you that this is not a story about social media. This isn’t even a story about bullying, really. This is a story about how rape culture has permeated itself so deeply into the fibers of society that we cannot even have a discussion about rape without rape being the focus of the conversation. This is a story about how the first instinct of teenagers who witness a rape is to take photographs, not for evidence, not to show the police, but to shame the victim and, perhaps most importantly, for laughs. This is a story about how a young girl who is shown photos of her own attack is made to believe that she is at fault, and is called a slut, and is shamed to the point where she decides that the only way to make it stop is to take her own life.

This is a story about RAPE and how until we can recognize that, and start using these words, instead of tip-toeing around it and pointing fingers at “social media” and “responsibility,” we will read a story just like Rehtaeh Parsons’ again and again and again.

Featured image via Rehtaeh Parsons Facebook Memorial Page

  • Mary Lynn

    This is a horrible story. Rape should never occur and that said, I wish this girl would’ve realized that there is life after high school. Is high school horrible everywhere? I hate reading these stories but I am glad people are talking about “rape culture” so the stigma won’t be an issue. Thinking of the family.

    • Jennifer Edmondson

      This poor girl must have felt like she was taking crazy pills. Imagine you are gangraped and then the world around you not only doesn’t believe you-they blame you. Maddening. It was probably difficult for her to put things like “High School eventually ends” into perspective.

      This kind of thing goes past HS. Grown men are raping, and the people with power turn the other way. Women making false rape claims aren’t helping matters.Ugh, so frustrating!

  • Jennifer Edmondson

    It’s important this story gets out. Thanks for writing this.

  • Christie Fagan Gann

    This is the second artical in a month I have seen about a young girls bad decission turning into tragedy! I am angry at the parents of all these teens involved. Where were they? As a parent this “they are going to drink anyway” mentality is what is depleting the morals of this young generation. Where was the parent who says “no you can’t go to that party” where is the the parent to say “no you can’t have a party” or better where is the parent who is supervising the party? We need to teach our kids to make better choices. This poor girl was violated and bullied, then ignored by all the people who should have been helping her. And ALL of it could have been prevented if a parent would have said NO!

    • Jennifer Edmondson

      Plenty of teenagers party, and no one gets rape. I think for too long the blame has been passed around.

      “a young girl’s bad decision” what about the young boys who made the same bad decision (drinking) but also added rape to the mix?

      This generation is no different than mine or my parents. Social media is just making us more aware of the problem.

      I’m not jumping down your throat just simply saying let’s blame the boys who committed the act, and the schools/parents for not teaching more about rape education.

    • Rita Faroh

      this is an article about 4 boys bad decision to rape. I’m mad at the boys and their parents involved. Where were they? As a parent this, “they are going to rape anyway” mentality is what is depleting the morals of this young generation. Where was the parent who says, “no you can not rape at this party” where is the parent to say “no you can’t have rapists at a party” or better where is the parent stopping the rape at the party? We need to teach our kids to make better choices. This poor girl was violated and bullied, then ignored by all the people who should have been helping her. And ALL of it could have been prevented if a parent would have said NO RAPING. Christie, this is the correct response, not blaming the victim.

      • Dana M. Abel


      • Stephanie Archibald

        Couldn’t of said it better.

    • Tiffini Danielle Lance

      When I was in school my parents DID say no, and you know what I did? say “I’m not going to a party, I’m going to my friends house.” Teenagers lie, they go out anyways, they sneak out, they pretend to be places they are not. They don’t even need a place to drink. they will go to the park, an abandoned building, or an older friends, or their cars. and i know this from experience. You can talk to them about drinking until their ears bleed but most teens still try alcohol. Teaching your children from an early age about respecting women, respecting boundaries, and not raping would be much more effective in preventing rape.

      • Christie Fagan Gann

        I agree, kids are going to do what they are going to do. I was there once too, and I agree that we need to teach our boys to be gentlemen and our girls to be ladies. But at the same time we need to say no and punish bad behavior. I got spankings and was never beaten, I got scolded but not verbaly abused… my point is parenting today is too nice. A firmer hand along with teaching our kids to respect themselves and others is the best we can do for them.

        • Amanda Trent

          The parents should not be blamed for this. Coming from a 19 year old girls perspective, my parents were very lenient with me. I was raised in a very free household, and I am very thankful for that. It is for that reason that I have so much responsibility and know my limits. My parents are not old fashioned in any sense, and it has helped me grow as a person. It was the girl’s choice to go out, but this rape was in no way ANYONE else’s fault but the rapists. They did this to her, not her parents.

        • Ramou Sarr

          I get what you’re saying, but the “teach ladies to be ladies” seems to mean – don’t wear revealing clothing and don’t drink too much – because you will get pregnant and die (sorry. had to.). The responsibility to not be raped always falls on the lady. I mean, what if we suddenly said, “Look, guys. You can’t stop raping people. So a curfew is being implemented to prevent you from raping.” That would be crazy, right? But why is it any less crazy than making women responsible for preventing their own rapes?

          • Ramou Sarr

            Any more crazy? AH. Sorry!

    • Tara Celine

      NO NO NO. We need to live not in a world where we teach our children not to get raped, but to teach our children NOT TO RAPE. I am sick to my stomach and I am OVER this rape culture in which we live!

      • Heather Primerano

        EXACTLY. No more victim-blaming. Victim-blaming is the core of this issue, not bad-parenting, not bad decisions by young teenage girls, victim-blaming. A girl should be able to go to a party and have too much to drink without being RAPED. When we stop revering young boys and treating them like they are invincible because of their football skills, when we stop saying: “boys will be boys” when we finally shifts these stale paradigms in our culture, then we will be addressing the problem. In the process we can only hope that young girls recognize their value and are able to make it out of these experiences both mentally and physically alive.

        • Hannah Rosetti

          I don’t think that’s victim-blaming, and I obviously agree that no-one should EVER be raped under any circumstances, but, for some sickening reason, rape happens, as we have seen a lot recently in the media. Until the day comes when rape doesn’t happen, which is not likely to occur in the near future, it is JUST AS IMPORTANT to educate young people, especially young women, about how their choices affect their chances of having something terrible like rape happen to them. It is NEVER the victim’s fault in the case of rape. I’m just saying that the media often glorifies teenage drinking and partying and rarely shows how those choices lead to higher risk of tragedy. Something needs to change.

    • Jessica Jeffers


      Teen drinking is a problem, but it’s not the reason this girl was raped.

  • Dakota Katherine M. Lloyd

    I live in the valley, the drinking culture here is very different. Kids constantly party, parents don’t really say anything. It’s just the culture sadly. No one teaches kids that it’s not ok to say these things. They grow up SEEING people call girls sluts and find it ok. That needs to change. Girls were being cruel to her, when it could happen to them.

    I’m actually working with Kutcher, and you know what, no one over the age of 30 truly understands social media. at all. They haven’t grown up with it, and the 12-17s have never lived without it. They just don’t have the same perspective. These kids all went “oh theres nothing we can do to stop it, or it’s not rape”

    Ugh this whole thing has had me in tears all week. Considering my project involves social media, and suicide ideologies. I can only hope the RCMP gets called into question. Hopefully my project can aim to help some of the kids who feel the need to take their own life :(

  • Stephanie Archibald

    This makes me so incredibly sad and sick to my stomach. I just don’t understand how these things ever occur. At what point do a group of people discover that they all want to rape someone together? How does that come about? I hope Rehtaeh finds the strength to recover and I hope she gets the justice she deserves.

    Rape and violence awareness seems to be happening all over the world. Here in Australia it all came to a head last year when a woman was raped and murdered minutes from her home in a bustling inner city suburb.. This woman’s death after a massive missing persons campaign on Facebook to find her when she was initially just missing caused the public to fall into a huge despair. She touched s many people. There has been a lot of discussion since and a government campaign happening. We are just fed up.

    • Alanine Rhenylalanine

      Rehtaeh died on Thursday after a suicide attempt. RIP sweet girl.

  • Abel Raygoza

    We need to bring this problem out into public and talk about it. I know it is an uncomfortable subject, but if we keep ignoring it, this problem is just going to get worse. Let’s stop playing the blame game and look at this problem from all aspects, not just the victim’s, but also from the assailants, this may be some kind of psychological malfunction, it could be an emotional problem, we need to dissect this disgustingly growing trend and learn how to stop it IMMEDIATELY!

  • Joe L Hughes

    Those boys aren’t criminal psychopaths that made a choice they should be responsible for, they are victims of their culture! Rape doesn’t happen because criminals lack empathy or seek power, it happens because we dont tell boys rape is wrong, even though we do. Rape culture is bullshit that seeks to validate a selfish ideology and further punish that ideologies hate target, making up cultural phenomenon that is the opposite of societies view of rape, does not prevent rape.

    • Grace Owen

      ‘Those boys aren’t criminal psychopaths that made a choice they should be responsible for, they are victims of their culture’ I have to disagree with this comment., anyone who has sex with an unconscious girl or drunken girl has made that choice to do it. No they probably aren’t psychopaths and yes it does definitely look like some form of education looks like it needed. These boys do need punishing and harshly, the victim of rape has suffered more and more since the ordeal. They are responsible for what they did and to pass it off a problem WHOLLY to do with culture is wrong, yes, I agree things obviously need to change in this culture. But I also think that each individual boy in that group made an individual choice to do it. I don’t believe every male in Nova Scotia is brought up in a culture to believe rape is OK, as then the women would think it too.

      What makes it even more strange to me is the fact that each boy took it in turn whilst watching the other, this is odd behaviour. I believe that we do tell boys that rape is wrong, in a 1st world country however, what is rape is is certainly disputed and blurred in legal terms, it always comes down to consent.

      I think describing the boys as ‘victims’ is certainly controversial. The culture they are surrounded by probably calls women sluts who sleep around or dress a certain way (not that that’s right either) , but I’m pretty sure no civilised culture believes it is right to take advantage of young girls even if they are drunk.

      Yes, culture is partly to blame but don’t remove the blame wholly from the boys, they knew exactly what they were doing.

      • Courtney Firestone

        Just so you know, I’m pretty sure there’s some sarcasm in the original comment that wasn’t picked up on… The sentences “Those boys aren’t criminal psychopaths that made a choice they should be responsible for, they are victims of their culture!” and “Rape doesn’t happen because criminals lack empathy or seek power, it happens because we dont tell boys rape is wrong, even though we do,” were sarcastic – he was trying to say that the opposite is true and that actually “rape culture is bullshit”.

      • Joe L Hughes

        Yes, everything before “Rape culture is bullshit” is sarcastic.

    • Ramou Sarr

      I think this comment just translates to: MISANDRY!, yes?

      • Joe L Hughes

        If thats how you’ve been told to write off differing opinion, whatever makes you feel better.

  • Matt Johnston

    i hate the term rape culture, you’re deflecting the blame of such a terrible thing to society as a whole when its exclusively the fault of four sadistic bastards, i was raised in the same culture as these boys, and rape is not okay, or respected, ever.

    • Ramou Sarr

      I don’t recall writing that I didn’t think that rapists deserve to be punished, but please point me to where I did if I’m incorrect. But the solution to this isn’t just punishing rapists. There were other people at this party who knew that Parsons wasn’t able to consent to sex. And there were witnesses in Steubenville who said that they didn’t realize that this was rape. That is a problem. I read a comment elsewhere that said that we talk about rape the same way that we talk about racism and I thought that it was a perfect analogy. Racism isn’t just men in white hoods and burning crosses, and rape isn’t just creepy men jumping out from bushes in the middle of the night. That’s rape culture and that’s a big part of this problem.

  • Chris Hugh

    I think u meant to write “with” not “without” in the last paragraph.

    • Ramou Sarr

      Aaahhh, you’re right. Thanks.

  • Hans Johan Svensson

    There is a difference between being in relation with and in relation to.
    One is often geografical, like standing in the que to the bus or the subway. The other is with someone you know.
    So, what is the unknown in this situation? Is it the lack of communication? Normally (I hope) there is a question about what you want to do and if there is an answer.
    Why is it that some people are valued less than human? Do we think so l.ittle about about our selves? Is life so unseartain that we must allways have an explanation as to what we should do or not? Are traditions that valuable?
    I hope that we are still able to make our own minds up!

  • Starla Trotter

    This girl is NOT at fault, by any stretch of the imagination, however young girls MUST be taught how NOT to put themselves in situations where they become incapacitated in a group of people they do not know/trust. I’ve experienced more than one night in my life (I regret to say) where I KNOW I was up and about, talking, totally interacting with others, and completely UNAWARE of what I was doing. I was not passed out, like this girl was, but I did things I had NO recollection of the next day. Thankfully nothing terrible happened to me, because I was drunk around people who took good care of me. But the idea that I was actively participating in conversations I absolutely do not recall is scary. Friends telling you that you left the house and started wandering down the street in your beyond drunken state is scary. “What did I say that I wouldn’t have said sober?” “What could have happened if my friends did not come after me when I walked down the street in the middle of town?” Anyone could have found me and done god knows what. I might have even said, “Yeah it’s cool, we can have sex,” because I was so out of it that it seemed like a good idea to me at the time. Maybe my obliterated mind would have told me I knew the person, when it was really a stranger… But even if I flat out said “ok” that is STILL NOT consent. We have to draw clear lines about this. Obviously if a girl is passed out, she cannot consent to sex. That should be a clear sign reading, “DO NOT TOUCH THIS GIRL.” But what if she says “yes” because she’s so blasted she really has no sense left to say no? That is also RAPE. If a person is so drunk that you know they will NOT remember a second of this night the next day, there should still be a sign reading “DO NOT TOUCH THIS GIRL.” But drunk girls are constantly being taken advantage of, or worse, utterly and irrevocably violated. Drinking is dangerous. I didn’t take it seriously enough when I was younger. (But then I never blacked out when I was younger.) Now, you better believe I have woken up. The few times I have absorbed enough alcohol (definitely not on purpose) to black out and have total blank spots where memory should be have scared the hell out of me. I have intense fear for any girl who puts herself into a situation like the one Rehtaeh was in. No, she is not responsible for the rape – those boys are absolutely are. Those boys should have known, passed out or not, that Rehtaeh was too far gone to consciously consent to any sexual behavior. (But let’s face it, I believe they knew and didn’t care, which is a much deeper problem.) But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t teach young girls how to avoid ending up in a place and a state of mind where they can be victimized. It is sad that a party with peers can become the scene of a brutal crime, but that is the world we now live in. And until that changes, girls, please put down the vodka. Let me repeat, Retaeh is NOT responsible for her attack. I only wish she could have known what an unsafe place she was in. Obviously she felt that a party among her peers WAS safe – never imagined she’d be attacked in such a way. And that should be the case. But it wasn’t. It isn’t. Ladies, be aware of predators. You can’t be too careful.

  • Jessica Jeffers

    I guess I can understand why police might conclude an investigation with the decision that there is simply not enough evidence to press charges. If Law and Order’s taught me anything, it’s that it’s hard to prosecute cases in which you can’t overcome the whole “reasonable doubt” thing. I don’t know enough statistics to speak about how frequently they’re unable to bring charges and how that contributes to this disgusting culture in which rape becomes a joke, but I do understand that you have to have evidence and sometimes it’s not there.

    But the fact that pictures are circulating of these horrific events is another story. Even if a photograph may not legally prove that sex was or was not consensual, why are these boys not being punished for THAT? Even if a girl had consensual sex with her boyfriend, there should be repercussions for distributing photos of it to an audience and allowing that to be used as a bullying tactic — whether it’s harassment charges, child pornography, or something else. There is hard evidence, and I am sure that it’s fairly easy to find out whose iPhone was used to take these pictures.

    It sickens me that this poor girl’s family has lost their daughter because of the criminal behaviors of others, and she is not the only one. This is happening way too frequently. And the fact that the Nova Scotia Justice Minister waited until a teenage girl was dead to say, “Well, maybe we should have looked into this a little more,” disgusts me. More needs to be done before it gets to this point to prevent these kinds of tragedies from happening.

  • Emil Giurca

    10 years ago the world, at least my world, was a much safer place and young people had more restrictions in their behavior. don’t get me wrong, i’ve done some crazy things, i’ve had my share of drunken, hammered out of my mind nights. i’ve done a looooot of crazy stuff, i’ve even broken the law in a considerable amount of cases – although nothing too serious, not even close to something like this. but i’ve never, under any circumstance allowed myself to get in trouble or be in a position where i would not be able to control my experience, directly or indirectly. as to be harmed or cause harm ? no way.

    the fact that a 15 year old girl ( f**k it – let’s assume that a guy can handle himself but a girl 😕 ) allowed herself to be put in a situation where she wasn’t in control, surrounded by people she obviously couldn’t trust …. no offense but that’s not rape culture.

    the events and her actions leading up to that point we’re her own. everything that followed after that …. that is pure human cruelty, ignorance, lack of control, insanity, call it whatever you like.

    but everything up to that point was on her – yes. social media has something to do with this.

    she is not to blame. she had no control over the rape or over her actions. society, social media … hell, the whole of internet is to blame for this.

    the lack of control parents have on their children today. our entire society is f****d up. we sell and push apps, and devices and facebook, and all this crap down their throats from an amazingly young age. get them exposed to countless crap that could damage an adult easily, give them the freedom to say and be anyone they want online without any repercussion, teach them that actions have no accountability …

    take the on hand example – facebook. now i’ve seen posts and pages and profiles on facebook that either made me sick or made me say ‘what the f**k is wrong with humanity ?’. and i’ve reported and in a few cases posted publicly and asked other people to report. nothing happened. there is complete control over the content in these apps but no one gives a shit because there is no accountability.

    what do you expect happens ?

    this happens. a girl puts herself in a position where she is completely vulnerable and with no control over what happens to her, at the mercy of a bunch of idiots that have no moral compass or the one they have can be blurred by a few shots of tequila.

    to be absolutely clear about what i’m saying here – i completely agree with most of the article. i say again – she is not to blame for the actual rape. no woman is ever to blame for something like this no matter the circumstances.

    i don’t care if she is naked in front of me, and asks me to have sex with her while she tapes it. if the woman comes 2 days later and says i raped her i am still the one to blame. granted – in this case probably nothing would happen to me … but i would still be the one to blame. basically there is no excuse for this. no matter her behavior, her state or whatever.

    but coming out and saying that social media had nothing to do with this is just plain ignorant.

    i’m the dude that would vote for obligatory castration, physical castration, on the first offense. i’m actually the guy that would vote to pass a law where in cases like this, where a conviction is not possible due to the lack of evidence, the presumed assailants would be forced to chemical castration and held under probation for x period of months/years.

    i would be ok with this so even if the girl is hammered out of her mind, the guys around her would know to run like hell, just in case, just to make sure there is no doubt that they didn’t touch her.

    as for those idiots …. no one cares why they did it. reasons, explanations …. don’t matter once a deed is done. rape, murder or whatever. you did it – suffer the consequences. hell … bring back capital punishment.

    if we really wanted to minimize crime then there should only be 2 punishments for any kind of crime that involves direct harm to another person – life in prison or death. then people would really think 5 times before allowing themselves to do something like this. first slip up, you’re out – forever, one way or another.

    bottom line …. that doctor might be on to something if you look at it closely and objectively.

    • Jonathan Nathan

      Oh good, here’s a guy blaming the victim. Nope, no rape culture here.

      • Emil Giurca

        yeah … cause that’s what i was doing above :).

        • Tara Shennan

          Actually, when you use language such as; “put herself in the position”, you are blaming her.. Alcohol doesn’t rape people, people do.

          She didn’t put herself in any position. Such is the point of the article – if we spent time educating teens on respectful behaviour, what rape is and what rape is not then we would reduce these incidents.

          • Emil Giurca

            i’ve stopped arguing with people that understand only what they want to understand a long time ago. so go right on ahead. and just for the record i actually used a different phrasing which can be interpreted in a completely f*ing different way. but if you need a confirmation for the whole rape culture bible that you have going on … fuck yeah … it’s her own damn fault, she wanted it ;). have a good one kiddo.

  • Emil Giurca

    sorry to chatter on …. but seriously … does no one see anything wrong in the fact that a 15 year old girl had no friends to fall back on after something like this ?

    forget the fact that she was drunk, and raped.

    the events after that …. they’re, on their own, sickening. doctors, parents …. sure, they might have some answers, maybe even all the answers. but i honestly believe that a single friend offering her an honest shoulder would have prevented a suicide attempt. a single close friend, willing to listen and actually caring about her would have made, in this case, all the difference. the support a friend can give you is on a whole different level than what a doctor or a parent can do – despite their best desires.

    not saying it would have made everything better or good. but it would have provided just enough support to break through that moment.

    and no one was there. on the contrary they all battered her even more.

    i don’t know how it was for other people … but when i was in high school … i would guarantee you the guys that did this would have had to change school – not to run from the law/shame/whatever … but to run from the constant abuse they would have suffered from their fellow colleagues.

    and this has nothing to do with the way people are in my country. because i’ve seen similar situations to this here too in the past 4-5 years. more and more aggressive.

    the simple conclusion is that something is wrong with today’s youth. and it keeps going down hill. what changed in the past 15 years ? society has changed and the freedoms they are allowed have changed.

    as i said … it all comes down to accountability. there is no accountability online and that, eventually, translates into offline behavior as well.

    • Starla Trotter

      I REALLY agree with you on this. Also, where were her friends who went with her to the party? Did she go alone? Was there not ONE person there who could have taken it upon themselves to look after her? Why did EVERYONE abandon this girl?! It’s unthinkable.

    • Dakota Katherine M. Lloyd

      I’m only 7 years older than her, and just by what happens between the frosh at my school tells me things have changed. Even within my own friend group.

      Girls/friends all ditch each other, people are extremely fickle and the gossip is far more fun now a days. Why be a good friend?

      • Emil Giurca

        ultimately you are just subject to society and whatever behavior it has enforced on you. but if you are able to see past that and ask that question ( “why be a good friend?” ) then why not ask “why be a bad one?”.

        relationships are exchanges, business deals. you give something, you expect to receive something. it’s just the way it is and always has been.

        but … there is a third option here – don’t be a bad friend. ok, the deal is not fair so there is no point in being a good friend. but why be a bad one ? why attack, abuse, offend (obviously we’re talking about this particular case) ?

        why not … just ignore ? mind your own f*ing business and don’t give a shit ?

        again … if they had done that – perhaps she would have been able to move past this. but this was active abuse on their part.

        so …. to answer your question – you don’t have to be a good friend … just try not to be a bad one.

        that’s what i do. people say i’m cold …. i don’t see it that way. i can’t be a good friend to someone that can’t return that but at the same time i see no point in actively trying to be a bad one. it’s just a waste of energy.

        to each it’s own. i take care of myself, everyone else … i don’t care. if i can’t, for whatever reason, help someone … why harm them ? why go the opposite way ? why not just take the middle ground and at least mind my own business ?

        granted, i do have very close friends from a long time ago – but times we’re different then.

  • Amanda Santos

    Here in Brazil something happened last week and brought the rape subject up. A television show, called “Pânico na TV”, which has lots of women with fit bodies and pretty faces showing up their bodies in swimsuits and tight dresses, went to an event to interview a famous american director.
    Who was doing the interview was one of those women I described. She’s beautiful, great body, pretty face. But, because she was in a really short and tight dress, the director I mentioned felt like he could put his hand up her tights, under her dress, trying to touch her.
    When he was called a rapist, he said it was her fault, for showing up to the interview dressed that way. But who’s fault it really is? A woman who loves her body shouldn’t be able to show it the way she likes it without being judged, called easy, slut., or being touched where she did not asked to?

    What makes me sad about Rehtaeh’s case is that every single person made her believe it was her fault, that she was the one who got drunk, she was the one that didn’t remember what happened.
    We call ourselves an “equal” society when machism is everywhere, between the lines. Men are allowed to call us in the streets, (here in Brazil this is called a “cantada”, but is really a verbal offense) and, when they rape, society tells it was the girl’s fault, that she asked for it, ’cause she was in short, tight clothes. Or because she got drunk.
    We shouldn’t have to tell our girls not to get raped, but tell our boys not to rape. No means no. Even if she says yes, make sure she’s conscious and well.
    I’m so sorry for Rehtaeh, I wish she had a least one good friend, a real one, that believed her, so she would hang on and keep on living. She shouldn’t have to go trhough this. And I wish all the best for her family, may they keep on going even in this difficult time.

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