Rehtaeh Parsons hanged herself in her bathroom four days before that, because Rehtaeah Parsons was gang-raped by four boys a year ago.
They took pictures.
It took weeks for the police to even talk to them.
The atrocity they committed was dismissed — lack of evidence, they couldn’t prove who’d taken the picture.
The people in Rehtaeh’s school called her a slut. They passed her phone number around. They asked her if she’d have sex with them. They bullied, shunned, and browbeat her to death.
Her mother has a memorial page for her on Facebook and I can’t stop looking at the pictures and pictures of her as a child. Rehtaeh with a little dog. Rehtaeh’s school portrait. Rehtaeh and her family. Rehtaeh and her friends. Selfies she took. Pages and pages and pages of them, and I can’t stop looking, and I can’t shake it.
I didn’t know her. I don’t know her. But I know girls like her. I know boys like the ones that did this to her. We all do.
People were so horrified at Steubenville like it was some isolated incident, like it was on a different level than all the other rapes that happen every day, every hour, every minute. Like Steubenville was the limit of human atrocity, an outlier, something everyone shook their heads at and wondered “How?” and thought “That could never happen to my daughter.” Not me. Not here.
It happens here. It happens wherever you are, right now. It happens every two minutes in the US. One out of five. One out of four. One out of six. One out of three. One billion, worldwide, every year.
Steubenville is not an isolated incident. What happened to Jane Doe and Rehtaeh Parsons is not an isolated incident. It doesn’t happen just to pretty white girls with long hair; it doesn’t just happen to the people we are most comfortable feeling compassion for.
I’m sorry, Rehtaeh. I’m sorry that so many people failed you. I’m sorry that we are all complicit in a culture that shames and silences and browbeats victims literally to death. We created this. We built it.
I want to tear it apart with my teeth.
Posts tagged RIP.
There’s something intriguing, yet fundamentally wrong about watching chocolate bunnies melt.
One American critic was so angry she chased me to the exit to inform me, ‘This film is a call to racial violence!’ I thought not. I thought it was a call to empathy, which of all human qualities is the one this past century seemed most to need.
From Neil’s family:
“For those who may ask what they can do to honor Neil, we have a simple request. Honor his example of service, accomplishment and modesty, and the next time you walk outside on a clear night and see the moon smiling down at you, think of Neil Armstrong and give him a wink.”
RIP Neil Armstrong, a giant among men; we won’t forget you, your accomplishments, or the amazing photos you took of humankind’s first steps on the moon.
“Once a little boy sent me a charming card with a little drawing on it. I loved it. I answer all my children’s letters — sometimes very hastily — but this one I lingered over. I sent him a card and I drew a picture of a Wild Thing on it. I wrote, “Dear Jim: I loved your card.” Then I got a letter back from his mother and she said, “Jim loved your card so much he ate it.” That to me was one of the highest compliments I’ve ever received. He didn’t care that it was an original Maurice Sendak drawing or anything. He saw it, he loved it, he ate it.” ― Maurice Sendak
“I cry a lot because I miss people. They die and I can’t stop them. They leave me and I love them more.” -Maurice Sendak
Colvin isn’t pitying herself, nor does she think she’s a hero for having nearly died for her cause. “I feel that I am very lucky,” she says. “These people you are leaving behind are much braver. If they want to live, they have to be brave every single day of their lives.” One such person was a Catholic priest she had met in Sri Lanka, who told her, icily, “No journalists have come, no one cares about us, so why should I talk to you?” After hearing of her injury, he had a letter smuggled out of Tamil Sri Lanka, where there’s no postal system, and had it sent from Colombo. The letter read, “I am very sorry to hear of your injuries. You are remembered here as a brave and honest person.” “It was just two lines,” Colvin says, “and it was so … it made me feel good.”
… that nobody noticed that David Kelly (The dude that played Grandpa Joe in Tim Burton’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) died. :(
Deforest Kelly (Jan 20, 1920 – June 11, 1999) would be 92 years old today.
Happy birthday, De. We miss you.
RIP: Etta James, the legendary genre-spanning singer who gave the world many memorable hits including “At Last” and “The Wallflower,” has passed away. She was 73.
James, who was diagnosed with leukemia 2010, had been in poor health for some time.
Affectionately known as Miss Peaches, the Matriarch of R&B had multiple Grammys to her name, and was inducted into both the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and the Blues Hall of Fame.
Incidentally, the man who discovered James, Johnny Otis, passed away just yesterday.
Kim Manners (1951–2009)
Happy Birthday Kim! You are missed!
If you are on twitter help us trend #kickitintheass
Our belief is not a belief. Our principles are not a faith. We do not rely solely upon science and reason, because these are necessary rather than sufficient factors, but we distrust anything that contradicts science or outrages reason. We may differ on many things, but what we respect is free inquiry, open-mindedness, and the pursuit of ideas for their own sake. We do not hold our convictions dogmatically… We are not immune to the lure of wonder and mystery and awe: we have music and art and literature, and find that the serious ethical dilemmas are better handled by Shakespeare and Tolstoy and Schiller and Dostoyevsky and George Eliot than in the mythical morality tales of the holy books. Literature, not scripture, sustains the mind and—since there is no other metaphor—also the soul.
Goodbye, Christopher Hitchens. A great loss of a great mind.
R.I.P. John Lennon. October 9th 1940 - December 8th 1980.