The lowly bastard

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I don’t blame the lowly bastard who made public a clip where a 13-year old girl was introduced to sexuality in a lewd way. After all, he is just a lowly bastard. Nor am I shocked by the number of Facebookers who took interest in the clip. After all, as a society, we are afflicted with a sick type of curiosity and voyeurism and any lecherous and lustful act excites us to the point that it becomes the highlight of our week. 

I am however terribly disturbed by the speed at which this video clip went viral and turned into a joke being passed on among Facebook friends and how the minor – who should have been viewed as a victim – has been mocked, ridiculed and vilified. Notice that the boy in the clip came out of it looking like a manly hero.

Our reaction is consistent with our hypocrisy as a nation and our national trait: that of gloating about any misfortune which does not afflict our close and dear ones. And the more we gloat and take on the moral high ground, the quicker we assure those around us that what is happening to others cannot possibly happen to us. 

This is not the first time we find ourselves face-to-face with our bare soul. This will not be the last. In the meantime, some lessons should have been learnt. Exactly 10 years ago, another sex video with a secondary school pupil went viral. Our reaction was exactly the same. The young girl was subjected to mockery, harassment and all sorts of ill-treatment. Fortunately for her, she had the means to go and study abroad and she has never come back.

I am not sure this latest victim has the same opportunities but I am certain that the way we behaved as a society is unacceptable. In addition to the young victim’s face, which could clearly be seen on the clip, some ‘well-meaning’ souls made her plight even worse by providing details of her school and her year. And that information was shared again to make it easier for those who are so inclined to engage in all kinds of harassment and intimidation. I dread to think what the young girl and her family must be going through for having trusted an ex-boyfriend – a mistake anyone of us is capable of making, particularly at her age.

Fortunately for all of us, after we displayed how judgmental we are, our conscience as a nation suddenly woke up from it slumber and we started questioning our attitude. It just needed a few voices to go against the current of the insults and mockeries for the rest of us to realise we were on the wrong track. Better late than never.

But beyond those who laughed and condemned and those who rose above the incident and called for restraint, understanding and sympathy, I think we cannot ignore the fact that a young, naive girl had been tricked into lewd, unprotected sex. And she can’t possibly be the only one. 

We cannot continue to live in hypocrisy and make-believe. And we certainly cannot carry on wearing blinkers and considering sex as the biggest taboo in our society. Ignorance is no longer bliss nor is it an option. Those who are getting ready to be shocked by this have to realise that we have only two options: either we help our children to know their bodies in a healthy way and teach them about sexuality or we rely on the internet to do that for us and give free reign to lowly bastards to provide the missing information. Looking the other way will change nothing to this reality. Nor will shooting 
the messenger.  

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