The Amanda Todd Situation


Image from mirror.co.uk

I am very sympathetic to the story of Amanda Todd and how she felt forced to take her own life, however, I’m not particularly fond of how everyone who can be seen as an antagonist in her life is now being vilified.

The hacker who had tormented Amanda, there is very little I can say to defend him, and nothing I can say to justify his behavior, but bullying him for bullying  Amanda is not very different from what he did to her. Amanda Todd was no saint, however, she was a young girl who is entitled to make mistakes, so of course she should not be tormented for those mistakes in her life, but we should not pretend as though she played no role in the misery and pain she suffered in her life. She made poor decisions, and while she is young and that’s to be expected, every action has a reaction, every mistake has a consequence. The same way that the people in Amanda’s life that were unkind to her did not anticipate that their treatment could result in her suicide because they didn’t know the inner workings of Amanda’s mind or what she was going  through mentally and emotionally, is the same way we do not know what is going through her “bullies” minds. We don’t know if they suffer from mental disorders or need help themselves, and it is not a fair response to say “Oh well they caused this girl to take her life so we can do whatever we’d like to them”. No, people are people and you can’t elevate the well-being or life of one person over another simply because one’s life ended tragically and allowed you to garner sympathy. It should also be taken into account that many people experience bullying and do not commit suicide so we should understand that the average “bully” is not out to cause people to take their lives. Most of these “bullies” in schools that everyone’s attacking, are children.

But moving on to this issue that bothers me most. In her YouTube video prior to her death, Amanda discussed sleeping with another girl at her school’s boyfriend and the girl becoming angry with her and “bullying” her. STOP HERE. Because in that video we’re able to become more compassionate towards Amanda as she discusses the fact that she thought the boy really liked her and we can relate to that very human analysis of the situation that led to Amanda sleeping with the boy, we sympathize with her in the aftermath and we vilify the boy’s girlfriend that became angry. But  be fair, the boy’s girlfriend is also a teenage girl with emotions and like anyone else, she is naturally going to become angry with Amanda and yell at her, just because she didn’t commit suicide, we don’t feel the need to sympathize with her, and that’s not right.  If Amanda had been the girl who’d been cheated on and not the girl who the boy cheated with, people would be condemning the other girl for sleeping with Amanda’s boyfriend. So it’s both unfair and inaccurate to just label the girl a bully. Her role was not that of Amanda’s bully, she simply didn’t like Amanda because Amanda gave her reason not to. That’s life, not everyone will like us, and some of the people who don’t like us will have just cause. We can’t label everyone who doesn’t like us a villain or a bully, just as we can’t just disregard every single person that Amanda deems her enemy and pretend as though they don’t have emotions and their own side of the story. We don’t know what they went through or are going through.

People believe they are being human  and compassionate by attacking the people who they felt contributed to a 15-year-old girl’s depression that  ended in suicide, but they aren’t. Sympathize with Amanda as you should sympathize with anyone who you know is suffering from serious depression or is truly unhappy with their life, but don’t pretend to be the champions of the Anti-Bullying Campaign by bullying people who you believe to be bullies.

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Comments

  1. Excellent article. Makes you think and think deep and hard.

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