Social Stampede Harms Teens
No Means No
Whoever You May Be
It has been a while since New Zealand has had a moral panic and the Roast Busters scandal has been determined to make up for lost time. I was fully aware that the voices of reason were not going to be heard in the sheer cacophony of self serving cliché's that literally threatened to choke the ether. It seems that everyone has had an opinion and knows just what to do. One can only wonder how it is that we lose so many young people to abuse when everyone in this country is just brimming over with the answers to all our social ills.
Of course one answer that neatly explains how this contradictory situation can exist is that most people and organizations are full of crap. I am sure that I am not the only survivor who spared a thought for the real living breathing teenage girls who had their lives chewed over in every media format in this country. Yet it seems evident that we were the only ones who did so. What a drivel fest we have had the misfortune to bear witness to over the last few days.
Did anyone out there at all give the slightest consideration as to just what those girls would have been experiencing? I mean the real girls, the ones who actually did get violated by this entire sordid and demeaning mess. I am not talking about the cherished illusions that the wider public have held as they stormed into and over the lives of vulnerable young people. Did anyone at any stage put forward the radical proposal that perhaps these young women should be allowed control over their own lives and their own decisions about events that took place in relation to their own bodies?
Hell no. Instead we got the traditional New Zealand meaningless diatribe. At one point the debate (if such self serving rubbish could be called a debate) denigrated into an unseemly slag fest about mini skirts. 1970's rhetoric abounded and radio hosts seemed intent on committing social media suicide. Politicians thundered at each other across the house and an unseemly scramble to be seen as the most proactive took place.
Those who somehow still nurture the cherished illusion that a swift complaint to the Police would restore society to blessed ignorance exhorted the young women in question to hurl themselves into a legal maelstrom. Make a complaint and restore order in the face of sexual anarchy the pundits shrieked. All this noise and bluster and not a care or concern for the horror these girls were no doubt feeling as one just might when one has been raped and then the entire country turns up to dump the weight of everyones crap on ones shoulders.
It is utterly evident to anyone who actually thinks about the people concerned as opposed to responding to the mindless emotional knee jerk reactions that underpin sex scandals, that when everyone else has decided that their feelings and sexual world view was appropriately satisfied, these girls would be left to face the beast alone. Of course Sensitive Claims has leaped into the fray offering support. My response was to nearly hurl my lunch. Of course we are all aware that SCU support is the rape survivors equivalent of a shower at a concentration camp but I digress.
It did not take long for the natural order of things to assert themselves. Social media got down to the serious business of blame laying and buck passing that defines the New Zealand way. We need sex education in schools was the cry on one side. No its the parents responsibility was the rejoinder. No one is telling me how my child will be educated about sex from another strident group. I just tell my teen don't have sex and all the badness will never find them is the helpful advice from yet another. Reduce the availability of alcohol is swiftly countered with the rhetoric of personal responsibility. These are indeed conflicting and confusing messages from our wise and all knowing society. I will take it upon myself to translate.
"Someone needs to make the badness go away, preferably in the next five minutes and in a manner that does not impact on any of us. We say the well being of young girls is paramount when it suits us but it is up to everyone else to do the work and please don't substitute the cherished illusion we hold about what we believe young girls should do and be with reality because the whole idea of teenage sexuality makes us feel uncomfortable and our sexual world view should be the dominate and indeed the only view. If in the event we are forced to face these girls as real people then we will just have a big tantrum until the debate is swept under the carpet with all the other things we cant face dealing with. In short it is all about us."
If that is not enough for these young women to deal with there is the inevitable backlash from groups in society who hate and despise sexual assault victims as well as sexual criminals and their well resourced apologists. When this occurs these girls will be trodden under again as society stampedes back the other way. This whole fiasco is an appalling abuse of their persons and it is clear that there is a long way to go yet. My heart goes out to them.
Well as predicted all the noise and rousing speeches amounted to nothing. The Police were unable to proceed with charges and the girls involved were handed a hospital pass. Society needs more than prisons and Police to sort out vexed issues such as these. Its a shame that real live people had to suffer to prove it.