The Suicide of Hope Witsell

Postby mwchase » Sat Dec 19, 2009 4:18 pm

http://sylviasproblem.wordpress.com/200 ... e-witsell/

This just... ugh... Society's attitudes have always bothered me in a somewhat abstract sense (most of the hated minorities I fall into don't give people obvious cues, so I'm usually a bit apathetic, unfortunately), but here's a young girl who had her life destroyed, and... I really think this should be a huge wakeup call. Which is why I'm linking it around, I guess.
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Re: The Suicide of Hope Witsell

Postby draque » Mon Dec 21, 2009 5:18 pm

The obsession with repressing and punishing sexuality (especially female sexuality) in the US really does border on insanity.
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Re: The Suicide of Hope Witsell

Postby Coda » Tue Dec 22, 2009 8:03 am

It's simply overreaction to the excessive flaunting of the same. Neither extreme is good.
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Re: The Suicide of Hope Witsell

Postby Plasman » Tue Dec 22, 2009 10:05 am

This is sad and WRONG.

She shouldn't have sent the picture. Fair enough.
But the adults responsible for her well-being shouldn't have made it as big a deal as they did.

That's one of the problems with kids and the way they develop now.
Even though we're trying to teach them about what's happening to themselves and how to behave responsibly during puberty and adolescence, some of them are still going to make mistakes. So what? You just need to make sure that they learn from them, instead of letting them suffer those mistakes forever.
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Re: The Suicide of Hope Witsell

Postby Skatche » Tue Dec 22, 2009 11:02 am

Coda wrote:It's simply overreaction to the excessive flaunting of the same. Neither extreme is good.


"Excessive flaunting"? She sent only one picture to (what she believed would be) only one person. Conversely, all of the most well-adjusted people I know take an entirely casual approach to their own nudity.

On that evidence, maybe she simply didn't "flaunt" it enough.
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Re: The Suicide of Hope Witsell

Postby Coda » Tue Dec 22, 2009 2:13 pm

Skatche wrote:
Coda wrote:It's simply overreaction to the excessive flaunting of the same. Neither extreme is good.


"Excessive flaunting"? She sent only one picture to (what she believed would be) only one person. Conversely, all of the most well-adjusted people I know take an entirely casual approach to their own nudity.

On that evidence, maybe she simply didn't "flaunt" it enough.


I didn't say that this girl was the one committing the excessive flaunting. It's the media -- television, movies, advertisements, and easy access to pornography -- that push the kind of image that infuriates reactionary conservatives. So when a young girl like this bares her breasts to a boy, the reaction goes straight to the extreme "I don't want you becoming a whore." Instead of cultivating a rational, sensible sexuality, they repress normal development, which may result in long-term association of any kind of sexuality with evil or a rebound into behaviors that could be dangerous or self-destructive. In Hope Witsell's case, it was the latter in its extreme, but many adolescents -- boys and girls alike -- end up fearing sex so much that they have difficulty establishing even casual relationships with members of the opposite sex.
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Re: The Suicide of Hope Witsell

Postby draque » Wed Dec 23, 2009 8:17 am

Coda wrote:I didn't say that this girl was the one committing the excessive flaunting. It's the media -- television, movies, advertisements, and easy access to pornography -- that push the kind of image that infuriates reactionary conservatives.


While that sounds reasonable as an explanation, it's not a justification. The freedom to express ideas that are distasteful to others is the very foundation of free speech. While I obviously can't in good conscience tell the Christian groups looking to get various forms of expression (whether it's someone acting slutty on TV, dressing scantily in an advertisement or starting in pornography) banned to stop saying what they like, I do find their sentiments very disturbing.
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Re: The Suicide of Hope Witsell

Postby Coda » Wed Dec 23, 2009 9:52 am

draque wrote:
Coda wrote:I didn't say that this girl was the one committing the excessive flaunting. It's the media -- television, movies, advertisements, and easy access to pornography -- that push the kind of image that infuriates reactionary conservatives.


While that sounds reasonable as an explanation, it's not a justification. The freedom to express ideas that are distasteful to others is the very foundation of free speech. While I obviously can't in good conscience tell the Christian groups looking to get various forms of expression (whether it's someone acting slutty on TV, dressing scantily in an advertisement or starting in pornography) banned to stop saying what they like, I do find their sentiments very disturbing.


I never said it was a justification; in fact, I said it was not good:
draque wrote:The obsession with repressing and punishing sexuality (especially female sexuality) in the US really does border on insanity.

Coda wrote:It's simply overreaction to the excessive flaunting of the same. Neither extreme is good.


Anyway, as you know, I'm Christian myself, and I do agree that such behavior really is inappropriate for public media. I don't think a ban -- that is to say, government-enforced censorship -- is the right solution, though. It has to be social change, driven by the people instead of by The Man, that realizes that glamorizing promiscuity does more harm than good.
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Re: The Suicide of Hope Witsell

Postby draque » Wed Dec 23, 2009 11:12 am

Coda wrote:Anyway, as you know, I'm Christian myself, and I do agree that such behavior really is inappropriate for public media. I don't think a ban -- that is to say, government-enforced censorship -- is the right solution, though. It has to be social change, driven by the people instead of by The Man, that realizes that glamorizing promiscuity does more harm than good.


That's fair to say, and I suppose that I'm able to be a bit reactionary in the opposite direction, myself, from time to time. It's just very frustrating to deal with people who for all the world believe that their particular social values are universal, and should be mandated for everyone.
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Re: The Suicide of Hope Witsell

Postby Coda » Wed Dec 23, 2009 1:38 pm

I couldn't agree more. I find it likewise frustrating to deal with people that treat me as a radical zealot just because I self-identify as Christian. I'm thankful that the Unicorn Jelly community in general is above that.
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Re: The Suicide of Hope Witsell

Postby Skatche » Fri Dec 25, 2009 9:50 pm

I apologize for my misunderstanding, Coda, but your argument still doesn't hold water. It pretty much amounts to: "Your honour, she was asking for it!"

"She" is human sexuality.
"Asking" is flaunting of same by the media.
"It" is consternation and repression of same by Conservative/Christian elements.
"Your honour" is - I don't know - me? The UJ forums? Basic human decency?

A sensible argument could be made that it is the double-standard is what's at fault here. In a sexually liberated society, the boob photo would barely have caused a tremor in the social fabric. In a deeply sexually repressed society - let's say Iran - the issue would never have arose because the photo would not have existed in the first place; the girl would have been too terrified to take it, let alone send it to anyone else. In a society - such as the U.S. - which combines sexual liberation (or at least exposure) in the mass media with sexual repression within communities, things get ugly. But given that the U.S. is founded on principles of freedom, not of repression, and certainly not of Christianity, it's clear which of the two have to go. And to actually blame the sexually liberated for what happened - on the basis that it somehow worked the sexually repressed into a frenzy of greater repression - is downright diabolical.
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Re: The Suicide of Hope Witsell

Postby Wizard CaT » Fri Dec 25, 2009 11:11 pm

This thread brought to you by Girls Gone Wild.
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Re: The Suicide of Hope Witsell

Postby Sinosaur » Fri Dec 25, 2009 11:52 pm

Things that people need to remember; a first offense of most things, excepting the most severe actions, is a time for explanation and attempting to head off potential bad behavior rather than punishment when it comes to younger people, when they shouldn't be expected to get all of their common sense running (although not having common sense is not a justification for undesirable behavior, people have to be responsible at some point).

It sounds as though this was a first offense, if you want to view it as an offense, so a better method from the adults (because children are little bastards who you have no hope of keeping under control when in packs where no strong, adult authority is actively being exerted) would have been to try to get the girl, or any child who commits a misdeed once, to understand why they should not have done that. At that age, first offenses are the fault of the guardians, or whatever supposedly responsible adults are around.

In other words, if a kid doesn't know it's wrong and does it, the people who are supposed to teach them right and wrong fucked up.
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Re: The Suicide of Hope Witsell

Postby Wizard CaT » Sat Dec 26, 2009 4:48 pm

What offense did she commit? I did notice that no one mentioned the guy in all of this. Since he must have shared the picture (how else would anyone know) shouldn't he have been charged with possession of child pornography and distributing child pornography?
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Re: The Suicide of Hope Witsell

Postby Sinosaur » Sat Dec 26, 2009 11:34 pm

She produced and distributed child pornography. And do not think that there are not people out there who would feel it appropriate to charge her for such, even if the intent was never for anyone other than a single, particular peer to view it. We are talking about people who would be happy to charge someone for sexual assault on a minor for having consensual sex with someone they are perhaps just a few days older than. We are speaking of people who would charge a gay couple for having consensual sex in their own home with sodomy laws after a police officer enters without a warrant.

Sex is a crime.
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Re: The Suicide of Hope Witsell

Postby Coda » Sun Dec 27, 2009 8:50 am

Skatche wrote:I apologize for my misunderstanding, Coda, but your argument still doesn't hold water. It pretty much amounts to: "Your honour, she was asking for it!"

"She" is human sexuality.
"Asking" is flaunting of same by the media.
"It" is consternation and repression of same by Conservative/Christian elements.
"Your honour" is - I don't know - me? The UJ forums? Basic human decency?

A sensible argument could be made that it is the double-standard is what's at fault here. In a sexually liberated society, the boob photo would barely have caused a tremor in the social fabric. In a deeply sexually repressed society - let's say Iran - the issue would never have arose because the photo would not have existed in the first place; the girl would have been too terrified to take it, let alone send it to anyone else. In a society - such as the U.S. - which combines sexual liberation (or at least exposure) in the mass media with sexual repression within communities, things get ugly. But given that the U.S. is founded on principles of freedom, not of repression, and certainly not of Christianity, it's clear which of the two have to go. And to actually blame the sexually liberated for what happened - on the basis that it somehow worked the sexually repressed into a frenzy of greater repression - is downright diabolical.


Hold it, hold it, I don't understand how you come to the conclusion that I was saying anything along those lines. I wasn't blaming the sexually liberated. I was pointing out the exact same clash you were.

There's a HUGE difference between being sexually liberated -- that is to say, being free to do as you wish -- and promoting promiscuity. You could make a parallel to the abortion issue: not even the pro-choice side wants everyone to have abortions; they simply want to be free to do so. The message being sent by the media today, though, is that girls are supposed to be eye candy for every guy who wants to look. There's no moderation pointing out that this is simply one available option. There aren't very many idols (at least not many female idols -- men don't have this problem) in the public eye that make a point of being classy and modest in their style.

And people wonder why girls have self-esteem problems.
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Re: The Suicide of Hope Witsell

Postby Sinosaur » Sun Dec 27, 2009 8:54 am

Coda wrote:There aren't very many idols (at least not many female idols -- men don't have this problem) in the public eye that make a point of being classy and modest in their style.

You don't get in the tabloids by keeping your legs closed and wearing panties to get out of low slung cars.
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Re: The Suicide of Hope Witsell

Postby macksting » Sun Dec 27, 2009 3:48 pm

I dunno, being a male wearing panties when you get out of cars might get you some tabloid time.
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Re: The Suicide of Hope Witsell

Postby Sinosaur » Sun Dec 27, 2009 9:35 pm

macksting wrote:I dunno, being a male wearing panties when you get out of cars might get you some tabloid time.

That is entirely dependent on how short your skirt is.
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Re: The Suicide of Hope Witsell

Postby Alfador » Mon Dec 28, 2009 1:52 pm

Sinosaur wrote:
macksting wrote:I dunno, being a male wearing panties when you get out of cars might get you some tabloid time.

That is entirely dependent on how short your skirt is.

And whether or not you tuck.
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