I came across this article posted on Facebook today. For those who would prefer a recap vs reading the link… a young man video recorded his girlfriend and himself having sex, then posted the video – all this without her permission or knowledge, allegedly. She then, in retaliation for his actions, threw battery acid in his groin area, permanently disfiguring him and rendering his penis unable to function, including for urination purposes. Yes, the incident is newsworthy (although what is “newsworthy” is subjective”) but what struck me the most was not, surprisingly, the actions of the young man, but the comments of the people who were “liking” and responding to this post.
Accompanying the posting were comments flooding in from the person’s friends and contacts that applauded the actions of the girl in the story. Comments that “he deserved it” and “yahoo” and similar remarks.
First question that this burns into my mind is simple. When did vigilante justice that is meted on an unconvicted person become not only allright, but publicly celebrated? Even if – and this is an if, make no question about that – he acted exactly as the story lays out, does that warrant her actions. Actions that are taken outside of any pursuit of legal proceedings or investigation?
A couple of scenarios here to consider.
One: Let’s assume that she was video recorded, without her knowledge or permission, and that video was then released onto social media, without her knowledge or permission as the story implies. Allright, assumption made and accepted. He’s a cad, an asshole, it’s illegal, it has brought possibly humiliation and she feels shame and anger and violated by him. This was someone she trusted and was in a relationship with. Horrible. I’m not down-playing this, it really is reprehensible behaviour and his actions should be subject to prosecution and consequences.
Legal consequences. Not her form of what she thinks he should have done to him to pay for what he did to her.
Two: Let’s assume that this is a lovers issue that he took advantage of. Let’s assume that she knew he was recording their sexy time. Let’s assume that. The outcry will be that that would never happen! Really…. so not one of us has ever taken or sent a sexy picture to a lover or recorded ourselves having sex (or thought of it but never gone through with it?). So let’s assume that doing something like this doesn’t automatically fall outside the realm of what a “normal” or “good” person would do and go with that. So, the recording is made and it is agreed upon that it will be private. He decides otherwise and voila, social media land has another sex video. Without her knowledge or consent. Wrong for him to do, no doubt. But wrong enough for him to lose his functioning penis?
I know this isn’t going to be a popular opinion but I’m stating it anyways… Being humiliated or embarrassed and feeling shame or feeling like your life has been ruined because of a sexual expose of your “private” sexy time… that’s horrendous. But having her privacy violated in that way does not – in any logical way – warrant her causing him to be permanently disfigured and scarred. For life. He cannot use his penis for sex or even to urinate. End of his story here. Think about that before you comment that he “deserved it” in all seriousness.
Her humiliation and embarrassment will pass. Yes, she may be devastated even for a while but life will go on. Before the knee jerk reaction about suicide caused by extreme emotional distress by this (which I’m sure some of you are burning your fingers to get to the keyboard). Put this in perspective. She was not recorded while being gang raped or while being violated while she was passed out. She was having consensual sex with a partner. Sure, the recording was never meant to be public, but shit happens. This will blow over. Judging by the attention span of the general public, it will pass quickly.
That may sound callous or even flippant but the reality is that she is suffering emotional distress. He has lost use of an integral part of his body that will affect him for the rest of his life. Imagine if the genders were reversed in this story… if a girlfriend did this to a boyfriend and he retaliated by maiming her vagina and vulva so that she could never have sex or urinate “normally” again – ever. Would everyone be so quick to revere him and applaud his actions against such a horrible woman? As much as it would be great to think so, I don’t believe that would happen.
So what’s the point of my rant here? Simple, think. Bandwagons are fun – in a rodeo, not on social media where hive-mind breeds stupidity more often than not.