It's time to teach our girls to respect themselves and their bodies.
On Sunday night, the name of a 14-year-old girl became a worldwide trending topic. The girl is featured in a viral video that shows her performing a sex act on a 14-year-old male student. The tape also depicts another male student sitting nearby and watching the action. The female student seems unaware that she is being filmed.
When the video hit Twitter, it spread faster than a California wildfire. The girl -- in between being called every filthy and vile name for women you can imagine -- initially missed the magnitude of what was happening to her. Instead of laying low, she began socially-cashing in on her infamy and opened a Twitter account (now suspended) to hit up her favorite celebs.
At some point, the kid got a reality check. That’s when ish got real. According to reports, she began tweeting about suicide and deflecting judgment from her attackers, who were both other teens and good and grown adults. “Look who my role models are? @kimkardashian @nickiminaj @lilkim and Trina. i dont have anyone else to look up to,” she wrote. (For all the raunchy lyrics, Lil Kim, Trina, and Nicki don’t have sex tapes. Kim K. does, but it’s conveniently overlooked that it was made with her then-boyfriend of three years.)
The distraught teen also added, “Everyone thinks my mother & father is [sic] around you have no idea my life and no write [sic] to judge me” and “I never bragged or boasted about the video that was put on the internet so why am I a hoe?”
I’ve heard this child be called everything but a child of God for her actions. And I’ve listened to grown women -- the same ones that damned me for not cutting Chris Brown slack because he was 19 when he acted a fool on Rihanna -- talk about how this 14-year-old teenager was old enough to “know better.”
One female blogger deduced, “I feel really bad for her, but at the same time, she did it to herself… Remember: You act like a slut, you’re going to get treated like one. That’s exactly what happened here.”
I am incredibly disturbed by the reaction to what this teenager did. A group of adults in this young woman’s world failed her. She clearly wasn’t taught to respect herself, or her body, and definitely not the definition of discretion and how it should be aptly applied.
I’m further disturbed that this fiasco is being placed on a teenage girl’s shoulders. There’s been no reprimand for the young man whipping it out on school premises, the random kid sitting idly by or whoever released this tape -- unquestionably illegal, as the participants are underage. These young men were failed too.
It’s time -- today, now -- that we need to teach our young women to respect themselves. And we need to start teaching our young men to respect our girls, and yes, even when our girls don’t demand it when they should.
Demetria L. Lucas is the author of "A Belle in Brooklyn: The Go-to Girl for Advice on Living Your Best Single Life” (Atria) in stores now. Follow her on Twitter at @abelleinbk