Today I’d like to talk about someone you don’t like. She’s dead, of course, but that won’t stop you from hating her.
I’d like to honour the Internet’s least favourite victim of sexual abuse, Amanda Todd, who was born in 1996 and died at the age of fifteen.
And now I must sing my usual mournful melody, and it goes like this:
A few years ago, Amanda was just your average prepubescent child bobbling around on the Internet. Like all prepubescent children who bobble around on the Internet, she made several mistakes which would haunt her for the rest of her life.
Her troubles began, as far as I can tell, when a much older individual flattered her via webcam into exposing her chest. This individual took a screenshot and proceeded to stalk the child. He set up an account on Facebook, befriended all her peers and then showed them the photo. They turned on their classmate, bullied her mercilessly, shared the ignomonious photo a few billion times….the usual, you understand.
Amanda moved to a different school (most likely with a scarlet letter still hanging from her blouse), but the torment continued. The same thing happened. Her life worsened considerably when a boy from her old school propositioned her via text. She accpeted his offer and had sexual relations with him, only to be attacked by his girlfriend and, from what I can tell, the entire population of her new school. When the fighting had stopped, Amanda was left lying in a ditch. She was found there by her father and driven home.
What a humble girl she was. Blessed are those who pay attention to constructive criticism! You see, those moral guardians had gently advised Amanda to kill herself throughout the various altercations, and she decided that they had given good counsel. Once enconsed at home, she drank bleach.
She was rushed to the hospital, where her stomach was pumped, and sent back home. However, her little jaunt through Hell was far from over. The catcalling got louder. Her stalker came back for her, repeatedly reminding everyone she loved of her folly. Her peers bayed for blood.
During the first few days of October in the year of our Lord 2012, Amanda Todd hanged herself like a sheep thief in her closet.
Do you know what people call her nowadays? They call her a slut and a coward-and cowards don’t get sympathy, apparently. People nowadays say that she deserved it.
In the video she posted a few months before her death, Amanda holds flashcards up to the camera to tell her story, pausing every so often to wipe away tears. She makes no sound, this brave, broken child standing up to the world. One of the first cards says, “Let me tell you about my neverending story.”
She was right.
It will never end.
Just you wait until the next kid listens to what the Internet says. You won’t have to strain your ears to catch the whoops and cheers. You won’t have to look far to see the jubilant celebrations.
I can tell you nothing else about Amanda. I can’t tell you what her favourite colour was. I can’t tell you what she liked in a boy. I can’t tell you which pop idol’s poster she had pinned to her bedroom wall.
I can’t tell you what she might have thought about for comfort as she lay there in that ditch, when everyone else had gone and she had only the filth soaking into her shirt to remind her that she was still alive.
I wish I could.
Rest in peace, Amanda Todd.