So here’s my take on this bullshit. As many of you know, I’m living in Phoenix, Arizona. As some of you may also know, I’m somewhat addicted to Twitter. When I went to bed on Sunday night I took a look at Twitter. The number 1 trend WORLDWIDE was #SlaneGirl…I knew Eminem had played at Slane the night before but being ignorant and stupid that didn’t enter my mind. I felt a sudden embarrassment caused by my generation for trending SlaneGirl when discussing what I figured was a Slain girl, maybe a reference to Game of Thrones, or something like that, ya know, in America, somewhere with a large population which can easily get a topic trending on Twitter, no matter how obscure and stupid it may seem. I clicked on the ‘oul hashtag hyperlink and the images popped right up, two pictures were embedded in one of the tweets, right there for all to see at the top of the timeline.
My first reaction wasn’t: ‘oh my god, what a whore’. My reaction was, that has to be fake, nobody would do that around so many people and certainly nobody would risk posting that online. Wrong on both counts! Now, maybe I was late to the ‘party’ but at this time, when scrolling down through the tweets, I did not see a large number chastising the girl. I did see the tweet linking to a parody of 8 mile, but that wasn’t exactly mean…it was a somewhat accurate description of the pictures! I have since gone back to read some of the tweets on that hashtag and while there’s a few which are disparaging towards the girl and only the girl, there’s not very many!
Now, there are some which make light of the whole affair, but is this what people are getting upset about when they say what about SlaneGuy ? I don’t really get it…The pictures should never have been posted online and as they were likely uploaded to servers in the US and shared across American sites, I assume there will be people prosecuted for distributing what is essentially child pornography, at least by American standards as from what I have read, as the girl was 17, by Irish standards the sharing is not currently illegal. (We’ll see about that)
For some reason in the last 9 months I’ve started getting kind of broody. Probably because my twin and his wife had a baby last year. But with a number of these incidents occuring in the last few months of people being disgraced publicly, I’ve been thinking along the lines of, WHAT IF I was their father. A year or more ago, I would have been thinking along the lines of; well WHAT IF that was me or a friend.
In that vain, as a father to one of the boys on the receiving end of the oral sex, I would be furious! I would tell them to cop the fuck on, it’s no way to carry on in public for one thing! And I would also have a serious talk to them about self respect and control. Don’t be lead around by your dick, don’t engage in a sexual act, merely because you can. Use your head and stay safe. And also obviously do not do this kind of shite in such a public place, if you do decide to engage in that kind of carry on. You have your life to think about, your future. Doing this sort of thing in front of even one person is dumb and could follow you around for a long time. As an Irish man, growing up in Ireland, living in an Irish city for years, working nights in a village in the only shop open after 11pm and experiencing the worst of drunk people, I would do everything in my power to make sure my child respects alcohol. If my child made such a horrible error in judgement while drunk, I would do everything to get them to stop drinking. They may not be an alcoholic but they’ve obviously got a drink problem. They cannot handle alcohol, they cannot control their own in-take, they make serious life altering errors in judgement, they need to stop, at least until they are more mature.
So on Twitter, while looking back over the tweets from the last few days, there’s a few tweets that are mean towards the girl and only the girl, but this concept that men are treated as though they are legends only holds water with people who use the term legend to describe something other than a historical figure, event or an actual great achievement i.e. Fucking Morons. Seriously, if you care what people who use that word about something so insignificant think, you should get off the internet now and never try to hold a conversation with a ‘lad’. This idea that all guys see others who get cheap and easy sex as legends or even worse still, exploits a drunk lady to get what they want is insulting to me as a man. I find it painfully ironic that groups who champion equality and champion dispelling negative stereotypes against their own gender or group, will gleefully throw out this kind of shite and make believe that this attitude is prevalent or even representative of a large percent of men. And by the by, look at the pages of those who have been banned from sites for sharing. Look at some of the tweets which are nasty. You’ll see there’s some females doing the ‘shaming’. I was going to post some pictures of these nasty tweets by women to make a point but then I figure that could just lead to them being cyber-bullied.
It may come across that this upsets me. It actually doesn’t, I will accept these kinds of stereotypes and labels against my gender. I realize that these were based on a vocal minority through the years and if highlighting them and making them seem like a majority will lead to get some peoples attitudes adjusted, I’m all for it. Now, I’ve seen quite a few tweets suggesting that this is the reason why feminism is still important. Oh Fucking Please! Shit happens and not everything which happens to a woman or a girl needs to fall under this sexism umbrella. This is complete theoretical mumbo jumbo that I’m about to throw out, but if it was a picture of a guy sucking off a bunch of guys and those pictures were posted…there would likely be a whole other hashtag trending and cyberbullying going on, which would be awful too but that would be a male getting shit on and harassed. This is not a womens issue, this is a debate which should involve everybody and in my opinion anybody could fall prey to this giant microscope called social media, which we now live under.
For those who say ‘You know what, yeah she was foolish for doing it in public but she was young and probably drunk, people make mistakes and they don’t deserve to be bullied like this. etc. etc.’ , All true! But jaysus, white washing over this and steering the focus towards this being sexist, without condemning the girls and guys actions is bordering on trying to make the act itself acceptable. I personally don’t want to live in a society where it becomes acceptable to have oral sex with multiple strangers in public. But then I’ll get the calls of lighten up, sure we’ve all been drunk and got up to this sort of thing. Well, in Ireland by the sounds of things from friends, ex-girlfriends and relatives telling me stories, Yes, based on my small circle of people I know who grew up in Ireland. It is something a lot seem to have done, so I get why you might say that, but that doesn’t make it acceptable. Ireland needs to get it’s shit together, alcohol is keeping the country in an endless circling pattern. In parts of California, Children grow up in rough neighborhoods wind up in gangs, not because they have to and that’s just who they are but because that’s their example, that’s what they are taught to aspire to. In Ireland, we are taught to aspire to be somebody who can handle our booze and who has the craic, that somehow our national pride hangs on how many cans we can drink before heading to the pub. So much so that it’s one of the marketable traits to get feckin’ tourists over!! How many tourists come to Ireland expecting to drink heavily….When in Rome as they say…or maybe When in Dublin, Fall down drunk like the Dubliners do.
So this is the last paragraph in a far too long blog post. I said what I would say to my son, if he was involved. Here’s what I would say as a father to my daughter and I am conscious of the fact, that I as a man would not have the foggiest idea of the difficulties of being a young teenage girl but here we go. I would tell her that I’m very disappointed in her. If she had just performed oral sex on one guy in public, I would be very upset and would tell her about having self respect. Not making rash decision, always think, don’t act on passion with a stranger etc. But the fact she did it with more than one guy, leads me to believe this is not just a small momentary lapse in judgement. This is something, though possibly drunk she had processed in her mind and decided to participate in. It’s bad enough that she would do this with multiple guys and play chicken with all of the possible health risks but to do it in public is destructive behavior. I would tell her that I love her and that this will not be the thing that defines her life, this is a bump in the road and I will support her through this but there has to be some changes. She cannot drink until she has matured enough to drink responsibly, I would ask her if there was anything on her mind which was bothering her before the event and I would book her into counseling in order to help deal with the attention.
P.S I guess my sexism came out in this post because I showed compassion when it was my daughter but not when it was my son….hmmm..how about that?