Photo credit: Laci Green
This story can break your heart. A 16-year-old girl is drugged and passes out at a gathering of supposed friends, and not only is she raped while she is unconscious, but her attacker then posted photos of her, half-naked and in an uncomfortable position, on social media. Soon after, even more photos cropped up — this time, they featured other teens mocking her position in the pics, accompanied by the hashtag #jadapose.
Taking back #jadapose
Jada lives in Houston and had no idea that this had even happened to her until the photos started popping up on the internet. Since then, she and her friends have been subjected to even more harassment. I have even unhappily discovered that there has been a new "dance" developed that features her sprawled-out, bent-kneed position — a dance video that I wish I hadn't happened across, one that seeks congratulations for starting the #jadapose dance craze.
So, it goes like this: A teen gets violated, and her attacker posts photos and video of it online. Then, in celebration, others get in on the act, mocking her and blaming her for being victimized. A new hashtag is born and is used online to further humiliate this child.
How is this OK?
It's not. Fortunately, many Twitter users have realized how disgusting and vile this truly is, so they are taking the hashtag back from those participating and have turned it around with messages of support.
Laci Green, who teaches sex education on YouTube, also took notice of the downward spiral of distressing messages and fashioned the perfect graphic that helps illustrate Jada's plight, and the fight that all rape victims must endure — for simply being brutalized.
Evidence of rape culture
Looking through the messages of support, you can still see messages of hate sprinkled in. Messages that say she shouldn't have been drinking, that she is a slut, that she cried "rape" after the fact, and that she doesn't deserve anyone's help, love and support.
This is the most visible evidence of rape culture — the victim blaming, the slut shaming, the "why were you there in the first place?" thinking. As if Jada was in control of the teens who undressed her and had sex with her unconscious body, and then posted photos and video of the act on social media.
These are crimes, and it's never, ever funny. As parents, we need to teach our sons that they are in control of their own bodies and that nothing a girl does entitles them to sex if the girl doesn't approve. Sadly, rape culture is so strong and virulent that women also participate in victim blaming, so raise your daughters to understand that rape is never OK.
We stand with you, Jada.