She did not say yes

rebecca.olul
Posted January 3, 2019 from Vanuatu

She did not say yes

Guilty! 

Yes that's what she is.

And she does not blame you for asking what of. She is guilty of having been in an intimate relationship with someone. Oh and trusting that someone too!

But that's normal you say. A requirement of being in any relationship. It's human nature. She is not debating with you there. Because she knows you have been there. Countless girls, boys, women and men have been there over generations.

It is in this relationship of trust and intimacy that humans, her included, share sentiments. Things that are non-things. But things that are valuable nonetheless - even photographs.

Items of a personal nature that were never meant for wider sharing than the two people involved. Imagine her shock and horror when she realised what had happened. It felt like her whole world crashed. Not only were private photographs shared on social media without her consent; but there were allegations made that were entirely untrue and unfounded. In other words a clear case of defamation.

And if this were not bad enough malicious social media groups (which she chooses not to be part of for obvious reasons) allow individuals who have screenshot original posts to share. Oh and reshare too.

Groups that appear to have nothing better to talk about (if you can classify what they do as "talk") but seemingly utter nonsense with a lack of regard as to how it is affecting the lives of individuals. Bring on the next sacrificial lamb, she says.

She has had support and goodwill from friends, families and those that matter. For this she is grateful. 

She received messages from many women telling their own stories of how it happened to them. This makes her sad and angry that in this day and age of advances in information communication and technology women continue to be victims and must forge new paths to deal with this.

She speaks for herself. But also speak for all those women who feel they cannot. For women who have been victimised by individuals and malicious groups on social media.

There have been many instances similar to this. But she wants it to stop with her.

This issue will only continue to rise if we do not speak openly and honestly about it now. Our girls and women will continue to be victimised in this way. There are many things Vanuatu can learn from other countries that have put in place measures to guide use of social media. 

Come on Vanuatu. You are better than this! Get off your moral high horse and look at the issue for what it is. Don't victimise someone already being victimised. If you have not been guilty of being in an intimate relationship with someone then go ahead and pick up that first stone. And don't forget to throw it too.

And remember if you are going to throw it then at least have the guts to do it face-to-face. Don't resort to cowardly tactics like talking about her behind her back. Oh and further attacks on social media. Or maybe just that suppressed giggle when you read the post (OMG did you see that!) and thought it was deserved. No one deserves this! Full stop!

A little helping hand goes a long way.

 

Comments 11

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Sis. Salifu
Jan 03
Jan 03

Great third person narrative. Is it an experience ? Or fictional? I like it! :-)

rebecca.olul
Jan 03
Jan 03

Thank you, Lis. Its an experience that is fictionalised. Its something I'd been playing around with to open up and discuss issues of revenge pornography in Vanuatu.

deborah_3
Jan 04
Jan 04

a good read

rebecca.olul
Jan 09
Jan 09

Thank you, Deborah

jlanghus
Jan 04
Jan 04

Hi Rebecca,

Thanks for bringing this troubling social media trend up and how it's handled, or not, in your country. Can't these types of incidents be reported on social media, or by then it's too late, is what you're saying? What do you suggest for how to end these sort of vicious habits and trends?

Hope you're having a good day!?

rebecca.olul
Jan 09
Jan 09

Hi Jill,
Yes it is a troubling social media trend. Its something that is rife in my country. And yes it can be reported on social media. But in small societies like the ones we live in (where the world is increasingly made smaller due to the nature of being online) means that often it is too late.

I am very interested in learning how other countries are dealing with this. I'd be interested in accessing resource related to policy and legislation as well as case studies.

Many thanks! Have a great day.

jlanghus
Jan 10
Jan 10

Hi Rebecca,

That stinks:-( Yes, it would be interesting to see how other countries deal with these issues. I think there was a featured storyteller awhile ago that personally went through this in one of the south African countries. I can't remember her name now. She was gutted, and having all sort of issues from it because she was still in college. I think the authorities ended up intervening. I wish I could remember what country she was from and which member it was. I haven't seen her around lately. I remember I encouraged her to submit her story for the awards and she won it. Sorry, I can't find it...

rebecca.olul
Jan 10
Jan 10

Thank you for sharing, Lis. I'd definitely be interested to learn more about that. Yes please I'd love to read her story when you do find it. Many thanks and all the best for an awesome weekend.

jlanghus
Jan 11
Jan 11

You're welcome:) Yes, I know. I couldn't find it and it takes time to search through all of them. It was in the featured stories last year, I think, probably around January or February. Have a great weekend, too!

Olutosin
Jan 05
Jan 05

Thank you very much for sharing. I see a lot of issues like this raised on social media and as a lone voice, I chastise them, I will not be silent.

rebecca.olul
Jan 09
Jan 09

I agreed that we most not remain silent but be quite strategic in addressing these kinds of issues at a higher level to stop women and girls continuing to be victimised in this way.