Skip to main content

When Our Future Chooses Suicide

Gustave Wappers Episode of the September Days
Tonight I watched the news on CBC – the station I look to for commentary on the world as it is, even as I know it’s constrained with expectations from sponsors and other interests.

But I am disturbed by yet another story of a young woman,17, who commits suicide because of bullying. At least that’s how the story unfolds.  She gets drunk at a party. She is raped by a boy or boys and another boy films and posts it. (Yes it is rape if she is too drunk to know what she is doing.) Then she is called a slut. I assume these are her peers, in her school, in her society.  The cyber-bullying persists even after she moves to another school.

I wonder why the boy who raped her is not the one who is shamed, or the boy who took the picture is not named?  Are those who do the slut shaming virgins and do they understand how the word shames all women? 

In short why is the victim blamed and why after all these years of work from counselors, activists and concerned people, are we, the Canadian public not demanding the just society we grew up believing we aspired to? What has happened to our collective psyche that we accept this, that we are not outraged?

I have observed places that have been invaded by bullies (or opportunists).  Offices where people get along reasonably well, deal with conflicts intelligently, and focus on working together to get the job done.  Then an ego enters who is critical and manipulative. The good workplace erodes into a den of personal attacks, rumours,  bitterness, and resentment.  The work is no longer the main agenda.  But instead of the group acknowledging the cause, they blame whoever has the least power.

It is a pattern that ripples out.  The poor are blamed for the shrinking economy, the infirm blamed for high health costs, minorities are blamed for social breakdown, until the implosion of crises lead to despair and a rise in fascism.  The cruelest and darkest ages are not a phenomena of the past – they are the result of our inability to create the society we want.

The first society a child experiences is the family, the second is media.  By the time a person enters school they know how the patterns of power trickle down, but do we allow them the opportunity to examine and challenge it?   

When girls are raped in public (because the public is now in everyone’s pocket) then blamed, while the perpetrators brag – what does that say about the future of our society?

When our children choose suicide what does that say about the individual’s capacity to survive in cultures that do not support their worth and dignity?


  1. Good report from the BBC here. Lots of questions yet.

    1. Thanks for that link Bob. Will the gentle and sensitive die out leaving the rough and violent to battle for more power? It almost looks that way. After all a loaded gun doesn't care about ideas, yet one could almost argue that it rules the world politically and economically.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

The Ultimate Goal of Patriarchy is the End of Life

I want to clarify the line between men in general and patriarchal values propagated and imposed on human society.

In order for patriarchy to succeed, it had to kill more efficiently than the nine months gestation it took for a woman to give birth.  So the craft of war  became more than simply defending territory. It became the ritualized erasure of our human nature for the rule of centralized power. 

And no, it hasn't succeeded in diminishing the human population on this planet but it has succeeded in sustaining an ideology of what it means to be a man. 

Civilizations built on myths of great conquerors. Histories about the exploits of the greatest killers. Inventions of race, religious ideology and ritual that transformed the teachings of thoughtful prophets into crusades. Endless games of winning and losing.
Men who celebrate life through medicine, science, education, art, philosophy and poetry must be dismissed as soft, shamed as effeminate. 

Men who have been raised with love, love …

Anonymous Sources

Where does "Greatness" come from? The imagination? Facts? Confidence? A willing suspension of disbelief in a slogan that makes us happy? A capacity to judge well? An ability to observe and find solutions that benefit most if not all? Taking responsibility for the community? A masters degree from Oxford or Yale?

Let me offer the opinion that greatness comes from extraordinary effort or talent.  Greatness as it may exist in our anonymous ambitions does not win fame except in isolated circumstances.  That is to say, fame is not a realistic goal for an individual.

Greatness is like a dove in the imagination, an angel, a temporary insight, a fleeting epiphany. Something aspired to in the privacy of our minds.

Greatness was an ambition I held when I was a teen and had no proof that I was good at anything or useful to the world at all. After repeated criticism and dismissal from the community around me where I attempted to win something, anything, like a medal, a competition, or a…

Torturing Youth is Okay with us?

“More than two-thirds of Canadians feel Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made the wrong choice in awarding a $10.5 million settlement to Omar Khadr, according to a new poll by the Angus Reid Institute.” CBC News
But we don’t see the survey questions in this article. How was the poll actually worded? Reading one article might make us believe we are well informed, but how does a single poll actually tell us how people feel?  
“And while the survey shows that a majority of Liberals and New Democrats are opposed to the government's decision, how the numbers compare to previous polling suggests that views on Khadr have hardened over the last decade — and that he remains a divisive figure.”
How can a single poll tell whether Khadr is a divisive figure or not? What information do respondents have to make such a claim? 
The article then switches to a former US special force soldier who was blinded in one eye during the 2002 firefight in Afghanistan involving Khadr.  Of course he would be critica…