Last Friday, I stopped off to pick up some Chinese food. While I waited, I was kinda watching the TV they have in there. It was tuned to some entertainment news-magazine show- Entertainment Weekly, or some such drivel.
Anyhow, the story they had on was about this girl who went to a slumber party with her friends. At some point, a couple of the girls started slapping her. Eventually, they worked their way up to hair-pulling, and I think even kicking. Fortunately, she was not hurt, and the story said that the girls were arrested and charged with whatever the prosecutor could think up.
But listening to it, the whole story was unbelievable. Not that these "friends" would do such a thing- it's been said that teenage girls are the most vicious animals on the planet- but that the victim never did anything about it. She never fought back, never yelled, and apparently didn't even try to leave the room. The other girls there never made any effort to intervene, either. This went on for seven-that's 7, as in one more than 6- hours. Then, this being the 21st century, the video was posted on MySpace.
As I recall, during the video, the tormentors were slapping her and asking her why she wouldn't fight back. To me-speaking as someone who went through a lot of this as a kid myself- this points very strongly toward it being a form of teasing. Somehow, the victim had already been pegged as a non-fighter: someone who would simply sit there and be a victim.
Clearly, they were right. I wonder what her parents are like...
The story ended with a statement that the show's "experts" agreed that it was a good thing that the victim didn't try to resist, or the beating might have been worse.
Who are these frigging experts, and where the )*^)(^%&* did they get their credentials from? Because hey, this whole non-resisting thing worked out so friggin well for her, didn't it?
Okay, I agree: it's possible that the tormentors might have gotten worked up and beaten her more seriously. Punches rather than open hand slaps, etc. But the video clips that they showed
included one part where she got up from the bed and was shoved across the room by one girl. At that point, the other girl grabbed her by her hair, and threw her down on the bed. That's pretty rough, and I have to assume that this move, and some of the other slaps that were shown, left bruises and scratches.
Here's the way I see it. First off, she should have simply asked them to stop. Maybe they would have, maybe she tried that and it didn't work. I don't know. Then she should have tried to leave the room, and find the "adult". (I believe they said she didn't do this, assuming the door was locked, which would seem to suggest that we can cross her off the list of future Nobel laureates). If it was locked, and she couldn't get out, scream like a maniac (again, this assumes an adult was within earshot.) If nothing else, once she started yelling, the other girls might have intervened, from fear that the party would be broken up. Next, she should have tried to get a phone and call someone-her parents, the police, her friend's parents, anyone.
Then, if none of that worked, she should have made some attempt to fight back. As I said, it's possible that she might have been hurt, but I doubt it. I think there would be several possible outcomes. First off, she clocks one of these girls hard enough to make her stop and think "this isn't worth it. I guess that she will fight back." Or, she raises enough of a ruckus to alert the "responsible adult" (or as we called them back in the 70's, "parent") that was presumably in the house. Or, the other girls present would decide that this is all getting out of hand, and intervene.
I just don't see that sitting there letting someone beat on you is the best choice. Or perhaps she was waiting to be rescued by Spiderman, Batman, the Dukes of Hazzard, Dora the Explorer or the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen....?
I suppose it shouldn't surprise me that a teenager would make what I think is the wrong choice, but I can't help but think that this girl was poorly served by a lot of adults, especially her parents. And I can't help but think that other teenagers are being poorly served by the television show I saw, and the experts they featured.
But what do I know? I'm not an expert.