The story of Amber Cole is heartbreaking, upsetting, and thought-provoking all at once. After reading the previous blog regarding this story, entitled “Amber,” I wrote what began as a simple comment. But now I find myself deep in my own blog entry. There are so many questions to be asked, so many lines of thought to be explored. Why is cyberbullying such a problem in today’s society? Why are children growing up faster than ever before? Why were the youths (and adults) of America so quick to judge and ridicule Amber Cole yet so inattentive to the shameful actions of the three boys in the video? I have another question to add to the discussion.
The blogoshpere is replete with articles defending Amber Cole from her faceless attackers flooding the Internet with hurtful words of judgment. I agree. Such intense cyberbullying is an epidemic in this country, as well as the rest of the world. Adults need to start addressing this issue before it begins to spiral further out of control. The boys behind this video should be brought to justice. It appears that they will be. And our children must learn to respect each other and understand the consequences of their online attacks. But what do we do about other girls and boys who find themselves in Amber Cole’s situation?
As the Jimi Izrael article acknowledged, kid sex is as old as time. Teenagers will continue to explore their sexuality. Women like Amber are free to explore and to build a healthy and vibrant sex life. But when teenagers have sex, society turns a blind eye. Kid sex is as old as time, yes, but the realization of this doesn’t make us as a society comfortable with it. I believe this is why many discussions have not centered on the act portrayed in the video itself.
Amber was performing fellatio on her ex-boyfriend. She was trying to win back her first love. She wanted to win back this boy so badly that she undertook this intimate act in front of two other boys, who egged her on and laughed throughout. My heart breaks for Amber, not only for the pain of having this filmed and put on display for the world to see and ridicule, but it also breaks for her sense of self-worth.
I am not Amber Cole. I do not know every aspect of her life-experience that lead to this decision. However, I am left with this singular thought: self-worth. Who taught Amber, and others like her, that pressured and desperate sex is ok? It is not. There should not be pressure. Our children should be uncomfortable when their sexual partner invites his or her friends to watch and make jokes at their expense, right? Our children should not have to perform sexual favors in order to get members of the opposite sex to like them. Shouldn’t it be the other way around? Relationships should be based in love and respect before sex enters the picture. Why are we putting the cart before the horse?
Ultimately, I am wondering how society can put the cart back in its rightful place? How do we reestablish a greater sense of self-worth in our children so that they are empowered to stand up and say no to this form of disrespectful behavior? Where do we guide them in finding their own healthy sexual choices? Or is this something that we should continue to ignore because these are our children and it makes us uncomfortable?