There are lots of things that I just don't understand about the world
( 1) Beiber Fever - ok I know I'm not the target demographic for this one .
(2) Adult Onesies - seriously? What the ....?????
(3) Any adult wearing a size 0 - hell my babies were barely in a size zero fro any length of time ( they were very long babies - I would say tall but babies lie around most of the time and tall just doesn't sound right)
(4) How come there is always enough money for war and never enough for health care..... or education?
(5) How come First world countries have kids that go hungry, homeless people and people who work several jobs but still not be above the poverty line?
(6) Oh my Lord I could go on and on but it all seems so depressing when I know, KNOW that there is also so much good in the world - so much.
But this week I'm struggling.
I wrote about Steubenville , several times. And the rapes in India. I must admit I lost heart and couldn't continue writing about rape and rape culture. I didn't write about the most recent case in America where the victim and her family were forced to leave town and then their house was burnt down while the perpetrators ( yes, there was more than one... again) got off scot free.
This time though it has happened here... in New Zealand and in the area I grew up, West Auckland.
The UK has its chav's, the Aussies have their bogans and the US has it's "white trash". NZ has "Westies"
You can spot a 'westie' ; the blokes have skin tight black( always black) jeans, a heavy metal tee shirt, tattoos and long hair and the girls are not much different. I grew up a westie although I didn't wear the uniform. when I left home at 18 my boyfriend was westie through and through. He rod up on his Norton motorbike with the leather jacket, tats and chains and we rode off into the sunset.
Many ( many) times we hung out with gangs and I was threatened with being put "on the block" ( gang raped) if I didn't stop being so mouthy. Luckily for me (a) I shut up and (b) we moved off to become random hippies in the far north before things got too ugly.
And now we have a gang of young men in West Auckland who have formed a club called "Roast Busters"
The sole aim of which is to find young girls between the ages of 13-15, get them incoherently drunk, rape them repeatedly and then boast about it on their Facebook page.
The police have known about the group for TWO YEARS but no arrests have been made due to insufficient evidence. Once the news broke of this during the week several things happened (a) Facebook shut down the page (b) several girls came forward and said they had made complaints to police even though the police had previously said none had made complaints (c) a ministerial inquiry is taking place and (d) the police are finally digging deeper into the cases.
IT seems that the boys had lots of friends that knew what was happening and they have been interviewed on television but "didn't think it was their place to interfere". In one case a thirteen year old girl was "roasted"
( you and I would call it raped but I guess if we use our own pet name for it, it doesn't sound so bad? right?) at a party and the friends of the boys said"well she shouldn't have been at the party" but didn't feel compelled to look out for a young girl clearly in the wrong place.
That seems to be a common theme.
In the Steubenville case the girl got incoherently drunk but none of her "friends"(and I use air quotes to make a point because true friends look out for one another) looked after her instead saying that she was behaving "too slutty" - you know, falling over and not knowing what she was doing, like drunk people do. So they left her to fend for herself.
Now the big question I want to ask is not (a) what were the girls doing out that late or (b) why did they drink so much or (c) why they were wearing inappropriate clothes. No the question I want to ask is what hell happened to compassion? Whatever happened to looking out for our fellow man or woman in these cases?
How are we raising boys to feel that they have the right to rape and feel ok with themselves? How can we KNOW that there are some of our friends doing these things and not feel some duty to take steps to stop them?
What the hell is wrong with humanity?
And taking a deep cleansing breath...... and another nice, deep cleansing breath and remembering that I have raised three gorgeous sons who have all of those good qualities and one is now raising his own family and passing them on to them. And remembering that there is so much good in the world and there are so many beautiful souls who are caring and loving and doing all the right things and that what is portrayed by these sad, sad young men is not the majority, it is far from the majority of humanity.
And one more nice deep cleansing breath and forgiving my younger self for putting her self in danger and realizing that while, yes, it could have been me, it wasn't and I am safe and free from danger and I have done well by my children and kept them safe and raised them to be beautiful, soft yet strong and kind. And even though I had no-one in my corner I was strong enough to look out for me and made better choices as I grew and learned more about the world.
Filling the world with love and light is the only way, the only way to combat the darkness. Adding more hate, denouncing those that perpetrate such acts as animals and calling for vigilante justice as is happening in some places does not dispel the darkness they have brought to the world - it just makes it darker. Instead I send them love, which they obviously desperately need, compassion and forgiveness.
I hope with this being brought to light that these boys get the help that they need and that the girls can now move on with their lives and let the healing begin.
I hope that we take a long hard look at how we are raising our kids, all of our kids and realize that boundaries and limits and consequences are a necessary part of growing up .