This viral thread is eye-opening
Amid the discussion surrounding Lifetime‘s new documentary, ‘Surviving R. Kelly,’ a viral thread prompted a very important question. How many of us have encountered or shrugged off rumors of child predators in our very own communities?
If you haven’t been watching ‘Surviving R. Kelly,’ do yourself a favor and watch it. His alleged victims deserve to have as many people hear their harrowing stories. It’s mind-boggling to see how easily he’s been able to prey upon young, teenage girls for decades — and even more upsetting to see how rape culture has enabled his abuse.
The dialogue surrounding Kelly on social media has brought forth many startling, interesting points. Sports writer Julie DiCaro sparked a discussion about child predators in our communities, asking women to share their stories.
How many of us went to high schools where there were always rumors about the football coach and underage girls? Or a favorite history teacher? Or an older guy who came to all the parties? https://t.co/b1XDBEY9c8
— Julie DiCaro (@JulieDiCaro) January 5, 2019
“How many of us went to high schools where there were always rumors about the football coach and underage girls? Or a favorite history teacher? Or an older guy who came to all the parties?” she asks.
And it’s a valid question because you absolutely won’t find a woman alive who can’t answer it.
The D.A.R.E. police officer impregnated a girl at my high school.— Audrey🌈 (@Audnumber) January 5, 2019
My English teacher married a student, very shortly after she graduated.— AmBIvalent CoriN7e ⚾ 🏳️🌈 (@quickpitch) January 5, 2019
ick! I had a High School PE teacher that was also the Sex Ed teacher that was dating a former student right after she graduated. All the girls thought he was dreamy. I thought he was gross AF.— sublimelight312 (@sublimelight312) January 5, 2019
It was the music teacher — and he was actually arrested and convicted, but not until a decade after I graduated. We all talked about him being a creep but as far as I can remember, it never even occurred to us to report him to anyone.— Emma Span (@emmaspan) January 5, 2019
I heard rumors about teachers in high school and college. Seems like most academic environments have at least one predatory teacher/administrator/etc. https://t.co/LZs02tUXB7
— Ms. Charlotte (@charlotteirene8) January 5, 2019
In HS (all girls Catholic had to wear uniforms that had a skirt) my Spanish teacher made it so we had to turn in our tests on the floor to bend over right in front of his desk. And what did we do? Keep standing and dropped them to the ground. https://t.co/ARQQTGng6r
— Brie (@coolbreeeze_) January 5, 2019
Yep yep yep. At my high school, a coach was married to a much younger woman he met while she was a student there. And he had not stopped being a creep, and everyone knew it. https://t.co/XrqiUZq7PQ
— EK (@EllenKilloran) January 5, 2019
Throwback to my creepy science teacher in 7th grade making big chested girls sit in front of the class and buying roses for girls he knew weren't popular https://t.co/mHjDka9cxV
— emily (@laurensambrose) January 5, 2019
The stories go on and on. Personally, I can think of more than a handful of creeps who fit this bill. The teacher who massaged the shoulders of female students sitting at their desks. The older guy who still came to high school parties years after he graduated. The male administrator who regularly policed the lengths of girls’ skirts and was the subject of much side-eye and speculation.
We all know them. We all live and grow among them. And rape culture enables them to continue their behavior — because a majority of these types of men won’t ever face consequences.
What’s even more enraging is how often, the young girls are blamed for the abuse that happens to them. The societal conditioning in regards to excusing this behavior or blowing it off altogether must stop.
Bottom line: a teenager is still a child — biologically and legally — and a child cannot consent.