I finally did it. I cut the subscription cord for two ladies magazines and have replaced them with one for Mother Jones. The change, I thought, would stir up the little grey cells. When the July/August edition came, it didn’t disappoint. One article by Josh Harkinson featured the hacker group, Anonymous, and their cyber space methods of providing justice for rape victims.
Their involvement came after two teenage girls — one in Canada and the other in the United States — committed suicide when photographs of their brutal attacks were broadcast to the world wide web. In both cases, the police seemed powerless to act against those involved. This led the mother of a third victim to appeal for help to Anonymous who normally focus on white collar crime. She pleaded with them to identify the criminals who assaulted her daughter so that they could be brought to justice. Members of Anonymous consented and within two hours, the identities of the guilty parties were exposed, their pictures broadcast to the world wide web. The disclosure led the mother of one of the bullies to complain that her son and his cohorts “were too terrified to go to school, and were sitting in a corner…puking, peeing in their pants.” (“Cyberbullies With A Cause,” by Josh Harkinson, Mother Jones, July/August 2013, pg. 15.)
As a woman and a feminist, a part of me rejoices to read how the tables were turned on some pitiless teenagers. “An eye for an eye,” said Hammurabi. But is this how justice should operate in the 21st Century? I feel queasy when vigilantism substitutes for justice and due process. Still, members of Anonymous could find the perpetrators in two hours while law enforcement stood by and did nothing. That inaction raises serious questions. Is gang rape a low priority for the police? Or does society still secretly harbor the notion that women get the treatment they deserve?
(Courtesy of www.andycollins.net)