Remember that time I forgot my dad’s birthday?
Oh right that was two days ago.
So I may have come home from dance on Thursday to my wonderful father making dinner for my mum and I, when my mum said “have you wished your dad happy birthday yet?”
Infact, I had completely forgotten! Giftless, cardless, and a horrible daughter, today I set myself on a mission to make it up to him. Okay, that may have overhyped it… just cupcakes guys, no flash mobs or laser light shows.
TW: sexual abuse. Disclaimer: Just a girl with thoughts and a hope for a better community.
Last night I stayed up until 3:00AM following a trail of links around the internet. Although I wish I now had cute cat videos and fail gifs to share with you all, unfortunately the endless videos and tumblr posts I was viewing were from this masterpost. That, my friends, is a masterpost documenting the accounts of sexual harassment, abuse and even assault that various people have opened up about, and the responses (if any) that the formerly (and, sickeningly, even currently) idolised, respected, successful YouTubers have made.
You’ve probably heard that Sam Pepper has been accused of rape. I say ‘accused’ because I am not those girls who have shared their stories and he has not confessed, but there is absolutely no doubt in my heart and mind that the accounts and claims linked in the masterpost are honest and true. Sam’s actions and his victims’ responses and stories present an extremely fascinating and disgusting story (the disgusting part being his actions, the fascinating part his pathetic attempts (and lackthereof) to defend himself), a case I think is worth learning more about.
Now, after watching a few videos regarding Sam’s actions, I was sickened. But if after only watching a few videos I was having a mild flu, then opening the masterpost gave me a terminal illness. The amount of YouTubers that have been ‘outed’ as sexual harassers and abusers, some of minors and of other YouTube content creators, is something I did not realised existed. I was aware of the issue of “YouTube culture” but I did not know that the abuse of power briefly mentioned in many videos regarding the platform’s culture was something that had actively occurred in the past, is occurring now, and to such a severe extent. Sam Pepper’s story is only one of the many cases of successful YouTubers taking advantage of their platform and fan base, manipulating girls and boys, most underage at the time, into unwanted sexual encounters. This is an extremely serious issue that much of the wider YouTube community is not aware of or had sort of brushed aside like I had before curiously clicking that first video regarding Sam’s actions.
I’m not going to into detail about each case, there’s a shitload of stuff linked on the masterpost (unfortunately) that you can check out, I assure you it’s worth a read/watch. Instead, I want to talk about what we, as consumers and creators in the YouTube community can do.
We all go through stressful times in our lives. Usually, exams are a blast for me (‘study’ periods, time off school, waking up late and having to focus for only a few hours :’) ), however this time around, that hasn’t been the case. I can’t quite describe why, but I’ve been swaying back and forth across the border between “life is great” and “what’s the point in anything” for a while now. I guess it’s mix of everything, newly frequent dance classes, real exams that mean [very little but still] something, a quest to constantly be constructive and productive, and a very foggy, hormonal, not-yet-developed teenage brain.
I wouldn’t describe this situation as feeling like chaos, or a cliché whirlwind. Instead, it feels more like a wasteland. Like piles of faded-brown scraps and debris littered across a desert, as far as the eye can see; and your job is to pick up each piece of rusted metal, every last sundried magazine clipping. It feels like life is one big task that seems so impossible, filled with thousands and thousands of little things we must do… Yeah, the teenage heart ain’t fond of responsibility.
Despite it all (oh, this difficult first world teenage life we live), we push through; and here are somethings that have been keeping sane/happy/alive: Continue reading