Savage Love Episode 338


Thank you for talking about Rehtaeh Parson's suicide and the bullying that probably contributed to it. These situations make me so angry I want to scream at every kid who did something stupid - sharing the photograph and harassing her:
When talking about the bullying and the photos etc., I was really disappointed that there was no mention of the idea that we still haven't moved past the virgin/whore dichotomy when it comes to women.

Yes, bullying exists. Sending pictures around exists...but it is the result of the whole idea that girls/women are either virgin or whores. It is perpetuated by the police, school administrations, parents, and youth. The boys aren't whores or assholes for committing rape but the girls are whores.

And, finally, the editor Emily Bazelon referred to the young woman has having a horrible "sexual experience"...rape is not a sexual experience. It is an act of violence.

Overall, really disappointed with your chat with her today in how it was framed and discussed.
sigh, I think it would be way too hard to enforce the no-camera-phone rule at schools, and at this point cell phones are in schools to stay. Thanks for having Emily on, she's great.
Parents can disable the camera on iPhones. Of course, an iPhone with parent restriction on the camera still looks like a phone with a camera.
Someone should create an app that sends every photo to parents. This could be done to existing phones.
oooh...not a fan of the advice to the dude with the pregnant ex. About 8 years ago...I was the new then boyfriend learned of the pregnancy 2 weeks into our relationship. I'm now the wife/stepmom. The best thing for my husband was to go through as much of the pregnancy together with his ex as possible....doctors appointments, ultrasounds, baby shopping...etc. It was tough for them, for sure. There were some mixed signals, for sure, but he did pretty well keeping things platonic...and his daughter is now almost 8 years old and her baby book is still filled out with pregnancy information...because he was there for it all. When our child and his daughter compare "when I was in your belly stories", he actually has some of that information to share with her. Obviously, if this guys ex has a touch of the crazy, than that might not be an option. But...if she's not quite so crazy and can understand the situation for what it's worth a shot.
I am honestly a total dork who has never drank much, but does it make any sense to say "Getting black-out-drunk is always the wrong choice" ? This couldn't apply to children who haven't learned judgment, of course.
Dan, your idea of taking phones out of kid's cameras is overreacting at best. My sex year old has a camera. It's an artistic device. It's also important that these cameras record some of this illegal shit. How else would we know about it? How would Steubenville have been solved if there wasn't video? That girl would be assaulted, she would have been slut shames, and there would have been no evidence. Cameras do as much if not more good than they do harm. It's ridiculous to go to that extreme.
"Her pregnancy and her medical needs are hers; this child is yours together"- Sorry Dan but i have to call bullshit on this. If he wants to parent this child (and is considering filing for sole custody) he has a responsibility to be there during the pregnancy. If he just shows up after the child is born, having made a point to be absent during the pregnancy, and trys to claim custody of a child for which he made no claim too prior to birth no reasonable judge will grant this, regardless of his claims of her unreasonableness. If he wants to have a good chance of retaining his legal rights to the child and possibly claiming sole custody he SHOULD be around throughout the pregnancy, though he should also do everything within his power to make it clear to EVERYONE in both their lives that he is there for the child and not for her. then he may actually have a chance at sole or joint custody.
Indighost--Why, because you might get yourself raped? Wow, it looks like the victim-blamers have followed all the way to the podcast comments!

Look, I'm not a heavy drinker myself but I've been incredibly drunk a handful of times in my life and nothing bad happened to me except a headache in the morning, certainly not rape. Know why? Because there weren't any rapists around! End of story. Is getting black-out drunk on a regular basis a healthy lifestyle choice? Absolutely not. Is it something you can expect teenagers who are inexperienced at drinking and haven't learned their personal limits yet to do? Yep. And then they can learn their lessons from the hangover. That should be the worst that ever happens.

Rape happens because of rapists, not alcohol. Bullying happens because of bullies, not alcohol. Irresponsible and lax law enforcement happens because of bad laws and apathetic, if not downright contemptuous people charged to carry them out, not alcohol.

Can we just please pretend we're a civilized society and agree on this already?
Also, I have to agree that the conversation with Emily Bazelon was somewhat disappointing. Why is she downplaying the rape so much? The girl was drunk. She barely remembers what happened. She was assaulted by 4 boys who thought it was just hilarious and took pictures of it. What exactly is "alleged" about this rape?

It's all well and good to talk about the way girls are slut-shamed for being sexually active or sexual in any way. That's an important issue to talk about. But it's a separate one from rape and it's not helping anyone to conflate to the two. It's important to focus on the bullying issue but I'm confused as to why so many people are so squeamish about talking about the event that set off the whole hellish 2 years of bullying that this girl faced: an act of sexual violence.

On the upside, Dan, it sounds like you're doing a great job raising your teenage son. Until we do find more solutions to these problems, it sounds like you've got the right idea with keeping tabs on your son's phone use and maintaining a dialogue with him about what having the power that it gives him can potentially mean.
Not that I'd encourage cameraless phones for teens (I think that they have more potential for good than for bad) but if you really want to, you can physically remove the cameras yourself. All you typically need to do is use a screwdriver to disassemble the phone and disconnect the thing. You could cover the hole with something like Sugru to keep debris off of the motherboard, and you're done. It's also reversible.

Now, it might be harder for iPhones, since I believe that their shells are glued together, but that's just evidence of the inferiority of the product and the psychopathy of the designer. I could remove the camera from my phone in three minutes, if I so desired.
I usually agree with Dan, but this interview made me so mad. They are talking about girls who have been sexually violated, and even raped, and the solution for Dan and Emily is less cameras?! What the hell is going on? That doesn't stop the sexual abuse or bullying, it just stops the recording of it!
And Dan, the teenage girls who bullied the victim were just as bad as the boys who raped her unconscious body while filming it? Are you serious?
@12: Thanks for the advice. I was not asking about rape, just about the idea of getting blackout-drunk in general. I was thinking about it because it seems this is a thing that comes up in Dan's calls with decent regularity in a variety of contexts.
I don't understand how you can talk about bullying and slut shaming without even mentioning rape culture. Pointing the finger at anything other than the culture of normalizing rape is a disservice to everyone. Phones and photos are not the problem, rape is.
Yeah, I agree, this is not about cameras. What it is about, I think, is to some extent the inability of girls to say "Yeah, I sent him pictures of my tits. So what? Fuck off". We need a sizable mass of girls to be able to interject in those "Oh, it's OK if it was fewer than six guys, it's OK if they were your boyfriend" conversations something like "It's OK for me to do what I want with my own body, and the person who decides where to draw the line is me, not you".

These pictures would not have power over the girls if the girls didn't, themselves, believe there was something shameful in what they had done, or had been done to them. The problem isn't the cameras, it's the shame. Rapists should feel shame, not their victims. Their victims should feel righteous rage. We're not going to get there until we teach our girls to spit in the eye of anyone who tries to shame them for their sexual expression.
I love the podcast, and I have been following the Halifax story since reading about the suicide of the poor girl. Something Dan said really stuck in my craw, and it's something people say a lot in situations likes these: he said that the boys may have raped her and taken and spread the photos, but it was the other GIRLS who did the most emotional damage by shaming her and saying unkind things.

Those girls were horrible, but they were NOT worse than the boys who raped her and distributed the pictures. These two things are not equivalent. People do this all the time: boys do horrible thing to a girl, other girls don't support her, let's focus more on the girls. People simlarly focus more on how much the girl drank, like the commenter above, because for some reason it's just easier to blame girls than it is to blame boys. Cruel gossip is bad; rape is way, way worse.
"Why can't Apple make an iPhone without a camera?"

Um they already did. There is a setting called Restrictions (go to the Settings icon then to General and you will see it) where you can remove the camera app from the phone. Parents can also control many other aspects of how their children can use the phone including what type of content is downloadable. This works the same on iPod Touch and iPad.

Samsung probably has a similar feature.
Thank you Dan for drawing attention to the slut-shaming of rape victims matter, I think it needs this kind of publicity. But, like many here, I was puzzled by your tangent on cell phone cameras. I understand that you are talking as the concerned parent of a teenager, but I believe this won’t help the problem at all. In fact, it will eliminate the pictorial evidence of these assaults. The change that needs to happen is that these pictures need to be seen as EVIDENCE.

I am 32 now, so when I was in high school, we didn’t even have cell phones, let alone cameras. A friend of mine was raped by a guy who was a part of our social group, and she spoke out about it. Every one of our friends except me and a single other girl turned against her and took the guy’s side. She couldn’t prove that it was not consensual, and was subsequently slut-shamed, and bullied into dropping it.

I found out about six years later that this guy went on to rape at least two more girls, one of whom was my little sister. She was 15. Guess why neither of them said a word about it when it happened to them.

My point is, I don’t think cameras play a role at all in rape cases, except to potentially provide evidence that the girl was in fact a non-consenting party. Sexual pictures used as harassment when there has been no physical sexual assault is a different matter.
Thank you Dan for drawing attention to the slut-shaming of rape victims matter, I think it needs this kind of publicity. But, like many of the others who have comments, I was puzzled by your tangent on cell phone cameras. I understand that you are talking as the concerned parent of a teenager, but I believe this won’t help the problem at all. In fact, it will eliminate the pictorial evidence of these assaults. The change that needs to happen is that these pictures need to be seen as EVIDENCE.

I am 32 now, so when I was in high school, we didn’t even have cell phones, let alone cameras. A friend of mine was raped by a guy who was a part of our social group, and she spoke out about it. Every one of our friends except me and a single other girl turned against her and took the guy’s side. She couldn’t prove that it was not consensual, and was subsequently slut-shamed, and bullied into dropping it.

I found out about six years later that this guy went on to rape at least two more girls, one of whom was my little sister. She was 15. Take a guess why neither of them said a word about it.

My point is, I don’t think cameras play a role at all in rape cases, except to potentially provide evidence that the girl was in fact a non-consenting party. Harassment from sexy pictures wherein there was not physical assault is a separate - but still serious! - matter.
The accidental dad is another case that exemplifies how it would be beneficial to all of humankind if men had to make a conscious decision about becoming a father. Vasectomies, and reversals of said vasectomies, with sperm banks as a back-up should be the birth control of choice for men.
@19: The only problem with your solution is that removing the camera in software (or firmware) is easily reversible. A tech-savvy and determined teen will undermine that tactic very quickly.
I think you missed something on Ms. 4-or-5-on-the-Kinsey-scale there. Seems to me you're doing everyone a bit of a disservice insisting that she's a lesbian even though you admit she's more of a bi-leaning-lez woman -- the only things that are really clear here is that she a) likes men but prefers women and b) she's attracted to her girlfriend but not her husband. That seems to me to be the more important point here, not so much the need for a label.
Is rape ever covered in Sex Ed courses? When I was in school, we got a pretty comprehensive education in 6th, 8th, and 9th grade. Pregnancy prevention, child birth, those superfun old STD slideshows, all that was covered. Seems like something is missing.

I know Dan sometimes regrets that most people skip over sex for pleasure when teaching kids. I really think sexual assault and slut-shaming are things that should be discussed at the same time. With boys and girls in the room. Could be very eye-opening to both the teachers and students.
Kids are slaves to a mindless and sex-drenched pop culture these days. They need guidance (I wish I knew about SL when I was in high school, would have saved me a lot of grief).

Rape should be disregarded as something that's emasculating. If a guy is too chicken to ask a girl for sex, and chooses to take it by force, HE should be bullied, not his victim. He OUGHT to be locked up.
All kids should be encouraged to be a "hero" or at least an adult if they see a possible rape in progress.
And both sexes should be taught about how alcohol often plays a major role in rape cases.

We know kids aren't stupid, and new generations can bring about great change. Look at the way they've come around for their gay friends! Why can't one of those awful teen-idols sing about why rape is as passé as homophobia? Somebody trendy needs to make this a pet-cause.

Cue Ryan Gosling? Hey girl!
People the age of the hapless children discussed in this show should not be let out of the HOUSE much less be given the keys to cars and allowed to congregate in unsupervised groups with alcohol. Adolescence should be dealt with the way it is on TV shows about the 1950s--you're down in the rumpus room with Cokes in tiny glass bottles listening to wholesome crooners and everyone is wearing six layers of clothes and there are two adults in the house and at least one of them is in the basement with you at all times and the party ends at 8 PM. Or you work the nightshift at the chicken processing plant and are in school all day. Not one unsupervised moment while the word, "teen" is part of your age.

The age of consent should be at LEAST 21 and preferably 25 for EVERYTHING, because let's face it: you're still a crazy idiot at 21, too. Sex, booze, and certainly and above all driving a goddamn car: you have to be 25 years old. Because have you seen that thing on the Colbert Report where they let you into Stephen Colbert's brain for a moment, so that you can see what's happening in there? And it's like a monkey in diapers banging a spoon on a kitten's head and then a nuclear explosion and yackety sax is playing? That is your national merit scholar right there: that's what's happening in its brilliant little head, socially and morally.

If you let the child out of the house to go to the party, it will drink as much as it can hold and then pass out and choke and die or it will take a series of photographs of itself raping another child, sure as you're born. All of them, even the smart ones, should be considered deranged sociopaths with no sense of reality and no instinct for self preservation. Does no one remember being this age? Apparently nobody remembers being this age. They can't behave: their brains are broken. To let them assemble unwatched is to abandon them to unimaginable danger. Also do not buy them those stupid scooters and then think you've done your part to protect them because you told them not to ride triple with no helmets while texting. The kids are just continuing to do what they have always and forever done at this developmental stage when abandoned to themselves. It's the adults watching the cell phone video the children are helpfully providing and then still expecting the kids to police themselves who are the most appallingly inexplicable figures in this morality play. Do people WANT their kids to die? What the hell is wrong with everybody, damn.
IMHO camera-less phones for adolescents isn't the solution but any non-tech savey parent is capable of mixing up a little five minute epoxy and dropping it on the lens if they feel the need.

The dad to be probably needs to consult somebody familiar with family law in his state. If he actually is considering seeking custody now is the time to start planning a legal strategy, taking parenting classes, getting a home study, phsych evals, etc.
He's making the arguments re cameras that he rebuts re porn. Curious hypocrisy.
Somehow when I was a kid, everyone I knew had a camera, and a few people had camcorders, and none of us took photos of rapes. Given that, I don't think cameras are the problem.

Slut shaming and rape sure existed when I was a kid though, and photographic evidence might have been nice to have in a few examples I can think of.
Aerach, unless you think a teenager should be able to consent to be in porn, I don't think there's really an inconsistency there.
Regarding the soon-to-be Dad, I think he should try to be involved in the ultrasound appointments, at the very least. During pregnancy there are a lot of tests, ultrasounds and blood tests, that could reveal serious problems with the baby. He should be involved in those conversations if it comes down to having to make decisions about continuing the pregnancy. I wouldn't trust this woman to be completely honest about the progress of the pregnancy with him, so if she is willing to let him be at her appointments, thereby sharing her medical records with him, then he should take the opportunity to show up. If he doesn't go, he will have no rights to find out anything about the baby before it is born.

Also, I think ultrasounds offer a great opportunity for men to bond with their babies before they are born. There is a reason those nut bag pro-life people want women to be forced to see images of their unborn babies before they abort. It can be very powerful to see those images and I know my husband felt like it was more "real" when he could see our son on the screen. I could feel the changes in my body but men don't get that so I think potential dads should take advantage of seeing those ultrasounds. As long as she is willing to let him be a part of those appointments, he should go. However, if she decides NOT to let him go, he should not push back.
Hi Dan,

I would encourage you to move away from using the term "slut-shaming," when talking about cases such as Rahteah. The word 'slut' implies that she willingly participated in the sexual acts, when in fact she was a rape victim. I understand the place that you're coming from, but I believe referring to these girls as sluts in ANY way is dangerous, and contributes to the very discourse you're attempting to erode. Rahteah was not someone who made the conscious decision to be sexually promiscuous -as the word 'slut' implies.

I hope you'll reconsider using this term in these cases.

I'd like to throw a few words of empathy out to Mrs. Kinsey 5 who called in. (I was thinking it, too, #24.) I've been there, but fortunately, I hadn't married anyone. I'd had opportunities but something stopped me. I was attracted to men, could care for them, but tab A wasn't going into slot B without willpower or whiskey. The low level attraction for the opposite gender that some of us feel is not enough to be getting on with, as I was incredibly slow to learn. The fact that straight men are so much thicker on the ground than out lesbians didn't help. But. . . The relief and peace of mind that come with allowing yourself what you really want and not forcing yourself to take what you think you should want are incredible.

So, for all that I wish he'd put it more gently, I must second Dan's advice.
@32 I don't disagree with that - rape victims are not sluts.

However, to my mind, slut shaming is at the bottom of disrespect for rape victims. As long as we regard female sexuality as shameful, that shame is going to spill over and hurt everyone. When those who make a conscious decision to be sexually promiscuous refuse to accept shame, it will be more clear where the shame properly belongs - with those who make a conscious decision to harm another person.
Hoo boy, am I glad I'm a different 27-year-old John from Wisconsin, and not the caller.

@34 (re: 32): Ditto. Slut-shaming is a function of rape culture; it's a practice used to, in part, discredit rape victims/survivors by positing them as "sluts" who obviously weren't raped because sluts don't say no or because they were somehow asking for rape by being sexually active at all or dressing a certain way etc. (The other side is that slut-shaming is used to shame female sexual agency, which is also part of rape culture, which posits women as having no sexual agency.) "Slut" itself is an ideograph (a word/symbol with a clear connotation - bad in this case - but not an actual definition), as the talk about disagreement over the term at the top of the show illustrates.
Re: the call about the woman who was sexually repressed, is awakening to being bi and/or lesbian, who never had a fulfilling sex life with her husband. I really appreciated that Dan emphasized how deeply our culture can mask our true sexual and social identities – even over decades.

That acknowledged, I was just deeply disturbed by his having a monolithic perspective, and advocating so empathetically for a single course of action (that is, here is THE way to see this, and here is THE one thing to do about it). What about all the complexities of human identity, sexuality, relationships, etc.?

What was sorely missing from Dan's advice was what he has done so well in the past sometimes – namely, to help the person see where they are in denial, dysfunctional, etc.; and then to point out that there are multiple possibilities for honoring the fullness of those identities, sexualities, relationships, without defaulting to a simple, single approach. In this case, Dan missed the boat by not advocating that IN ADDITION to pursuing without compromise the realities of her bi and/or lesbian identity, she might also look at how to preserve the best of a dear loving relationship with her husband. What about something so revolutionary as a companioniate relationship (which Dan actually mentions to another caller in this same episode)? What about something so revolutionary as a primary relationship with her girlfriend and a secondary relationship with her husband – or vice versa? What about something so sagacious as suggesting that she look for individuals or groups or communities – online or actual – who have navigated similar situations so that she doesn't have to do everything by trial and error, and so that she can learn about possible options for moving forward from real people who have been on similar paths?

I’m not trying to suggest that she HAS TO preserve some form of relationship with her husband. Their sex life was Dead On Arrival, as Dan so insightfully highlights. However, what’s alive and vibrant, according to her, are so many other dimensions to their relationship. Is pulling the plug on all of that the only option? Or, is turning it into a “friendship” the only option? No! There are lots of other possibilities – not a one of which should or necessarily has to get in the way of her embracing that bi and/or lesbian identity, sexuality, relationship(s), etc. with full liberationist gusto.

In fact, I have a lesbian colleague and friend, who is internationally prominent in LGBTQ circles, who regrets how she pulled the plug on her relationship with her then-husband when she awakened to her lesbian identity. Decades later they are on speaking terms – though she acknowledges that the whole thing could have been handled much differently. I’ve heard many similar stories.

Above all, I was deeply disappointed by Dan's having a single perspective on a complex issue, and then offering a single piece of advice with such huge consequences.
Re: comment #36 above, I wrote, "empathetically" - and meant, "emphatically." Damn auto-correct!
I'm surprised that there was no mention of the "it gets better" effect for slut shaming. Basically, you'll get older, and you'll leave the toxic community. In the meantime, you have to do like agony said and refuse to accept shame, which is really hard for teenagers to do, I know. Especially when you have been the victim of a violent crime. But healing is what you need and you need to be in an environment that won't make it worse.

I don't think either married couple should break up -- I think they need to do like Lawrence #36 said and explore a companionate marriage, or open marriage, or something. Sometimes you don't get everything you want, even if what you want is monogamy. Not worth throwing the baby out with the bath water. And speaking of babies -- this is really going to get me in trouble...

OK. Bitches be crazy. I get that. And men be pigs, too. I'm not willing to accept the total craziness of the caller's ex at face value. I also don't accept the "sanctity" of their breakup. He's a grownup, presumably, and she's a grownup, too. They were together for a year and obviously sexually compatible. They need to get married and have the kid together. They need to move past whatever nonsense that was driving each other crazy and put the relationship first. Two basically decent human beings who are sexually attracted to each other ought to be able to make each other happy. He needs to be involved in the pregnancy, the birth, and the raising of the infant. Give it four years. If they can't possibly make it work then she's not the single parent of a newborn, she's the single parent of a preschooler or a kindergartener. Big difference. And maybe there will be some maturing on the part of the parents and they will hold on to what they saw in each other to begin with. And a marriage will define his parental rights.

Does she even want this baby? There is, after all, abortion, in some states anyway. Sounds like she does. That speaks well of her.
I wanted to thank 24, 36 and 38 for chiming in. I'm the girlfriend of the Mrs. Kinsey couple, and while I'm really glad she called in, and very supportive of her for doing so, I don't think she and her husband should break up either. Knowing them, they have a lot of compatibility and respect and yes, honest-to-god love. I think the more comfortable they both are with their own sexuality--as she said, she's had powerful and negative issues in the past, and her husband has his own performance issues to work on--the more healing can occur with the physical aspect of their relationship. Or, if it doesn't change, then the opinion of "if you're into chicks and chicks alone, I'm out" needs to change. She really needed to hear the companionate marriage line, but that's okay, because she knows it exists and I think it's what they're striving for. That's just what I've seen, and I am close to both of them.

By the way, though I love my girlfriend deeply, I'm marrying a wonderful man whom I also love in three months' time (and I have much less of a sexual relationship with him than I do with her, though ours is in better shape), we're all accepting of this open arrangement on all fronts (we have been for two years, now), and I am pretty sure I am bisexual--even if I lean lez. Different arrangements like this do actually work from time to time; they don't have to be toxic just because the physical aspect is in trouble on one front.

Anyway Dan, thanks for the advice, she has a lot of support here to help her through whatever they end up deciding--and her husband and I'll be here for her at every point along the way.
Following up on the Mrs Kinsey 5 caller and commenters 24, 36, 38, 39, I'm a bi-guy who's been married to a Kinsey 6+ man for 30+ years. We've had times when I'm more attracted to women and he enjoys sex with macho Dom men who are more on the 6+ side than me. But we love each other very much, got married, had kids and stayed together with some open affairs. I have to admit its hard to be open about being bi in a gay marriage and he doesn't understand my desire for women. But we have lots of fun and we're happy with our marriage and sex life most of the time. Do I wish we'd killed our marriage when we first met--never. Have we had to jump start our relationship some times--yes. Was it worth it--yes!
Whenever there's bullying victims who kill themselves, I always think the same thing: I wish they killed their bullies instead. They would probably never be held accountable otherwise. That would be making the world a better place.
A Child shouldn't be able to have a phone unless he/she has a job to buy their own and pay the monthly bill. In my day my parents called for us outside and when they didn't get a answer they got into the car and came looking for us. Cell phones make parents lives easier on cause all they need to do is call the phone and get a hold of their child instead of going looking for them. They don't seem to understand that if you call your child and he/she is somewhere they aren't supposed to be or doing something they aren't allowed, they can just not answer the phone and and later say " oh my phone must have been turned off,the battery was dead and/or i forgot my phone somewhere. So do you have control of what your child is doing or have control of where they are? NOT.......just saying
Windows Phone 8 has a feature call Kid's corner where parents or guardian can select which app kids can use (so yes camera can be locked if the parent choose to do so). Also great way to lending someone the phone without worry about them going through pictures, text, email, etc... You can get Windows phone 8 from Nokia, HTC, Samsung, etc...
I wish that instead of going on a siderant about camera phones Dan had talked more about how we can change rape culture. Sure we inherited the puritans and all the sex negative bull shit but for goodness's sake its 2013 and we need to bring the rape culture/patriarchy/controlling women's sexuality bullshit to the mainstream. We need an it gets better project for women who are being victimized by rape culture. There's a lot of us

@9 definitive if he wants to pursue joint/sole custody of the kid he should go talk to a lawyer and document any crazy boundary pushing shit his ex does, plus lots of evidence why he's going to be an awesome dad (financial stability, parenting classes, baby supplies) because typically family court doesn't always favor fathers.
It's not the technology. No one should respect an unjust law and this would be one of those. Banning cameras will not achieve anything, except make it cool to bypass this law somehow. And there are more than enough ways.

And there are enough ways to do really cool things with cameras that have nothing to do with slut-shaming or the like. In this age, everyone is an (bad/amateur/decent) photographer. When photography was expensive and a hobby for enthusiasts, one thing photographers learned early is which photos they would take and -- more importantly -- which photos they would distribute. If you get a reputation that you pass around stupid-looking-food-in-my-mouth photos, people will avoid being photographed by you. These times might have changed, but learning and education is still key. And it should go beyond photographs. Words can hurt too.

Instead of thinking about banning technology that is an integral part of our experience-based society, where YouTube videos of crazy stunts get millions of views and nothing is trusted unless you show a picture, the focus should be about the issues behind it. There are now -- unfortunately -- cases of slut-shaming and rape that can be used as sample cases for an honest discussion. Probably not easy in a sex-negative culture, but like the "It gets better" project proofed, it does not necessarily have to happen in schools.

The same technology that is used to produce these videos can be used to change it. Because after all, technology is value-neutral. It depends on how it is used. As multiple incidents have shown, videos created by and of rapists and bullies can be used against them. It can serve as discussion of what is feared -- and how to deal with it. Before cameras many people simply stood by when something ugly happened. Today they record it. What hasn't changed it that few people actively step in, call for help, ask others directly to intervene with them.

The bystander effect is still alive and well, and what's worse, people hide behind the camera. There intervention is needed. Make it clear that people at fault are also the ones who do nothing (or record something), that it is not being a "spoil-sport" if you intervene. That, yes, it is difficult, but its better than being an accomplice. And that yes, it might make you a target too (which is -- I think -- one of the main reasons people do not intervene when mobbing, or worse, happens). So ask others to intervene with you, or step in and trust that the spell of the bystander effect is broken once *one* person is brave enough to step in.

This should be the focus, not banning camera-phones. Because worst case, you can even use them to anonymously call 911. It's a telephone after all.