Jada, a 16-year-old American girl, is fighting back. She is fighting against the rape culture and victim blaming that sadly still exists in our world. She is fighting against the anonymous trolls who turned her situation into an internet meme. She is fighting for justice, and for the right to her own safety and security.
How did #jadapose become a thing? Are we that vile? No one’s rape, much less a child’s should be a source of buffoonery.
— Priscilla Boakye A. (@BoakyePrisy) July 10, 2014
Let me give you some background… Jada attended a house party with some friends from school in Houston, TX, where her drink was allegedly spiked. She then fell unconscious, was stripped and was allegedly raped. Following this incident, pictures of Jada began to appear online…pictures of her stripped and unconscious…and these pictures soon went viral. Then, to make matters worse, the pictures became somewhat of a “meme,” and other social media users began mocking and mimicking her pose with the hashtag #jadapose. Imagine for a minute what that’s like…
I’m sure most of us can’t.
I cringe when pictures of me appear on social media for fear that they might not be the most flattering, but imagine hearing through the grapevine that there are pictures of you, naked, unconscious, assaulted, all over the internet…completely out of your control.
Now factor in the society we live in: How difficult it is to have charges stick against perpetrators of sexual assault, the re-victimization victims are forced to go through, the obtrusive questions, the victim blaming. Instead of a dialogue around why Jada’s drink was spiked or drugged, the questions suddenly became focused on why she wasn’t watching her drink more closely or why she was at the party in the first place. Before we know it, a rape survivor’s life can be left wide open for us to dissect, not limited to their outfit choices and previous flames. The discussion on the criminal act is sadly shifted completely.
A 16-year-old’s sexual assault became a meme to replicate, and you’re still not sure rape culture exists? #YesAllWomen #jadapose — Cimara Dunn (@cimaradactyl) July 13, 2014
This is, historically, how our society has functioned, and this is what Jada and her supporters are hoping to turn on its head:
Jada waived her anonymity and began tweeting and speaking to the press. Soon, a search for #jadapose would lead to tweets criticizing the mocking, ultimately speaking out in solidarity with the alleged rape victim. The tweets called for justice, a change in the way we see and interpret rape and sexual abuse in our society and a cry of support for not just Jada, but for all the survivors whose stories and experiences have been brushed under the rug.
Police in Houston are now investigating the case and social media sites have removed the original content. Take a look on Twitter using #jadacounterpose and #standwithjada. Maybe send out a tweet yourself and change the discussion around rape in our culture. Help Jada keep the conversation alive.
Why are people victim blaming?! “Why was Jada at a party?” The question should be “Why did some idiots spike and rape her?!” #jadapose
— Lee McGavin (@leemcgavinjoey) July 10, 2014