#Slanegirl and other stories

BACK in the fifties and sixties there was a creature that used to run wild across the streets and villages of Ireland. It ruled the urban and rural landscapes and garnered fear and respect wherever it went. It was known as “The Prude”. The Prude disapproved of just about everything that wasn’t sanctioned by the Church – sex, profanity, naughty dancing – essentially anything that you wouldn’t be able to do on the altar of a Church. Being offended, shocked and horrified was a normal part of the Prude’s day. But you see some people just love being offended, in fact they often go out of their way to achieve it. They are usually nosey creatures who will live their lives vicariously through the lives of others. As I say, they were all over the place in the fifties and sixties, but nowadays they are very much in the minority, forced into hiding by the onslaught of liberalism through the medium of TV, Internet and to a lesser extent, 50 shades of Grey.
What they have been replaced with however, is almost as worrying and certainly as dangerous. When #Slanegirl made her appearance on the internet last week I was surprised (I won’t go as far as to say I was shocked) by the reaction it got. If you’re not familiar with #Slanegirl I will try and explain it as best as I can get away with in a family paper. #Slanegirl (the hashtag is used so that she be accessed easier and faster online, thus speeding up the viral process), was a girl of approximately 16 years of age who was pictured at a concert in Slane last week performing a sex act on a half-naked man child. The image was posted online and spread throughout the online world in a matter of minutes.
Now, before I get back to #Slanegirl, let me first address the phenomena of revelling in other people’s humiliation. It started out with Jeremy Beadle on “You’ve Been Framed” and got progressively worse from there on in. Instead of laughing at people falling off stages or walking into poles, we are now laughing at people getting felt up in nightclubs, or getting sick on street corners. There are a spate of Facebook Pages called “Embarrassing Nightclub Photos” or “Spotted in Waterford”, which have one purpose and one purpose only, to humiliate for the sake of humour. I hope I’m not starting to sound like a prude, as all I’m doing is explaining what the pages are all about.
Anyway, the person who took the picture of #Slanegirl (mustn’t forget the hashtag) must have had a similar feeling to that of Kevin Carter when he saw the vulture landing behind that poor Sudanese baby. They were about to hit the internet jackpot. They could see “thumbs up” sky rocketing before their eyes. And I doubt they would have felt the level of remorse that Kevin Carter eventually did after publishing his photograph of the “Sudden Famine”.
So, the picture was posted and I was expecting waves of revulsion to drown this young, very naïve girl. Instead, for the most part, the opposite happened. People came out in their hundreds to defend her, claiming it was a disgrace that the picture was posted online and now her life would probably be ruined forever. I could only imagine what the prudes would have made of this. Some people even changed their twitter names to “Slane Girl” in support of this latest “internet victim”. People claimed that she was more than likely off her head and just having a good time, definitely not deserving of the public humiliation that was waiting for her. First off, 16 years of age and off her head? Okay, I’m willing to put that down to youthful exuberance. Performing a sex act on a man in public? Well if you were my daughter you’d be locked in a basement for two years and made to watch Disney Films 24-hours a day. However, for those two misdeeds I can’t condone her life being judged and sentenced by an unscrupulous internet populace. But then, she appeared in more pictures and with different men. I didn’t know about anyone else, but my sympathy had packed its bags and left the building.
I don’t condone the posting of the picture online, although I can understand why this fame-hungry E-World caused it to happen. I definitely don’t condone witch-hunts of people who do stupid things and unfortunately find themselves all over the internet. But, I can’t bring myself to defend #Slanegirl, which I guess leaves me sitting somewhere between prude and libertarian. She knew there were cameras on her, but kept doing what she was doing, with more than one man. The Internet will find someone new to pick on this week and #Slanegirl will be forgotten about, and with any luck she’ll have learnt a painful, yet valuable lesson.

The girl in question is...eh...out of shot here. (so to speak)

The girl in question is…eh…out of shot here. (so to speak)


About deisesupes

Creative Writer, part time journalist, part time Graphic Design enthusiast.
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4 Responses to #Slanegirl and other stories

  1. writerlyderv says:

    The issue of #Slanegirl may teach teenagers a lesson about the negative as well as the positive consequences of using social media.

  2. jessy says:

    Its very sad. The girls life is effectively ruined. Worrying as well is the crowd of ‘men’ stood around not one of which had the decency to think ‘that cld be my sister/daughter’ and intervene. The fact that slane boy is seen to be a hero as well sickens me. Very well written article btw

    • deisesupes says:

      Thanks Jessy – you’re right, it’s very sad, the girls family are surely mortified as well. She’s saying that her drink was spiked and she was assaulted…but I find that very hard to believe.

  3. Great article as usual Darren, I missed last weeks paper so just got it here now. She was completely wrong and stupid in what she done, but who hasn’t made a stupid decision in their life, (obviously not on the same scale as her)? She will feel enough remorse and guilt in her own life without having the world of twitter laughing and leering too. Some of the comment/tweets sickened me at the time, it really does show people for what they are.

    “A person is smart, people are stupid”.

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