#FelonCrushFriday—it’s apparently trending, but should it be, really? It all started with a 30-year-old convicted felon who made headlines for his looks rather than his rap sheet.
Jeremy Meeks has become an overnight sensation thanks to what many are calling a sexy mugshot and social media. Within hours of the Stockton Police Department posting his photo and felony charges to their Facebook page, the post went viral—but people weren’t interested in the crimes he allegedly committed, it was his edgy good looks that captivated his new found followers. At the time of this article, it’s received more than 75,000 likes, 20,000 comments and 10,000 shares.
Nevermind that this six-time convicted felon is now facing new felony weapons charges—he’s gorgeous, so it’s ok, at least according to thousands of people (ladies, I’m looking at you) via social media.
Is this really the level we’ve reached as a society? In a country where nearly 20 percent of women will be raped during their lifetime and one in six males will suffer sexual abuse, is it really appropriate to make light of that with comments like “”He can kidnap me anyday… Hold me against my will lol” or “he can beat me and hide my body in the woods anytime”?
To be clear, although some of Meeks’ convictions were for violent crimes, neither his previous convictions nor current charges are rape related. But that doesn’t mean it’s excusable to joke about such things.
According to Rape Abuse Incest National Network (RAINN), 97 percent of rapists never spend a day in jail. As if that wasn’t bad enough, now women are not only saying it’s ok, we’re publicly begging men to brutally ravage us because they look like a Greek god? This isn’t empowering. It’s not cute. It’s not sexy, and most of all it shouldn’t be a punch line.
Rape isn’t defined as an act of love or even desire–in fact, it’s just the opposite. It’s a violent need for control and power. When we, as a gender and culture, joke about such atrocities, victims suffer an even greater loss. According to the FBI, 80 percent of rape victims are under the age of 30.
However, in the weeks following #yesallwomen, a trending topic after at least one publication named a young woman Santa Barbara shooter Elliot Rodger said tormented him as an adolescent, at least some social media users are holding that message close.
— Kane Chattey (@KaneChattey) June 21, 2014
It’s weird how people are making rape jokes about that “attractive” felon but any other day it’s #yesallwomen…..
— Nabreyiaaa (@Carpe_BREim) June 20, 2014
So this request, while seemingly simple, needs to be made: Social media responsibly. Remember the things you say make a difference, and let’s make that difference a positive one: #changeforthebetter.
*These views are my own and do not necessarily reflect those of FOX10 News and/or Lin Media.