Suicide: It Just Never Ends…
On April 16, a 19-year-old young woman named Alyssa Funke took her own life.
She was a straight-A student at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. Pictures of her in a Huffington Post article show a normal, healthy, beautiful young woman, one with dreams and ambitions, a desire to make her life a canvas for her imagination and creativity.
Oh, and she also did porn.
Go ahead. Do a double-take.
Not long before her suicide, Funke appeared in a porn film. Maybe to make money. Or maybe because she felt it was an empowering way to express her sexuality. Maybe for other reasons.
Does it really matter?
Last I checked, ours is a free(ish) country.
My take? She did porn. Big fucking deal.
Unfortunately, not all agree.
The Huffington Post article (see link below) reports that, “after former classmates from her high school in Oak Park Heights, Minnesota, discovered the video, they began sending her abusive messages through Twitter and Facebook.” Over time, the cyberbullying grew increasingly more disturbing and intense.
Clearly anguished and seeing no other way out, Alyssa decided to end it all.
This is wrong on so many levels, I don’t even know where to begin.
To say that our culture views men and women differently would elicit a “No shit” reaction from most people. This is especially–and sadly–true when it comes to the sensitive topic of sexuality.
(Why it remains sensitive in the first place is in itself a topic for discussion)
For men, pretty much anything goes. The more they fuck, the better. It is seen as a sign of strength, virility, and an affirmation of their expected dominant, alpha male, macho role.
For women? Not so much.
Women are expected to be tame. Submissive. Any woman who dares to step beyond those (completely arbitrary) boundaries is labeled “slut,” “whore,” or much, much worse.
Funny (or not) thing is? Women were not always in a subservient position sexually. In many ancient cultures, women were revered, even worshipped, as conduits of the Divine. Being initiated into sex with a woman was seen as a profoundly spiritual act, a very, very sacred gift to be honored and received with deep gratitude. (Please don’t get me wrong–I have ZERO moral/ethical objections to people having sex just for the fun of it. Just saying that it used to mean something more.)
So what the fuck happened?
This isn’t the place or time to answer. It goes without saying that somewhere along the line, it all went terribly wrong.
Men became the standard of perfection. Their needs, wants, and desires were now paramount above all else. Worse, they were taught–by religious leaders, by parents, by their culture–that their role was that of dominating, subjugating, and brutalizing women.
And if a woman dared to assert herself–creatively, intellectually, and–gasp–sexually?
A witch! BURN HER!
(…Well, not always. But you get the point.)
Let me be unambiguous: there is nothing wrong with what Alyssa Funke did. If it was something she did with full consent and awareness, more power to her.
And those who bullied her into the grave? I’m willing to bet that many of them were secretly into porn themselves.
“Hypocrisy” doesn’t even begin to cover it.
Because of their ignorance and sheer lack of compassion, a beautiful young woman is dead. One who had her entire life ahead of her. She had every right to make it a life of creative expression, abundance, joy, and love.
Instead, she is gone.
Alyssa, wherever you are…Rest in peace. And be well.