Folks have been largely silent on the role of boys and men in all this. Who, exactly, taught this young kid that the right way to treat a girl who likes him is to ask her to perform a sex act in public? (If the rumors are to be believed, she was attempting to win his affection.) Who taught the boy with the camera that they could video record sex acts and upload them to the internet without consent of the principals? Who the hell is the third kid who is just watching? Why is he hanging around while this is happening? Is anyone concerned that the things these boys learned, either explicitly from their peers or implicitly from society?
While the major national US papers seem to be ignoring the story so far–which would be surprising except that the teens involved are African American–there is plenty of coverage in online media. And those articles tend to blame Cole herself or the internet in general. Even if “Cole” is a pseudonym and her twitter feed is fake, the reactions to the story are telling. Few have any harsh words for the boys who filmed her and distributed the video. Here are some particularly troubling headlines: