This is a classic example of why it is so hard to have the right to choose sexual orientation in America. There is no excuse for Tyler being harassed about something as simple as who he was. Heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, metro-sexual, whatever the preference, the choice was his own. Sadly, not all of the cases of the “who did what to whom” have the Cinderella ending everyone hopes for.
Tyler Clementi fell short of that Cinderella ending and a lot further from the George Washington Bridge in New York.
Throughout time, Americans have been constantly encouraged to be just who they are and are protected through freedom of speech, non discrimination laws, and the right to make our own choices. Do those same rights not apply to individuality? What about our rights to privacy? When will the fact that being different is ok, finally sink in? The truth is, for some of us, it never will.
Our westernized upbringings and ways of life simply will not allow some of us to see the bigger picture or even think outside the box.
Daharun Ravi was one of those people. He thought it was cool to make fun of people who did not grow up with the same values and wealth as he did. “I hate poor people,” he explains in an IM message to Jason Tam, late one evening. He went on to say, in that same conversation, “Fuck My Life/ He’s gay,” as if Tyler Clementi was there to ruin his life through his sexual orientation.
I feel a sense of disgust reading those words knowing that they essentially drove Ravi to the immature and senseless acts of invasion of privacy and harassment that led a bright, young man to take his own life. When I first read this story, I knew immediately that things could have gone a lot different for both parties had they took the time to get to know each other. As roommates in a dorm, the initial sense of privacy is very limited, however, there are mutual compromises that could have taken place o avoid the almost unthinkable outcome that did take place. First, a formal introduction of each other would have been appropriate.
This is the icebreaker session that lets the other roommate know exactly who the other is dealing with. It should include some likes and dislikes as well as what each person is welcome to, providing it belongs to the other roommate (food, soap, electronic, books, etc). Next, keeping in mind that this is a room that will be shared by two young men, the topic of what goes on in that room should have been up for discussion.
Anything done within those shared walls should have been on table if it did not have anything to do with studying or sleeping. It did not matter what the sexual orientation of one or the other was, they should have made an agreement to seek a more private setting, providing they were going to engage in any type of sexual encounters, be they with a man or woman. There are hundreds of places one can go to achieve that same level of privacy as if someone were in the comfort of their own home.
Trust is a sensitive issue for everyone. It is the unknown of who to trust that gets a lot of us in trouble. That, by no means, gives anyone the right to violate the bylaws linked to that trust. This includes our right to privacy. Daharun Ravi violated not only the trust that should have been understood, even if not said out loud, but he took it a step further and violated someone’s right to privacy, multiple times. He agreed to allow Clementi to have company in their dorm room.
He agreed to leave for the time period asked for by Clememti and without saying it he agreed, nonverbally, to allow Clementi a certain level of privacy that included not being spied on or video recorded, no matter what went on in there. If you put that shoe on the other foot, Ravi would have expected the same thing providing he was asking Clementi to leave the room for what can only be assumed as something he did not want his roommate or anyone else to see. This was a hate crime.
From the beginning, Daharun Ravi and the friends he chatted with about Tyler Clementi online and in person, focused solely on the fact that Tyler Clementi was gay and nothing else. I do not believe that Daharun Ravi was not a homophobe. He was exactly that. He recorded Tyler Clementi having a sexual encounter with another man not once, but twice. Ravi made the topic of his Twitter and Facebook conversations of what he experienced through the spying eye of his laptop. He never expressed the fact that any of it was ok with him or that he had no problem sharing a room with him.
He continuously made a spectacle of the fact that Tyler Clementi was gay and preyed on his private lifestyle. The result was Tyler Clementi ultimately taking his own life. It is certain that this could have taken a whole other turn, providing both parties had laid down the law when it came to the dos and don’ts of having a roommate. It would not have been a bad idea for Clementi to speak up for himself either. It certainly makes a difference when that difference is life and death.
Cite this Tyler Clementi vs. Daharun Ravi- Bullie Into Suicide… or Not?
Tyler Clementi vs. Daharun Ravi- Bullie Into Suicide… or Not?. (2016, Oct 06). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/tyler-clementi-vs-daharun-ravi-bullie-into-suicide-or-not/