SEATTLE — Infamous former teacher and child rapist Mary Kay Letourneau died of cancer on Tuesday.
NBC Affiliate King 5 Investigative Journalist Susannah Frame took to Twitter to memorialize Letourneau.
Photo of Mary Kay Letourneau and longtime friend and attorney Anne Bremner. Anne remembers her friend tonight as "one of the most alive people" she'd ever known. She also said Letourneau was a dedicated mother of her two girls and "did everything right by them." pic.twitter.com/4awZsPPikR
— Susannah Frame (@SFrameK5) July 8, 2020
The Tweet had mixed reactions, as some Twitter users found the post to be in poor taste. Yet others appeared to be sympathetic to Letourneau who raped a 12 year old student twice, and likely due to a double standard on child rape.
What does this tweet accomplish??
Do you feel it’s your journalistic duty to rehabilitate the image of a child rapist with glowing quotes about their personality?
Why not tweet a quote from an actual rape victim about how traumatic it is for survivors to see rapists glorified?
— Walker Adamson (@walkertron) July 8, 2020
One less flawed human being like us all.
— Carole R (@RealDeal1009) July 8, 2020
Speak for yourself. The rest of us are nothing like a child rapist.
— Guy Squiggs (@GuySquiggs) July 8, 2020
No matter what she did? Nah, what she did speaks to what she was, a monster who raped a young boy and threw away her children to do it. There's no romance here, just sickening anyone would try to spin it
— Melanie De La Cruz (@Mel_Ociraptor) July 8, 2020
Seven people, including her ex husband who was her direct victim, especially suffering right now. I can only imagine how they’re processing all of this.
— N.V. Mara Czarnecki (@Nickidewbear) July 8, 2020
That’s where some people have life f’d up.The most beautiful thing can be the most ugliest thing in the world and the one who’s not blessed with good looks can be the most beautiful thing because like the Temptations always put it beauty’s only skin deep.????
— Patrick Jackson (@Patrick34520343) July 8, 2020
You’re right ..
— Tina Brown~Ruggiero (@TinaRuggiero) July 9, 2020
And that final Tweet brings up a point. The reaction to Mary Kay Letourneau’s death would have been much more one-sided had it been an instance of an adult male teacher raping a 12 year old female student.
Regardless of gender, children cannot consent. The fact that they had a seemingly on-again off-again relationship after she was released from prison was the product of him being the father of 2 of her children since he was in middle school. He was gaslit into some sort of a relationship being an obligation, which is why it proved toxic.
Yet, people have romanticized this. People have turned out to be Pedo Apologists because reasons.
This may be the one and only time I ever agree with gun-grabber Shannon Watts on anything.
Blocking everyone who defends Mary Kay Letourneau sparks joy. Good riddance.
— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) July 8, 2020