Monday, October 3, 2011

She was an American Girl...

"American Girl" could likely be the theme song to Amanda Knox life. The woman, arrested and charged for the murder of her roommate in Perugia, several years ago, was acquitted today at just about 10:00pm Italy time.

The road for her has been long and exhausting. And it's the story that any American girl could have found herself a part of--if they were in Amanda Knox situation.

In 2008, I studied abroad in Rome, Italy. Prior to going, I had not known the aggressiveness of European culture or the many cultural differences that there are--In fact, that's why I went--to find out. But what I learned, rather, was that many men can be very confusing with young women---young women who can be persuaded by good looks and a romance language--young women who can easily be swooned by a twinkle in an eye, and a shiny vespa to ride on the back of--young women who have never ventured outside of their American state...young women who are too trusting.

Even when I returned to live in Italy, I found myself on a date with a young Italian man in a small city outside of Florence--Brisighella--a man who I had met through And while I admit it was not my best choice--or my brightest moment, I felt okay at the time. This does show--just how naive we can be--even after having lived there, previously. Nothing happened to me--and it turned into a lovely day, at a wonderful Truffle Festival, in a beautiful city, but who knows what could have happened to me. We just NEVER know. And that's why we take chances and go with our gut. Knox never looked back when she pranced into a police office to discuss what happened to her roommate, because by all evidence, she had nothing to be worried about--she clearly was not there.

I have MANY Italian friends...and so did Amanda Knox...but it's easy to misunderstand--with a language barrier, and it's easier to be taken advantage of by strangers--just as it would be for someone in America who isn't fluent in English--or for a Russian in France, who doesn't know French. Anywhere that there is a language barrier and that there is someone who is relatively new to a place--there is likely to be some sort of misunderstanding. It can happen in foreign countries--and it can happen in our own cities.

So when Knox was taken in for questioning, following her roommate being found dead, it's no wonder she was coerced into a "confession," and it's no wonder that she was soon made out to appear as a "Foxy, Knoxy"--a name she had actually picked up by being good at soccer, not by being a sexy young woman in America.

Looking back at the entire trial--the entire four years that this has gone on, it is CLEAR as day that this could have just as easily been any other American girl--any person I studied abroad with--any American I met when I lived there recently--or even me. Many people will say that Knox was dumb--silly--stupid--naive. But I firmly believe that in ANY case in a foreign country, anyone would come off as dumb, silly, stupid, and naive--especially when language is a barrier--when a translator is feeding words into your mouth--when police officers are forcing you to believe something happened the way they want it to appear it happened, and when the MEDIA is hounding you and creating a persona for you that you never once filled at home.

Reading Twitter feeds today and Facebook statuses, it is still unbelievable to me that many of the people commenting are unaware of the man who has actually confessed to the murder--the man who convinced police that Knox was there--in order to lessen his own years in jail--the man who's footprint was left in the blood--and who's feces were left in the toilet. But it is NOT unbelievable to me that an American girl got caught in the trial of such could have been any of us.

Welcome back to the states, Knox. Salute.

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