Are people too quick to point the 'victim blaming' finger?

posted 2 weeks ago in The Lounge
Post # 2
Member
407 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2019

peach11 :  I can understand what you are saying, but at the same time, walking alone at night IS someone’s right, as it is a male’s right to walk alone at night. I’m not sure if a male was assaulted or robbed that people would jump so quickly to say he shouldn’t have been out at night. I personally walk my dogs in the neighborhood at night because, well, the have to do their business before bed, I don’t have the luxury of calling someone to go with me and I still live by myself during the week (taking my time moving into my husband’s home) and I’ve lived alone for many years so single women can’t always be out with someone. 

Post # 3
Member
2904 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

vanessalynn22 :  when we were young and stupid my husband (boyfriend at the time) went out with his mate on Christmas Eve. They were out so late they missed the last bus and there were no taxis in sight. The idiot drunk boy decided to hope over the gate of a local park and walk across is in the pitch black! When he told me about it I read him the riot act about being so stupid! Anything could have happened in that park at night. Knife crime is a real issue in London and it was one of the most stupid things he has ever done. So men do get told not to take stupid risks at night.

 

i can see where OP is coming from. As much as it is my right to walk alone at night I do take precautions of keeping to lit paths. Living in the UK it gets dark early here in winter so you can’t avoid walking alone in the dark. It’s dark by 4pm here.

Post # 5
Member
407 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2019

peach11 :  Ah, yes. I agree, if I was out with friends and somehow there was no way to get home but walking I would definitely recommend that we walk together and stay in one place. I think there is just a fine line between advising precautions and victim blaming. In my opinion, once an assault happens, it makes little sense to say she shouldn’t have been out, what’s done is done and nobody knows the circumstances that led to her being alone at night. However, before an assault happens I would 100 percent advise someone to refrain from walking alone!

Post # 6
Member
5775 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: July 2018

Eh I understand where you are coming from but I don’t think I agree.  I actually think people are quick to victim blame.  If there is a sexual assault the first thing people ask is “Where was she? Had she been drinking? Was it dark? Was she alone? What was she wearing?”.

Personally I think this line of thought really diminishes how serious sexual violence is and it makes it seems like there were easy steps to take and then she would not have been raped.  It is a total straw man argument considering most women are raped by people they know and trust not by a predator in a dark alley. 

You say you just want to advise people to take precautions but what precautions exactly? If a women was raped walking home from work in the dark at 7pm would the onus still be on her to protect herself better? Or what about a dark carpark after a twilight shift as a nurse?  Or is it only their responsibility if it involves being in a bar?

Yes there are steps people can take to protect themselves, but to make it seem like a women walking alone is just making it easy to be raped doesn’t do anything to help women or their safety. 

Post # 7
Member
290 posts
Helper bee

I think there’s a big difference between someone saying “This is why you shouldn’t walk home alone” and “This is why it’s not safe to walk home alone.” 

One is a judgement, the other is an observation. 

Post # 9
Member
2904 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

peach11 :  i re read the statement the person made and I agree I don’t think she was putting any blame on the victim. It was more ‘you can take all the precautions but there are shitty dicks out there who make it unsafe’

 

even so, the nasty comments she got in response are not ok. Two wrongs don’t make a right.

Post # 10
Member
1834 posts
Buzzing bee

Twizbe :  I agree.

peach11 :  Re: locking cars – oh believe me, plenty of “don’t blame the victim blame the criminal” going on in my area. I live in an extremely low crime area, almost a Mayberry vibe, but thieves travel. We have had a rash of items being stolen from unlocked cars this year, and a few people had their car stolen as well. The car thefts were cases where people left their KEYS in the car.

There has been a lot of discussion about this on my neighborhood app, and when someone dares suggest that people take precautions, others jump on the “don’t blame the victim” wagon. Nobody deserves to be stolen from, but c’mon people. Take your expensive shit inside, don’t leave your keys in there, and lock the damn thing! This is just common sense to me, especially when it’s happened so much that police have put up signs around the area that say “Lock it or Lose it.”  I have lived here for 10 years, and for the police to take this step says a lot.

 

Post # 11
Member
967 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

I think you have raised a valid question. I grew up in a time when almost everyone thought rape was the victim’s fault. You were either to blame because you dressed or behaved “provocatively” or you had violated some basic safety rule such as being out at night. I can remember a newspaper article about a woman raped by someone who grabbed her in the parking lot of a bar and after reading it, one of my female relatives said, “It just goes to show…she has no business going to a bar…alone”

These attitudes were driven by sexism, or course, but also gave women a false sense of security. I think women would reassure themselves that they had some control by picking out something the victim did. Then they could tell themselves rape would never happen to them because they would never take the same risks.

So for me it’s hard to talk about safety precautions because I know how often these are turned around and used as a club to blame the victim. There are entire cultures where women don’t leave the house without a male relative escort, and the supposed reason is to “protect” women. When someone suggested to Israeli prime minister Golda Meir that there should be a curfew on women to protect them from rape, she responded that there should be a curfew on men, they’re the ones doing the raping.

What does it mean for women not to be out at night anyway? What is the magic hour when we should be inside? It is getting dark before 5 now where I live. 

With that said, all of us make choices to limit our own freedom based on the perceived risk we will tolerate. In the summer, when it is light outside, I go on long walks and bike rides in the evening. During the fall, and winter, all of my walks are in the morning or afternoon. I am afraid to walk in the dark in my neighborhood, even though I certainly have every right to do so. I can’t see my surroundings, people in cars and houses can’t see me, and if someone did want to harm me, I think the cover of darkness would make it a lot easier to do so.

Even during the day, I am very conscious of whether I am walking in an isolated area without people around. When teaching my daughter how to navigate the city, I told her to stay on the main road, not to take shortcuts behind buildings or through alleys. 

So yeah, there has to be a way to talk about safety without it turning into victim blaming.

 

Post # 12
Member
9057 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

“This is why it’s not safe to be out alone. Poor poor woman I hope they find out who is responsible”.

This isn’t victim blaming. This is pointing out and reiterating for the idiots in the back who do victim blame that we as a society have a huge problem with assaults against women and is why we caution and look out for each other over activities that put us at higher risk of assault. The not safe part has zero to do with the woman in this equation and everything to do with the male but alas until the men that think this is ok learn that it isn’t ok to act like this towards anyone (female or male) then the onus will unfairly fall on women to protect ourselves and each other.

It’s bullshit. It is why being politically aware is important because those are the people that make the laws and appoint the judges that keep being lenient on sexual assaults against women.

 

peach11 :  

Post # 13
Member
8278 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

peach11 :  that woman was victim blaming and probably didn’t intend to but that’s why it’s important to call out. The only way it stops is when people are educated about the subtle ways they are in fact blaming the victim. We had a post recently on our community page about some car break ins and one of the top questions was “well was it locked?” Apart from the fact that it’s super easy to break into a locked car making that a moot point so what if it wasn’t? Sometimes people have their hands full or are distracted by kids and forget. I absolutely called that person out for victim blaming. 

Post # 14
Member
172 posts
Blushing bee

Sounds like victim blaming even if she thought she was meaning well. People don’t like to think the universe is random and that bad things happen to good people so they will try to find some reason why the victim “deserved” what happened to reassure themselves that it wouldn’t happen to them. Which is BS and not helpful to anyone. Like, gee thanks Karen I never knew this world is dangerous for women before, now that I’m aware I will stay locked in my tower. 🤦‍♀️

Post # 15
Member
300 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2019

I know I take precautions when I do everything. We have to now a day’s because there are nut jobs in everypart of the world. When I was younger, nope not so much. I did stupid things as a teenager. But as I am older and the world is getting sicker by the minuate and I am vigilant. Everyone should be able to walk down the street by themselves without something happening, but the world isn’t like that anymore (unfortunatly). So we as humans have to protect ourselves as much as possible against these wackjobs. It’s totally not the poor women’s fault she was a victim it’s the sick person’s fault for doing such a terrible thing. I don’t thing she was victim blaming at all, I know for sure that it’s “not safe to be out alone” because it’s not, and the reason why is because there are sicko’s in this world and this world is not safe. 

Leave a comment


Find Amazing Vendors