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

posted 2 weeks ago in The Lounge
Post # 31
111 posts
Blushing bee

A thought to add – I understand the point about discussing precautions that can be taken to try and stay safe. I think what makes many people frustrated (myself included) is that there seems to be a lot of focus on advising women how to “stay safe” vs. dealing with the problem.

Instead of telling women how to not get assaulted, we should be telling men to not assault women (or anyone, obviously)

Post # 33
6673 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2015

peach11 :  I’ve always agreed with your opinion. It’s one thing to call a person a tramp and say she had it coming. It’s another to point out that being out alone isn’t safe. Heck, the comment you’re referring to made it a general point, didn’t say she specifically shouldn’t have been out alone. 

No one should hit my car and I shouldn’t get in a wreck either. But I still wear my seatbelt and so should everyone else. No one should rob my house but I still lock the doors. No one should assault me but I’m not going to walk down a dark alley at 3 AM in the rain without a bra on (I’m looking at you, Mary Jane in Spider-Man). It’s just sensible to take precautions when you know bad people exist. Telling everyone they just shouldn’t behave that way doesn’t stop criminals. And that’s not victim blaming no matter how many precious people scream that it is. 

You can damned well bet I will teach both of my children how to keep themselves safe and how to be decent people, despite the difference in their genders. 

Post # 34
213 posts
Helper bee

According to the FBI crime statistics, men are more likely to be the victims of violent crimes, and women the victims of sexual assault. Neither gender is safe from violence committed largely by other men. 

When someone says “women shouldn’t walk at night alone”, I don’t see that as victim blaming. It’s true. But it would be MORE true to say “no one should walk alone at night. It isn’t safe for either gender.”

Just because women and men believe that men are privileged in that they can walk alone at night, it does not make it true. 

I find it reductionistic to say things like “we should teach men not to rape.”, I think it would be more true to state that we need to teach men and women how to be safe from crimes committed against them by the small but dangerous percentage of predatory men. And those predatory men need to be brought to justice. And fucking castrated. 

Post # 35
446 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2018


Post # 36
550 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2018

peach11 :  We had a high profile case recently of a woman being murdered after walking home late at night by herself, through a dangerous park. 

The police in their statement urged people to avoid walking bythemselves in the dark.  They were absolutely crucified for this statement.  People said that we need to “teach men not to rape and murder instead”.

The murderer ended up coming from a disfunctional family, was autistic and has since been diagnosed a sadist.  This is not a man who just doesn’t know that rape is bad.  This is a man that doesn’t care that rape is bad.  He is a man without a role model to show him how to treat women.  He’s like so many other men who live in a completely different world from those who preach online about telling men to be better.  

I don’t think anyone here would say that she deserved what happened.  I don’t think anyone here would say he doesn’t deserve to be punished.  If she had not walked through that park, the murderer would have found another victim.  But in the spirit of self preservation, I would prefer to be the woman who caught an uber home and arrived alive.  Teaching people self-preservation is not victim blaming.

The “what was she wearing” argument to me is completely different.  What you are wearing doesn’t make it any easier to rape and murder you.  If someone asks this question, they are gauging whether you deserved to be raped or not, which IS victim-blaming, slut-shaming and sexist as heck. 

Post # 37
4330 posts
Honey bee

rosadiaz :  This is exactly what I’m talking about. When comments about safety precautions are taken as victim blaming something is very wrong. If I decided to go dance on the highway and got hit by a drunk driver no one would think twice if afterward people said this is why it’s not a good idea to dance on the highway. No one is going to say that’s victim blaming. But let the crime be rape/assault and all the rules change. Any mention of things the victim did that increased her likelihood of assault (walking alone, late at night, in a dangerous area) is now victim blaming. No one is saying it’s the victim’s fault that she got raped. No one said, well she was asking for it with those sexy clothes she was wearing. But this is the real world. In the real world people do bad things. It makes sense to point out sensible precautions women can take to avoid being in that situation.

I will never forget a thread on this board by a man who was handcuffed naked by his girlfriend and left out for people to find. It was a harrowing experience. But then he went on to say that he met with her again and allowed her to tie him up naked – again. I asked why he allowed her to do that after his prior experience and was accused of victim blaming. Frankly it would have been helpful to know how his mind was working and how he arrived at the decision to allow her to tie him up again in order to take steps to prevent this or other abuse from happening yet again. I dont know if this was a troll thread or not; it certainly pushed the envelope so far as believability.

Why do we indulge in the fantasy that our actions are meaningless and nothing we do can stop people from hurting us? When did we become so underpowered? The only thing you can change in life is your own behavior, so why is it so horrible to say that a change in behavior might prevent you from becoming another crime statistic? It’s like people persist in living in some fantasy world where rules of common sense dont apply. I see this all the time in stories about women who have gotten drunk and been assaulted. As a friend once told me, the assault cases she sees on campus all have one thing in common…the victim was drunk. This is behavior that can be changed but even to insinuate it had anything to do with what happened will bring cries of victim blaming. 

I could go on about this but I think you get my point.

Post # 38
1660 posts
Bumble bee

The term “victim blaming” when tossed out like that is an attempt to shut down the conversation entirely and that, quite frankly, is  bullshit. How things *should* be isn’t going to protect you from someone who doesn’t care about moral right from wrong (which arguably is relative in and of itself) in the moment. Many times there are less risky choices and espousing that mentality is not wrong. It is realistic. Understanding that and then choosing to take the safer option in and of itself can be empowering just the same.

Post # 39
172 posts
Blushing bee

Victim blaming is why so many women never even report their assaults, and that makes us all less safe, so remember that the next time you all feel the need to make unhelpful comments about what the victim could have done to prevent the assault, and try having some empathy and humility instead ✌

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