Victim Blaming

Sunday, November 03, 2013

I read this article entitled, Nightmare in Maryville: Teens' Sexual Encounter Ignites a Firestorm Against Family, by Dugan Arnett yesterday and by the time I had finished I was disgusted.

Disgusted with the justice system (or the injustice system in this case).
Disgusted with the boys.
Disgusted with the small town mentality.
Disgusted by the entire article.

I don't want to summarize the article for fear that you'll not read the infinitely better-written, fully-formed, massively-researched original.

But what I want to call attention to is this little thing called Victim Blaming.

Victim blaming, according to Wikipedia, first became a phrase in 1971 and was used to describe the phenomena of racists trying to justify their ideologies.

The term is general and can be used for any sort of crime.

"You got robbed? Oh well, you shouldn't have been flaunting your expensive purse."

In this post I'm talking specifically about sexual assault.

Victim blaming is never okay. I don't understand how someone who has the RIGHT to do something, gets blamed for having another asshole do something WRONG to them...but to blame the victim of a sexual assault is absolutely batshit crazy.

Though the US doesn't have such staunch stigmas as other countries towards sexuality - religious or otherwise- it is by no means stigma free.

When someone, especially women, are victims of sexual assault it is usually made to be their fault.

"Well, you did have too many mojitos and your skirt was short. 
What did you think would happen?"

This not only doesn't help ANYTHING it makes things worse because you are focusing on the complete opposite of what you should.

Why is the question not (to the rapist)

"Why did you do it?"

Women have a right to drink.
Women have a right to wear whatever they want.
Women who flirt with you at the beginning of the night and then realize you're a scumbag have the right to refuse you later on.

Rape is rape. It doesn't matter if you're had too much to drink. It doesn't matter if you're in a short skirt. Hey you could be naked and you're still not ASKING for it.

This way of thinking - that the victim should take some sort of responsibility for the pain, emotional and physical, and trauma caused to them is dangerous. By having people blame the victim and say that they are ASKING for it, gives more people an excuse to do it.

To add insult to injury some trial lawyers ask the victim about their sexual history.

If a women did one man, twenty men, on the face of the planet and then rejects just one, who then forces himself onto her, IT IS RAPE.

You just need to say no once.

But this idea that women should be accountable for the crimes that are done to them are absolutely wrong. There are certain precautions women should take but to tell women that if they drink they should be expected to get raped, is not in the same category as preventative measures.

The idea of victim blaming is disgusting because it is putting all of the accountability in the victim and this cannot keep happening, especially with the sexual assault epidemic that is seemingly going around.

What must be done is to look at, and rightfully blame the perpetrator. We are never going to solve, understand, reduce and eliminate sexual assault crimes by blaming the people who have the right to do whatever it is they are doing.

We are not going to stop drinking and stop wearing skirts because men can't handle it. It is the men that commit these crimes that we should be focused on. And they should be persecuted to the full extent of the law when these crimes are committed without taking into consideration the sexual history or the outfit of the women in question.

Some notes:

  • I generalized male rapists vs female rapists because more rapes (against both genders) are done by males. 
  • I can understand, to some extent, why sexual history is questioned. I know that some women wrongfully accuse men of raping them - that however is another matter entirely. I believe in those cases the women should be prosecuted as harshly as possible for time wasted, money wasted, lying/fraud/perjury/whatever, and for the intent of forever ruining a man's life.

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