Thursday, February 10, 2011

Blaming the victim

I wrote this for facebook a while back, but it fits here as well.  I was in college at the time, and had recently been sexually assaulted.  I was pretty outraged with how people were acting towards me, as if you wouldn't be able to tell by reading this.

What is the difference between asking for it and blaming the victim? Nothing.
Lets take me for example.
I was not asking for it!  I'm am SO sorry that I trusted him. OMG, you would think that wasn't allowed! Everyone who is getting on people's cases because they were alone with the guy needs to shut up. How dare a girl ever be alone with a guy! They would never trust a guy that well!
Here is some shocking news for you, in a year I will be out of college. Pretty much, I will be in the "real world." In that place, people go over to people's houses. If you trust a guy, you go over to his house and because he doesn't live with his parents, you go over to his place ALONE. Oooohhhh noooooo. Alone!!!!! It is the REAL WORLD. A girl and guy can be friends. A girl should trust a guy well enough to know that when they are alone, she is safe. I was not asking for it. I was NOT stupid.
Stop calling everyone in this position stupid!! Don't say they are naive or need to learn common sense. Maybe it isn't safe if they just met but it still isn't their fault nor were they asking for it.  Why would someone trust another person if they knew they would be hurt? 
But, this is their friend, this is a guy that they trust. There is no reason that they shouldn't be able to be alone together. I don't want to hear any dumb remarks about how they *should* be able to be alone together, but in this day in age, they can't be.  This whole "day in age" business needs to be changed, but that is for another time.  I don't want to hear about how men should not be trusted. I can't believe men aren't offended by this. Every time a man says that, or lets a girl say that, the men are silently saying two things. 1) No, I can't be trusted alone. I cannot control myself, the girl should know that. 2) Now that I have stated that opinion, if I decide to do something, you shouldn't give me a very hard time about it.
There is NO difference between asking for it and blaming the victim. NONE. They are the same thing.
Now, in this day in age, spread the freaking truth! There is no difference between the two. If a girl trusts a guy, she has every right to trust that she can be alone with him.


  1. Hey Mary

    If you think about a lot of the advertising that is out there about how to "avoid" drink spiking, how to "avoid" being assaulted - so much of the message is targetted AT the potential victims.

    It's like, "well, you have to look out for yourselves, you have to arm yourselves against the possibility of being drugged/date raped, you have to ensure never leave your drink unattended, that you never walk down dark alleys at night, etc ... b/c by god, if anything goes wrong, it's your fault b/c you didn't follow the rules"

    Why does advertising not target the perpetrators? The sexual predators? Why does it implicate the victim instead?

    If I were the boss of adland, I would start a whole new advertising campaign that turns the status quo on its head.

    I would stop blaming the victims for their circumstances and tell the perps that what they are doing is ILLEGAL. Often what they do now is spike alcholic drinks with .. more alcohol (proof) so that drugs such as GHB can't be detected.

    Do you ever see any advertising that discourages that kind of behaviour?

    No. I didn't think so.


  2. I know what you mean, there really needs to be advertising about how not to blame the victim. I understand that they want people to be safe, and those messages are aimed at that. It is such a confusing world to be in because it does end up feeling like blame if something does end up happening that you were warned against. I wish there were more prominent ways of telling people that while doing x,y, and z may keep you safe, it isn't your fault nor did you ask for it if it still happens to you (even if you didn't "keep safe")