Thursday, April 25, 2013

V is for Victim-Blaming

Another reader recently said that victim-blaming is “the most reprehensible thing that you can do to a person,” and I’m inclined to agree. Well duh, because I’m writing this post. If I catch you victim-blaming someone, I will kick your ass so hard you’ll be biting my toenails. I will also deliver a scathing but informative lecture about why you shouldn’t victim-blame while I am kicking your ass. It will be a painful teaching moment.

You see, the thing is, when someone rapes somebody, or abuses them, or whatever, there’s only one person you can blame for that, and it’s the person doing the raping or abusing. When somebody gets robbed, you don’t ask them what they were doing keeping a flatscreen TV in the house. If a woman’s husband beats her up, you don’t ask her what she did to provoke him. This isn’t the Middle Ages. If it were, she could probably get away with murdering the twat waffle.

When you blame the victim, it’s as though you’re putting that person through the experience all over again. This may surprise you, but plenty of abusers actually blame their victims for the abuse even as they’re inflicting it. What else are they gonna do, say “Hold still while I give you this beating that you in no way deserve, you likeable, talented, intelligent, beautiful woman?” Of course not. If they fail to make their victims think they’re worthy of abuse, then said victims aren’t gonna stick around and put up with it, are they? Contrary to what some right-wing politicians seem to think, no one likes to be abused.

If you like it, it's not abuse.

It’s hard enough for survivors of trauma to move on with their lives without everyone acting like it was somehow their fault, like they brought it on themselves through their actions or deserved it by putting themselves in that situation, or that they’re just some kind of defective person who attracts only demented psychopaths as if by pheromones. At least one person has told me that victims of abuse – especially victims of childhood abuse – are being punished for the misdeeds of previous incarnations, and so clearly deserve every second of the misery and pain they experience at the hands of their abusers, even if they seem innocent to us lowly mortals. So yeah, I’ve heard it all.

Where'd I put that brick?