Because a lot of people who reblog me don’t seem to get it…
Victim blaming is, when there is a harm that involves a victim and a perpetrator, and the perpetrator can choose whether to do this or not (they are aware of what they are doing and it’s not an accident), and instead of blaming their choice to commit a harm, you blame the victim for doing something that tempted the perpetrator.
For example, if you say, “if you walk down a dark street when you’re drunk, you should expect to trip over a loose stone”, that’s not victim blaming, because the only person who can avoid tripping over a loose stone is you. The stone does not have any will to jump up and get in the way of your feet. So, if you walk down a dark street when you’re drunk, and trip over a stone, then it really is your fault.
But if you say, “if you walk down a dark street when you’re drunk, you should expect to be raped”, that is victim blaming. Because you’re saying that something that is 100% in the perpetrator’s hands to control (whether they rape someone or not), is actually influenced by the victim’s actions (being drunk, wearing a short skirt, etc.) You are taking away some of the responsibility from the perpetrator, and saying, in the end, they don’t have 100% control over whether they rape someone, because that person is just “too tempting” or “asking for it”, etc.
That is a lie, and it is unfair, because a rapist (unless it is an issue of completely misunderstood consent or the person is very mentally ill) always has control over whether they rape someone. There is no such thing as “someone who would never normally rape someone, but was tempted so much, they couldn’t help it”. If a rapist chooses to rape someone, then, it is their choice and they should take 100% of the blame for that. Making the victim take the blame for daring to be attractive, or drunk, or in the “wrong place at the wrong time”, is taking away some of the fact that the rapist made the choice to be a raping asshole.
It’s the same with bullying, abuse, or anything else. If you say that someone is “asking for” abuse or harassment by doing something harmless, you are saying, that bullies and abusers don’t have 100% control over their actions. You are saying it’s not really their fault, because the target was so tempting, and that has a magical power over bullies to make them do things that they wouldn’t normally do.
No. Stop. If a bully/abuser chooses to abuse someone, we need to put the full responsbility on them for what they did. Anything less, is giving them an excuse. Anything else, is not recognising that bullying comes from one place: the bully. No one, even if they are “weird”, even if they are mentally ill, even if they have opinions that you hate, does anything to “deserve” bullying and abuse. That is the choice of the bully, so stop pretending that it isn’t.
And yes, “you should expect it” or “you asked for it” is the same thing as saying “you deserved it”, because the idea in all cases is, “you should be the one who takes the responsibility to make this thing stop happening, not the bully/rapist/etc.” It is saying that when a bad thing happens, we should ask the victim, not the abuser, to change their behavior. Because, god knows we can’t ever stand up to abuse in our communities and challenge it to stop, right? That would be hard. But shaming the person who got hurt, that’s easy.
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