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Old 08-09-2019, 11:46 PM
Status: "NEVER try to ride the angriest bull in the pen." (set 5 days ago)
 
Location: Dallas, TX
4,130 posts, read 2,154,062 times
Reputation: 3864

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I can give only the barest outline here, for there's far more I can say than what's in this post.

Many people either openly approve or tacitly accept blaming victims more harshly than perpetrators, if they blame the perpetrator at all. In fact, the very word victim has become a kind of pejorative - essentially scorning people who are either too weak or too mentally or socially unskilled to resist the perpetrator. For anyone who thinks we should not engage in such behaviors, this is a discrepancy difficult to justify. Other points are as follows

* In essence, victim-blaming says that it's less excusable to be unable to resist an aggressor, con, or exploiter than to be the aggressor, con, or exploiter themselves (an inversion of our professed values right there).

* This attitude is designed for survival in feast-or-famine unpredictable environments such as the purely Darwinistic Stone Age wilderness, not in Industrial or Digital Age societies, with their greater wealth, education, security, and ways of obtaining resources and types of resources. We modern humans have moved considerably beyond the dog-eat-dog level of physical existence.

* It's a basic misunderstanding of contempt's proper role. Legitimate contempt is limited to use against people who consciously and deliberately set out to hurt, harm, or demean others outside the scope of defense, retaliation, or punishment; not against the target of such unjust acts or expressions.

* Scornful tones supply no useful information, only disapproving sentiments. Actual useful information is facts, reason, and data, and talking with the person, not at the person. No scorn is necessary to convey that information.

* It discourages victims from bringing up the wrongful act (criminal or not), for fear of ridicule simply because they were too weak or naive to resist the harasser, con, bully, puppetmaster, etc. This both further disempowers the victim and is effectively abetting climates in which abuse can flourish in the future.

* It also reduces other (positive) traits the victim may have like kindness, generosity, and being considerate to mere consolation prizes for losers or, at best, boring but admirable traits for winners.

* It is ultimately a macho mindset. It confuses Utopia being impossible with a good reason to handwave away the shabby behavior of the perpetrator. Accepting the "cruel, callous world 'as it is'" is considered manly, gutsy, and smart. Those who object to such long-standing social practices are called girly, naive, and fragile -- willfully ignoring centuries of social progress in many other areas. While it's impossible to eliminate these bad acts and expressions more severe social sanctions against the perpetrator and less "coulda, should, wouldas" against the victims can certainly reduce them, along with stricter policies and laws, well-enforced.

* Assuming that strength, social and practical intelligence, and competence are the main yardsticks to judge a person's worth not only fails to see that these traits are used for evil purposes as well as for good ones, it also fails to see that being weak, socially clueless, lacking in practical intelligence, and incompetence themselves are not a deliberate effort to hurt, harm or demean others.

*These attitudes, if left unchecked, can easily ripple over into our larger culture, and even our political system. The cultural impllications of such attitudes are rarely thought about. Saying that one person deserves blaming, scorn, and ridicule simply because they are too weak, timid, socially or cognitively unskilled, or incompetent implies that those traits alone are the total and complete measure of their very worth as a person. That kind of attitude is inescapably dehumanizing, if not bigoted, and if taken far enough outright tyrannical.

Despite this post's length, this is not an exhaustive list, but I have hit the highlights as to why victim-blaming (i.e. bias against the weak or unsophisticated in some way) actually causes the very problems it seeks to correct.
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Old Yesterday, 04:28 AM
 
484 posts, read 97,829 times
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In these kind of discussions the word victim tends to evoke the worst kind of scenario and the worst kind of scenario elicits the strongest of emotional responses making any kind of reasonable discussion tricky. Yet every situation is different. Some victims bear zero responsibility for what happens to them, whilst others "tempt the fate" by upping the risks that they knowingly take. And sometimes the offender's actions might be mitigated by the circumstances in which the victim had found themself.

The way I see it, good intentions can sometimes blind people to nuances where perhaps a more measured and tailored approach may be a better way forward.
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Old Yesterday, 07:55 AM
 
Location: Brentwood, Tennessee
43,679 posts, read 42,330,771 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil75230 View Post

Many people either openly approve or tacitly accept blaming victims more harshly than perpetrators, if they blame the perpetrator at all. In fact, the very word victim has become a kind of pejorative - essentially scorning people who are either too weak or too mentally or socially unskilled to resist the perpetrator.
This post isn't worth much without examples.
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Old Yesterday, 12:42 PM
 
867 posts, read 210,321 times
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even people who take precautions (as much as they have vital info about) can't predict what can happen to them, go into shock ("freeze") and get hurt.
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Old Today, 05:44 AM
 
3,162 posts, read 1,601,866 times
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If you are encountering people who don't like victims, then you need to find somebody trained on dealing with this. You're everyday Joe and Jane are not trained to think about victims in a certain way.
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