Thursday, June 20, 2013

Victim Blaming Needs to Die

I was listening to the radio on the way to work this morning when the morning hosts said something that sent me into a ragey tailspin. The radio went off. I spewed a lot of expletives. There were several entreaties from the fiancé to calm down.

I am still very, very angry.
They were discussing the controversial comments of Serena Williams in regards to the Steubenville incident. If for some reason you haven’t heard the basic story about this and the hellfire that has ensued since, here you go. There was a party. There was underage drinking. An unconscious girl was raped. The guys who participated joked about it in a video on the internet. The guys were convicted. Some people feel sorry them. I don’t.
The particular comment this morning that lit my head on fire was one that’s not new. But it should be dead.

The comment was that the girl should take some of the responsibility for her rape because she was drunk and passed out.


No, simply no. No one should have to live with an expectation that they will be violated if they are incapacitated. Drunk, high, whatever, it shouldn’t matter.
What if it had been a medical condition that rendered her unconscious? Would the answer still be the same? Would people really say, “Oh, well, it’s partly her fault because her blood sugar dropped and she passed out.”

Or she had a seizure. A brain tumor that causes black outs. An allergic reaction to the pretzel bowl.
It doesn’t matter the reason. No one should have to think, “Hmm, if I pass out here, will some person come across me and harm me?”

There is a malfunction in a person who looks at another in a helpless state and thinks it’s okay to rape them. And there is a malfunction in society when we pity the perpetrator and blame the victim.
Lauren Nelson of Cogent Comment wrote a thorough article on the societal issues that cause this sort of thinking here. Author Chuck Wendig has several smart posts about the problem and speaking out here, here, and here. Read them. For real.

Now let’s be sane and kill this idea that a rape victim is partially responsible for what happens to her or him. Because they’re not.

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