Are you a victim?
Guess what: it’s your fault.
Sound familiar? It should. It’s a widely held belief running rampant throughout all of America. I can’t speak much for other countries since I’ve never travelled, but ironically, it was America’s response to news coming from Afghanistan of the stoning of adulterers becoming legalized that got my attention.
Whether or not it becomes legal isn’t the point. The point is – they stone their victims. If a woman is raped, they consider it the woman’s fault. And they stone her for adultery if she was married. If she wasn’t married, then she’s just shamed and will never be married but will be shunned and mistreated. Oh, and whipped 100 times.
No big deal.
Honestly, I couldn’t care less about race or nationality or even gender. We’re all human. Why isn’t that enough?
But America stones women too. They don’t literally stone them. They just label them criminal. Tell them it’s their fault. Use shame to keep them quiet, make them feel unimportant, useless, stupid, like it’s their own fault. As if this rape thing, this physical abuse thing, this forced whatever thing, it’s not only their own fault, it’s also something that happens all the time and they should get over it.
Besides – they’re lucky right? Lucky they’re not dead.
Right, because the fact that they didn’t die makes them lucky to be raped and/or abused.
Blaming the victim isn’t reserved to rape. It spans many criminal activities. And a lot of people accept that this is true. But guess what? A man gets raped, do you think he wants to go tell someone to take his statement – tell them exactly what the rapist did to him and/or forced him to do?
I don’t think so. But my ‘thinking so’ isn’t unproven. Its factual. Many victims feel too ashamed to go to the authorities. Or even tell anyone.
Being a victim doesn’t go away. It festers. It gets worse. It burrows into your subconscious and ruins you there too.
Yet we do nothing about it. We sweep it under the rug. We shy away from it. Don’t want to talk about it. It’s a sensitive subject. Better to let it go. Right?
Pretty sad if you ask me. We’re telling people 2 things which are very wrong, damaging, and damning for humanity in general.
ONE. If you are a victim, it’s your fault you were victimized. You did something wrong which caused you to be victimized. Don’t bother trying to get help. We’ll highlight and magnify your feelings of isolation and shame and use them to silence you. You are not worth helping. You’re not a real victim.
TWO. If you victimize someone, we aren’t going to do anything to you. They probably deserved it anyway.
The sad truth is, no one is doing much about this. Victims are shushed with shame and brushed under the rug. And everyone looks the other way, or helps this victim blaming society along.
A few years ago, it started surfacing that people were filming or standing around and watching people get beaten to death and raped. They did nothing. They watched.
Is this fun to you? Is it entertainment? Is the world so desensitized that it honestly doesn’t care about the victims? You know – other human beings.
The strong have the responsibility to keep those who are weaker safe when they’re given the choice between helping, hurting, or ignoring.
The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference. The opposite of art is not ugliness, it’s indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it’s indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, it’s indifference.
– Elie Wiesel
If a man stalks and rapes you – it is not your fault. Your beauty, the fact that you wear makeup and the fact that you do not walk around covered from head to toe, is not a reason for him to rape you. It is not an excuse. It is not okay.
If a woman murders your brother – it is neither your fault nor his. The fact that you disagreed with something this murderer believed, your refusal to play into her fantasy, your refusal to give this woman everything she threatened you for, it is not a reason for murder. It is not an excuse. It is not okay.
If you chose to ignore or blame a victim who is right in front of you, when you are capable of helping them – you are a victimizer.
SHAME TO KEEP YOU QUIET
Most people choose not to even voice their opinion on this subject. Why? Because they have to be afraid of people threatening to rape them and/or their loved ones. Some even have to worry about someone actually raping them. Because no one would murder over an opinion on women. Just rape them. You know, no big deal. Just shut them up.
There’s been an uproar of people coming out, speaking out and going against this lately and I love it. I wrote this post a year ago and figured I shouldn’t bother to post it, because honestly, I don’t want to deal with the nasty crap that it would spark. The people who know nothing but to threaten, bully and intimidate.
But read the article, On Rape and Repugnance by Brian Keene, it’s awesome. And more people are talking about this. It kind of restores my faith in people.
If you’re a victim, don’t hide, don’t feel ashamed. More people feel this way than you realize.
Just look at the #YesAllWomen tweets that popped up all of a sudden. Yeah, there’s issue over how it started and who came up with it. But if you knock it off with the whole, “look for any negative aspect you can-thing”, and LOOK AT WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING, you’ll see it.
America (and this goes for other countries, I’m sure) stones women too.
And people are tired of it.
The only difference is, we don’t use physical stones. Instead, we used subtly.
So, to all you men and women who stand up for others, thank you. For those who don’t look the other way, thank you. For those who have the courage to help people instead of sweep their terror under the rug, thank you. Those in places of power who use their power to help those in need of it, thank you. For those who look at things in terms of human suffering instead of political votes and/or statistics, thank you. For those who don’t think “rape” is a funny word or the subject of a good joke, thank you. To all men and women who are not misogynists, thank you.
What do you think?