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Monday, May 9, 2011

Slut walk conversation at The Agitator

While Radley Balko's on vacation, various people are guest blogging at his site. Dave Krueger wrote an entry on the Slut Walk topic, which resulted in a really interesting discussion. In reply to a commenter's question “But how can you tell the difference between blaming the victim and acknowledging that women do have some responsibility for protecting themselves?” someone named JOR said:
Everyone has the responsibility to defend themselves, in the purely practical (and trivial, and uninteresting) sense of “responsibility”. What victim-blaming does, is try to conflate this purely practical, trivial, uninteresting sense of responsibility (the sense in which one is responsible for absolutely everything that happens to them, whether by the acts of others or some other forces) with some morally relevant sense of responsibility, or blame (the sense in which violent criminals are wholly and entirely to blame for their crimes, even though in 100% of cases their crimes would not have occurred had their victims been stronger/faster/tougher/more skilled/more vigilant/more knowledgeable/wiser). How to tell whether you’re blaming the victim or simply offering practical (if ill-timed) advice? Well, if you ever find yourself attempting to invalidate a rape victim’s feelings of violation – of having suffered a genuine wrong and injustice – or if, god help you, you ever find yourself waving off a case of rape by insisting that the victim “should have known better” or in any way brought the rape on her (or his) self, then you are not simply offering practical advice, but engaging in honest-to-god all-out victim blaming and rape apologism.
Absolutely right.

1 comment:

  1. As I drove home from the store today and noticed a woman in full head-to-toe Muslim garb walking down the sidewalk. Fortunately she took her responsibility seriously to protect herself least I be uncontrollably motivated to jump out of the car and sexually assault her.

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