Thursday, 3 November 2016

Quit using the term victim blaming

While I understand the general philosophy behind the concept of not victim blaming, and while I understand the compassion behind the concept, it's fast losing any relevance.  The problem I have with the words is the gross simplification of any issue it clashes with and the incompetence in which it tends to be used.

If I cross the road and do not look for oncoming traffic, and am hit by a car, am I a victim?  Surely I should take responsibility for my safety and cross when safe to do so.  Equally, it is incumbent on drivers to drive safely.  Last week, within the space of thirty seconds, I watched three women in their twenties narrowly miss life threatening injuries due to luck.  All three women walked behind moving vehicles with no caution taken.  It was a miracle that any walked away from the supermarket.  If kindergarten children can understand how to manage basic road safety situations there is no excuse for adult women to act flagrantly irresponsibly.

If I eat normal food after being told that I have a life threatening food allergy, does that make me a victim?  I contend that it makes me irresponsible and someone who is playing russian roulette with my health and well being.  Should I be classed as disabled if I refuse to engage in therapy known, beyond reasonable doubt, to help and not harm my condition.  I could eat gluten containing bread and moan that I was sick and that society should solve all my ills, or I could grow up and avoid gluten.  I am given the choice by modern medicine, something that I wish I had diagnosed at a younger age.  I do suffer the effects of being diagnosed as a Coeliac as an adult.  This is at times a little heartbreaking but equally I do all in my power to heal my body and improve my strength.

Clearly people are victims at the hands of evil doers.  Yes, I believe in the fight between good and evil, and so do most children, or the Harry Potter series and Narnia series would have never taken off with the enthusiasm they did.  People die at the hands of others that want to harm them.  People are injured by those that want to hurt them.  People are injured by criminal incompetence and complacency.  I grieve for people who are killed while going about their day, not realising that today is their last.

I believe the moral response to the pain of those who suffer the actions of those who commit evil acts is to fight for justice and see that it is done.  The people that use the term victim blaming help no one.  I believe in hating all that is evil and loving that which is good.  Somehow these dialogues miss the need for action and compassion which is not some lovely feeling, rather it is the pursuit of justice, and the fight for good.  While being compassionate we should also expect adults to act responsibly and quit excusing poor behaviour.

The term "victim blaming" is infantilizing and does the individual concerned and our society as a whole no good.  I note that most of the time the term "victim blaming" is used, it is used to keep women and childlike men, in a child like state.  It does not help people recover from trauma, it does not help people process their grief and it gets us no closer to solving complex problems and encouraging responsibility from all of us.







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