History UsefulNotes / VictimBlaming

25th Jul '16 9:51:06 AM PugBuddies
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*** Furthermore, there is the [[FridgeHorror unsettling fact]] that no crime or misfortune is 100 percent preventable. Carrying a weapon (lethal or nonlethal) ''can'' allow a victim to fight off an attacker, but there are a hundred different ways that an attempt at self-defense can be thwarted. Pepper spray can simply not work. Guns can miss. Or the attacker could be armed as well. While suggesting potential victims arm themselves is good advice, one should never, ever, '''ever''' write off a crime with "You should have been carrying mace/a gun/that katana I gave you last Christmas." '''Even if the victim ''had'' been prepared at the time of the attack, that is no guarantee the crime would have been prevented.'''

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*** Furthermore, there is the [[FridgeHorror unsettling fact]] that no crime or misfortune is 100 percent preventable. Carrying a weapon (lethal or nonlethal) ''can'' allow a victim to fight off an attacker, but there are a hundred different ways that an attempt at self-defense can be thwarted. Pepper spray can simply not work. Guns can miss. Or the attacker could be armed as well. While suggesting potential victims arm themselves is good advice, advice [[note]] and people who do this should NOT be automatically vilified as "victim shamers" [[/note]] , one should never, ever, '''ever''' write off a crime with "You should have been carrying mace/a gun/that katana I gave you last Christmas." '''Even if the victim ''had'' been prepared at the time of the attack, that is no guarantee the crime would have been prevented.'''
25th Jul '16 9:16:10 AM PugBuddies
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to:

*** Furthermore, there is the [[FridgeHorror unsettling fact]] that no crime or misfortune is 100 percent preventable. Carrying a weapon (lethal or nonlethal) ''can'' allow a victim to fight off an attacker, but there are a hundred different ways that an attempt at self-defense can be thwarted. Pepper spray can simply not work. Guns can miss. Or the attacker could be armed as well. While suggesting potential victims arm themselves is good advice, one should never, ever, '''ever''' write off a crime with "You should have been carrying mace/a gun/that katana I gave you last Christmas." '''Even if the victim ''had'' been prepared at the time of the attack, that is no guarantee the crime would have been prevented.'''
23rd Jul '16 11:02:12 PM MasterofGalaxies4628
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This page is an overview of the concept of "victim blaming," for those who want to know more about victim blaming in a meta sense for their own writing (and for possibly avoiding it [[UnfortunateImplications if it's unintended]] or being more aware in its use if it's intended) or for understanding the concept of victim blaming in RealLife to some extent. If you want to see ONLY fictional examples or examples of how victims are blamed in fiction, please go to GoodVictimsBadVictims.

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This page is an overview of the concept of "victim blaming," for those who want to know more about victim blaming in a meta sense for their own writing (and for possibly avoiding it [[UnfortunateImplications if it's unintended]] or being more aware in its use if it's it ''is'' intended) or for understanding the concept of victim blaming in RealLife to some extent. If you want to see ONLY fictional examples or examples of how victims are blamed in fiction, please go to GoodVictimsBadVictims.



This is often a BerserkButton and can be a [[UsefulNotes/{{Trigger}} trigger]], especially for people who have had or who know someone who has had experiences similar to a blamed victim.

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This is often a BerserkButton and can be a [[UsefulNotes/{{Trigger}} trigger]], UsefulNotes/{{trigger}}, especially for people who have had or who know someone who has had experiences similar to a blamed victim.



* Victim blaming comforts you by reassuring you that bad things only happen to people who 'deserve' it because they didn't 'do the right thing': '''"People choose to become victims."'''
* Victim blaming gives you the illusion of control over your fate, giving you hope that bad things won't happen to you if you 'do the right thing': '''"I can't be a victim because I choose not to be one."'''

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* # Victim blaming comforts you by reassuring you that bad things only happen to people who 'deserve' it because they didn't 'do the right thing': '''"People choose to become victims."'''
* # Victim blaming gives you the illusion of control over your fate, giving you hope that bad things won't happen to you if you 'do the right thing': '''"I can't be a victim because I choose not to be one."'''



* Bad things happen to people who don't 'deserve' it: '''"People have no choice in becoming victims."'''
* Even if you 'do the right thing', bad things could still happen to ''you'': '''"I could be a victim."'''

We are not instinctively rational beings which decide what to believe on the basis of rational thought. Instead, we instinctively use our reasoning to justify what we believe already. Belief in victim blaming offers us such great comfort and hope, and abandoning it would give us cause to fear. Accordingly, [[ConfirmationBias we remember information which justifies our belief in it and ignore or reject information which inspires doubt]]. The factual invalidity of victim blaming is irrelevant: if we wanted to do so badly enough, we could keep believing in it forever.

to:

* # Bad things happen to people who don't 'deserve' it: '''"People have no choice in becoming victims."'''
* # Even if you 'do the right thing', bad things could still happen to ''you'': '''"I could be a victim."'''

We are not instinctively rational beings which decide what to believe on the basis of rational thought. Instead, we instinctively use our reasoning to justify what we believe already. Belief in victim blaming offers us such great comfort and hope, and abandoning it would give us cause to fear. Accordingly, [[ConfirmationBias we remember information which justifies our belief in it and ignore or reject information which inspires doubt]]. The factual invalidity of victim blaming is irrelevant: if we wanted to do so badly enough, [[IRejectYourReality we could keep believing in it forever.
forever]].

Using victim blaming InUniverse to [[EstablishingCharacterMoment establish a character]] and avoiding or challenging it are the most obvious two for which most writers may find some use. Let's look at using it to establish a character first:



* Blaming the victim for reacting negatively to hurtful things said to them/about them by telling them that they need to suck it up or that the hurtful things that were said was not meant to be taken seriously.
* Blaming a DomesticAbuse victim for somehow provoking their abuser into violence. [[UsefulNotes/{{Abuse}} Abusers]] themselves are often known to say things like "WhyDidYouMakeMeHitYou" to portray their actions as NeverMyFault.

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* Blaming the victim for reacting negatively to hurtful things said to them/about them by telling them that they need to suck it up or that [[JustJokingJustification the hurtful things that were said was not meant to be taken seriously.
seriously]].
* Blaming a DomesticAbuse victim for somehow provoking their abuser into violence. [[UsefulNotes/{{Abuse}} Abusers]] UsefulNotes/{{Abuse}}rs themselves are often known to say things like "WhyDidYouMakeMeHitYou" to portray their actions as NeverMyFault.
[[NeverMyFault never their fault]].



* Blaming someone experiencing a misfortune for not having a consistently positive and thankful mental attitude, not praying enough/not being devoted enough/not thanking enough or not being submissive enough to a authority the blamer values, such as a parent, leader, spouse, etc.

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* Blaming someone experiencing a misfortune for not having a consistently positive and thankful mental attitude, not praying enough/not being devoted enough/not thanking enough or not being submissive enough to a an authority the blamer values, such as a parent, leader, spouse, etc.



* Saying that "true victims / survivors" only act in a certain prescribed way. Saying that someone's feelings are not legitimate because they are expressed in even a way normally connected to a stereotype or fakery is blaming them for not expressing their feelings "properly."
* Questioning the reactions of a victim, also known as the "Why didn't you do something different?" argument. This is a common question in real life, partly because most people would prefer to think that they, in a similar situation, would handle it logically or rationally in such a way that would prevent or end whatever victimization occurs. This comes up often in cases of abuse of all types, but the core idea is that the victim ''could'' have done something to stop it, thus it's their own fault for letting it happen.
** It should be noted that the phrase "fight or flight instinct", referring to the adrenaline rush that gives people the necessary energy and strength to run from danger or fight off a threat, is over-simplified, leading some people to think that not fighting or escaping means that there was no survival instinct and thus the victim didn't really feel threatened and thus allowed themselves to be victimized. The more correct idiom would be "fight, flight, or ''freeze''". It's an equally valid instinct to simply wait for the attack to end in order to walk away alive, especially against an attacker who is likely to be further provoked by resistance. It may sound counter-intuitive, but there are times when the safest and smartest thing a person can do to survive an attack is to do nothing at all.

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* Saying that "true victims / survivors" "[[NoTrueScotsman true victims/survivors]]" only act in a certain prescribed way. Saying that someone's feelings are not legitimate because they are expressed in even a way normally connected to a stereotype or fakery is blaming them for not expressing their feelings "properly."
* Questioning the reactions of a victim, also known as the "Why didn't you do something different?" argument. This is a common question in real life, partly because most people would prefer to think that they, in a similar situation, would handle it logically or rationally in such a way that would prevent or end whatever victimization occurs. This comes up often in cases of abuse of all types, but the core idea is that the victim ''could'' have done something to stop it, but ''didn't'', thus it's their own fault for letting it happen.
** It should be noted that the phrase "fight or flight instinct", referring to the adrenaline rush that gives people the necessary energy and strength to either run from danger or fight off a threat, is over-simplified, leading some people to think that not fighting or escaping means that there was no survival instinct and thus the victim didn't really feel threatened and thus allowed themselves to be victimized. The more correct idiom would be "fight, flight, or ''freeze''". ''[[TakeAThirdOption freeze]]''". It's an equally valid instinct to simply [[DeerInTheHeadlights wait for the attack to end in order to walk away alive, alive]], especially against an attacker who is likely to be further provoked by resistance. It may sound counter-intuitive, but there are times when the safest and smartest thing a person can do to survive an attack is to do nothing at all.



Avoiding or challenging victim blaming and using victim blaming InUniverse to establish a character are the most obvious two for most writers may find some use.



* There are many forms of victimization that don't "just happen" to people; they have a perpetrator, someone who actively harms someone else. Writing characters or situations where someone has invited retribution on themselves may make for good drama, but drawing a connection between someone murdering puppies and then being sexually violated by an unrelated stranger is at best lazy writing and at worst evokes ValuesDissonance. We love to see a bad person get punished, but the punishment should come from the consequences of their actions, not whatever misfortune would best pay off their karmic debt. Doing otherwise insinuates both that other victims of similar events must have done ''something'' to deserve it, and can create ugly DoubleStandard[=s=]; avoiding it keeps the trauma dramatically viable for other characters.

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* There are many forms of victimization that don't "just happen" to people; they have a perpetrator, someone who actively harms someone else. Writing characters or situations where someone has invited retribution on themselves may make for good drama, but drawing a connection between someone murdering puppies and then being sexually violated by an unrelated stranger is at best [[TheyJustDidntCare lazy writing writing]] and at worst evokes ValuesDissonance. We love to see [[LaserGuidedKarma a bad person get punished, punished]], but the punishment should come from the consequences of their actions, not whatever misfortune would best pay off their karmic debt. debt ([[YouPutTheXInXY that's what puts the "Laser" into]] LaserGuidedKarma, and why it's not called "Random-Ass Unguided Karma"). Doing otherwise insinuates both that other victims of similar events must have done ''something'' to deserve it, and can create ugly DoubleStandard[=s=]; {{Double Standard}}s; avoiding it keeps the trauma dramatically viable for other characters.






*** And a nasty DoubleStandard version of the "universal consent" fallacy centers around male victims of rape as well - when AManIsAlwaysEager becomes "universal consent," e.g. that ''simply by being male and present,'' one must want any and all sex that doesn't involve anal penetration by another male, and this is often paired with the NotIfTheyEnjoyedItRationalization. For example, a young teenage boy who is molested by a female teacher may well get blamed and demanded to take responsibility for ruining ''her'' life/getting her pregnant/initiating the "relationship," never mind that it was the teacher's responsibility to understand the boy wasn't a consenting adult and was therefore off limits, nor that the student may have been horribly scarred / traumatized from this unwanted experience.
* Be careful with the words "You're just asking for it!" and "You bring it on yourself", because no one ever is. Unless someone is deliberately harming or violating the rights of others (and no, no one has the right to be exist in a perfect vacuum where they never have to hear or see anything objectionable), they are not doing anything that gives those others the right to punish or retaliate against them. An intelligent being (or a group of intelligent beings) that presents a danger to others because of their intolerance does ''not'' mean that anyone they choose not to tolerate is "asking for it". Doing this holds the victim responsible for the behavior of the perpetrator, and absolves the perpetrator of being responsible for their own behavior. Unless the perpetrator is a very small child, a mindless animal, or otherwise mentally compromised, their inability to behave properly is no one's fault but their own.

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*** And a nasty DoubleStandard version of the "universal consent" fallacy centers around [[DoubleStandardRapeFemaleOnMale male victims of rape as well well]] - when AManIsAlwaysEager becomes "universal consent," e.g. that ''simply by being male and present,'' one must want any and all sex that doesn't involve anal penetration by another male, and this is often paired with the NotIfTheyEnjoyedItRationalization. For example, a young teenage boy who is molested by a female teacher may well get blamed and demanded to take responsibility for ruining ''her'' life/getting her pregnant/initiating the "relationship," never mind that it was the teacher's responsibility to understand the boy wasn't a consenting adult and was therefore off limits, nor that the student may have been horribly scarred / traumatized scarred/traumatized from this unwanted experience.
experience.

* Be careful with the words "You're just asking for it!" and "You bring brought it on yourself", because no one ever is. Unless someone is deliberately harming or violating the rights of others (and no, no one has the right to be exist in a perfect vacuum where they never have to hear or see anything objectionable), they are not doing anything that gives those others the right to punish or retaliate against them. An intelligent being (or a group of intelligent beings) that presents a danger to others because of their intolerance does ''not'' mean that anyone they choose not to tolerate is "asking for it". Doing this holds the victim responsible for the behavior of the perpetrator, and absolves the perpetrator of being responsible for their own behavior. Unless the perpetrator is a very small child, a mindless animal, or otherwise mentally compromised, their inability to behave properly is no one's fault but their own.



-> This page is, of course, ''all your fault''. How could you? Huh? And after all we did for you!

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-> ->[[TheStinger This page is, of course, ''all course]], ''[[TheStinger all your fault''. fault]]''. [[TheStinger How could you? Huh? And after all we did for you!you]]!
25th Jun '16 1:11:23 PM LordGro
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"Victim blaming" is, simply put, the concept of [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin placing the responsibility for a misfortune primarily or entirely on the victim of the misfortune]]. When "victim blaming" is referred to, it almost always refers to when someone hurt by someone or something ''did not actively contribute to the misfortune'' and is still being blamed for their own misfortune.

to:

"Victim blaming" is, simply put, the concept of [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin placing the responsibility for a misfortune primarily or entirely on the victim of the misfortune]].misfortune. When "victim blaming" is referred to, it almost always refers to when someone hurt by someone or something ''did not actively contribute to the misfortune'' and is still being blamed for their own misfortune.
25th Jun '16 12:56:38 PM MasterofGalaxies4628
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[[AC: Definition]]

"Victim blaming" is, simply put, the concept of placing the responsibility for a misfortune primarily or entirely on the victim of the misfortune. When "victim blaming" is referred to, it almost always refers to when someone hurt by someone or something ''did not actively contribute to the misfortune'' and is still being blamed for their own misfortune.

to:

[[AC: Definition]]

[[AC:Definition]]

"Victim blaming" is, simply put, the concept of [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin placing the responsibility for a misfortune primarily or entirely on the victim of the misfortune.misfortune]]. When "victim blaming" is referred to, it almost always refers to when someone hurt by someone or something ''did not actively contribute to the misfortune'' and is still being blamed for their own misfortune.



[[AC: Causes]]

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[[AC: Causes]]
[[AC:Causes]]



* Even if you 'do the right thing' bad things could still happen to ''you'': '''"I could be a victim."'''

We are not instinctively rational beings which decide what to believe on the basis of rational thought. Instead, we instinctively use our reasoning to justify what we believe already. Belief in victim blaming offers us such great comfort and hope, and abandoning it would give us cause to fear. Accordingly, we remember information which justifies our belief in it and ignore or reject information which inspires doubt. The factual invalidity of victim blaming is irrelevant: if we wanted to do so badly enough, we could keep believing in it forever.

[[AC: Obvious Victim Blaming]]

to:

* Even if you 'do the right thing' thing', bad things could still happen to ''you'': '''"I could be a victim."'''

We are not instinctively rational beings which decide what to believe on the basis of rational thought. Instead, we instinctively use our reasoning to justify what we believe already. Belief in victim blaming offers us such great comfort and hope, and abandoning it would give us cause to fear. Accordingly, [[ConfirmationBias we remember information which justifies our belief in it and ignore or reject information which inspires doubt.doubt]]. The factual invalidity of victim blaming is irrelevant: if we wanted to do so badly enough, we could keep believing in it forever.

[[AC: Obvious [[AC:Obvious Victim Blaming]]



[[AC: Subtle Victim Blaming]]

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[[AC: Subtle [[AC:Subtle Victim Blaming]]






[[AC: Avoiding Victim Blaming]]

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[[AC: Avoiding [[AC:Avoiding Victim Blaming]]
20th Apr '16 8:00:48 AM IzzyMaleficent
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* Be careful with the words "You're just asking for it!", because no one ever is. Unless someone is deliberately harming or violating the rights of others (and no, no one has the right to be exist in a perfect vacuum where they never have to hear or see anything objectionable), they are not doing anything that gives those others the right to punish or retaliate against them. An intelligent being (or a group of intelligent beings) that presents a danger to others because of their intolerance does ''not'' mean that anyone they choose not to tolerate is "asking for it". Doing this holds the victim responsible for the behavior of the perpetrator, and absolves the perpetrator of being responsible for their own behavior. Unless the perpetrator is a very small child, a mindless animal, or otherwise mentally compromised, their inability to behave properly is no one's fault but their own.

to:

* Be careful with the words "You're just asking for it!", it!" and "You bring it on yourself", because no one ever is. Unless someone is deliberately harming or violating the rights of others (and no, no one has the right to be exist in a perfect vacuum where they never have to hear or see anything objectionable), they are not doing anything that gives those others the right to punish or retaliate against them. An intelligent being (or a group of intelligent beings) that presents a danger to others because of their intolerance does ''not'' mean that anyone they choose not to tolerate is "asking for it". Doing this holds the victim responsible for the behavior of the perpetrator, and absolves the perpetrator of being responsible for their own behavior. Unless the perpetrator is a very small child, a mindless animal, or otherwise mentally compromised, their inability to behave properly is no one's fault but their own.
18th Apr '16 10:49:07 PM MAI742
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* Victim blaming comforts you by reassuring you that bad things only happen to people who 'deserve' it because they didn't 'do the right thing': '''"The world operates according to simple cause-and-effect"'''
* Victim blaming gives you the illusion of control over your fate, giving you hope that bad things won't happen to you if you 'do the right thing': '''"I can't be a victim."'''

to:

* Victim blaming comforts you by reassuring you that bad things only happen to people who 'deserve' it because they didn't 'do the right thing': '''"The world operates according '''"People choose to simple cause-and-effect"'''
* Victim blaming gives you the illusion of control over your fate, giving you hope that bad things won't happen to you if you 'do the right thing': '''"I can't be a victim.
become victims."'''
* Victim blaming gives you the illusion of control over your fate, giving you hope that bad things won't happen to you if you 'do the right thing': '''"I can't be a victim because I choose not to be one."'''



* Bad things happen to people who don't 'deserve' it: '''"The world is complex."'''

to:

* Bad things happen to people who don't 'deserve' it: '''"The world is complex.'''"People have no choice in becoming victims."'''
18th Apr '16 4:40:58 AM MAI742
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* Victim blaming comforts you by reassuring you that bad things only happen to people who 'deserve' it because they didn't 'do the right thing': '''"I am better than victims."'''

to:

* Victim blaming comforts you by reassuring you that bad things only happen to people who 'deserve' it because they didn't 'do the right thing': '''"I am better than victims."''''''"The world operates according to simple cause-and-effect"'''



* Bad things happen to people who don't 'deserve' it: '''"Victims are just like me."'''

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* Bad things happen to people who don't 'deserve' it: '''"Victims are just like me.'''"The world is complex."'''
17th Apr '16 4:29:56 AM MAI742
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* Victim blaming comforts you by reassuring you that bad things only happen to people who 'deserve' it because they didn't 'do the right thing'.
* Victim blaming gives you the illusion of control over your fate, giving you hope that bad things won't happen to you if you 'do the right thing'.

to:

* Victim blaming comforts you by reassuring you that bad things only happen to people who 'deserve' it because they didn't 'do the right thing'.
thing': '''"I am better than victims."'''
* Victim blaming gives you the illusion of control over your fate, giving you hope that bad things won't happen to you if you 'do the right thing'.
thing': '''"I can't be a victim."'''



* Bad things happen to people who don't 'deserve' it.
* Even if you 'do the right thing' bad things could still happen to ''you''.

to:

* Bad things happen to people who don't 'deserve' it.
it: '''"Victims are just like me."'''
* Even if you 'do the right thing' bad things could still happen to ''you''.
''you'': '''"I could be a victim."'''
17th Apr '16 4:23:45 AM MAI742
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* The world is a place where bad things happen to people who don't 'deserve' it.

to:

* The world is a place where bad Bad things happen to people who don't 'deserve' it.



We are not instinctively rational beings which decide what to believe on the basis of rational thought. Instead, we instinctively use our reasoning to justify what we believe already. Because belief in victim blaming offers us such great comfort and hope, we look for information which justifies our belief in it. Likewise, because the ''in''-validity of victim blaming fills us with fear we reject or question information which threatens that belief. In this way we are able to continue believing in victim blaming even if there is no rational, factual basis for doing so. We just have to want to believe in it enough.

to:

We are not instinctively rational beings which decide what to believe on the basis of rational thought. Instead, we instinctively use our reasoning to justify what we believe already. Because belief Belief in victim blaming offers us such great comfort and hope, and abandoning it would give us cause to fear. Accordingly, we look for remember information which justifies our belief in it. Likewise, because the ''in''-validity it and ignore or reject information which inspires doubt. The factual invalidity of victim blaming fills us with fear is irrelevant: if we reject or question information which threatens that belief. In this way wanted to do so badly enough, we are able to continue could keep believing in victim blaming even if there is no rational, factual basis for doing so. We just have to want to believe in it enough.forever.
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