Alex Blaze

Drive-by victim-blaming

Filed By Alex Blaze | March 03, 2010 10:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: Bible, blame, Christian beliefs, North Carolina, rape, victim

In all the insults lanced at gay people throughout these past few years during all these ballot initiatives, saying that we're pedophiles and violent and sinners who upset God's order, did we forget that straight men can do no wrong? Even if they do, it's women's fault.

Or at least this one Christian handing out pamphlets in North Carolina thinks so:

"You may have been given this leaflet because of the way you are dressed," it begins. "Have you thought about standing before the true and living God to be judged?"

It continues with one essential theme: The sins of men are, in part, the fault of women, specifically women in tight-fitting clothing. Yates was annoyed. Then she got to a section on page two:

"Scripture tells us that when a man looks on a woman to lust for her he has already committed adultery in his heart. If you are dressed in a way that tempts a men to do this secret (or not so secret) sin, you are a participant in the sin," the leaflet states. "By the way, some rape victims would not have been raped if they had dressed properly. So can we really say they were innocent victims?"

The hand-out is signed "anonymous."

The Herald-Courier gets right to what's wrong with this:

Rasnake said she confronts similar ideas, although not generally printed and distributed in mass, from the women she talks with daily. Victim blaming, she said, is the most prominent reason rapes are so rarely reported and even more rarely taken to trial. Sexual assaults, she said, come in second for the country's worst conviction rates.

Victims blaming themselves often comes from a religious place, but not always, Rasnake said. It's become a societal defense mechanism for dealing with issues of sexual assault.

"Blaming victims is the way we who have not been victimized feel safer," Rasnake said. "If it's their fault then I'm safer because I wouldn't do that. If someone steals your purse, can you imagine someone asking why you had a purse? If you are sexually assaulted, it is not because you come with breasts."

It's ridiculous, since there's no evidence that what women wear is related to their risk of getting raped.

But this isn't about helping reduce crime - it's about authority and domination. It's about taking a threat of violence and using the fear that instills to push an unrelated social agenda. And it's about keeping a favored group of people from having to take responsibility for their actions. All this is how authoritarians understand the world - submitting to a certain power or converting to a set of beliefs is more important than finding truth or helping people to be happy and free.

Need any more evidence that these folks aren't involved in even a misguided attempt to help women?

Leaflet in hand, Yates locked eyes with the old man driving the old white car, still parked in the lot, and stormed outside. The car quickly drove away.

Their idea of a conversation is one-way and one-way only. If they really wanted to help women, they'd stick around and try to explain what they're saying. The pamphlet is even signed "anonymous" so that no one can tell the author that he or she is wrong.

But, hey, they found Bible quotes! I'm sure they feel smug about that but still manage to have a huge chip on their shoulder about how they're marginalized.

Leave a comment

We want to know your opinion on this issue! While arguing about an opinion or idea is encouraged, personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please be respectful of others.

The editorial team will delete a comment that is off-topic, abusive, exceptionally incoherent, includes a slur or is soliciting and/or advertising. Repeated violations of the policy will result in revocation of your user account. Please keep in mind that this is our online home; ill-mannered house guests will be shown the door.

Of course, it's one-way only. Any minimal WTF? w/ an explanation of how wrong the old guy was would have completely destroyed his logic (if he has any capacity for it)

"By the way, some rape victims would not have been raped if they had dressed properly. So can we really say they were innocent victims?"

hear that? that's smoke coming out my ears...

I have no words, but I like to think I would if someone handed me a similar leaflet on the street.

A. J. Lopp | March 3, 2010 12:55 PM

Yes, I like this theory ... and I also think it is sinful for good-looking young men to wear well-tailored business suits and drive brand new BMW's, because they are way too easy to lust after.

[* ... and for anyone who doesn't pick up on my sarcasm, I have $118 million dollars in gold bullion stuck in Nigeria that I'd like you to help me convert into a Swiss bank account ... * ]

Works differently in Africa....There, in some areas, the pure and virginal looking are lore likely to be raped since sex with a virgin is believed to cure AIDS....

um... Actually, if the old guy handed me one of those I would feel sorry for him.

OK, I'd feel sorry for him after I did something down right nasty to him.

And if he even uttered that rape victims are responsable for thier rape... I'd feel sorry for myself later. Cause I would break more than the law.