Rewriting victim-blaming

In a recent article Matthew Peyton wrote about a U.K. barrister’s position that conversations about accountability for rape are sanitized. She expressed the opinion that victims hold some moral responsibility for the rapes perpetrated against them. I call this victim-blaming. As such, I’ve decided to rewrite this commentary.

“She expressed doubts over the “long term damaging effects” of rape and criticized the view that the offence was “morally absolutely unambiguous” with the victim “utterly innocent” and the “victimizer utterly guilty.”

Rewrite: She expressed doubts over the I assure you that there are “long term damaging effects” of to rape and criticized the view that the offence is “morally absolutely unambiguous” with the victim “utterly innocent” and the “victimizer utterly guilty.”

She goes on to make a comparison:

“It seems to me, simply factually, we all know if you’re drunk you are more likely to have accidents. So if you fall off a bar stool and hit you [sic] head and have a serous [sic] brain injury because you’re drunk people are going to say well you chose to be drunk.”

Reaction: Guess what’s missing in this comparison? That extra person who causes the harm to you. A more accurate comparison might go something like this:

Rewrite: So if [you are sitting on a bar stool perfectly content and the person sitting next to you suddenly shoves you and] you fall off a bar stool and you hit your head and have a serious brain injury because you’re drunk this person shoved you, people are going to say well you chose to be drunk “what are you doing you jerk!?” and jump up to intervene and call an ambulance and the police.

Needless to say, and thankfully in the article, the author also wrote about a reaction from an advocate to the ideas from this “human rights and civil liberties lawyer” (what the what???). Imagine this, the advocate suggested that she was “out of touch with the realities of sexual violence.”

Amen!

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