28 October 2014

"Psychology of Victimhood"? More Like "Psychology of Bullshit"!

This paper -- Psychology of Victimhood -- is victim-blaming bullshit on mile-high stilts.

It claims to explore the "psychology of victimhood", and I suppose, on some level, it does that. However, despite saying several times that "the intent isn't to blame the victim", the author goes on to explain how victims are "really" responsible in some way for being victimised. Author assigns levels of "responsibility" to victims. The bolding amd other formatting (lists) in the following excerpts is mine, and intended for emphasis and/or clarity.

4a. Non guilty- innocent victim:

This category includes victims who do not share the responsibility of the offence with the perpetrators. These are innocent victims whom we cannot expect to be able to avert the offence by anticipating it or by preventing it.


** Children who are sexually or physically abused, or neglected.
** Rape or murder victims when the crime is unforeseen, unprovoked, and perpetrated by complete strangers.
** Severely mentally ill or disabled adults who get hurt or exploited.
** Those who suffer a crime while unconscious.
** Victims of random or rampage shooting.
** Victims of unexpected natural disasters: victims of earthquake in a non-earthquake zone.
** Victims of corporate greed, such as those perpetuated by corporations who sell genetically modified foods which cause cancer, or corrupt banking practices, which scheme people of their savings or homes.

This first section seems reasonable on it's face. Just wait. It gets worse. Much worse.

4b. Victims With Minor Guilt:

This category includes victims who with some thought, planning, awareness, information, or consciousness could have expected danger and avoided or minimized the harm to themselves. They 'could or should have known better.'


** Adult victims of repeated domestic violence where shelters are available (after patterns are established and it is no longer unpredictable).

** Marital rape victims after the first few episodes (when the pattern has been established and it is no longer a surprise)

These specific claims ignores the fact that abusers are often charming, can be very loving and sweet, and start the abuse in a very subtle manner, conditioning the victim to accept being treated like shit as "normal." It starts small. Little words of disapproval. Ignoring boundaries. Just little tiny things that you brush off as anomalies. Then they start getting more abusive, more controlling, and often, the abuse progresses to the point of violence. Some abusers also rape their victims, because they feel they are "entitled to" the use their partner's body. By the time things reach this point, where there's an established pattern of abuse and/or rape, it's damn near impossible to get out without serious intervention from outside sources -- outside sources that the abuser will say, do, or promise literally anything to keep his victim away from. On top of that, the riskiest time for a battered woman is when she's leaving or trying to leave.

It is never the fault of the battered spouse. EVER.

** Women who are raped after choosing to get drunk (the minor responsibility is for electing to be completely helpless and unconscious, at the full mercy of others, in a situation that has the potential to be dangerous).

Wait. What was that in the first bit about unconscious victims being guilt-free? Ah, yes: "Those who suffer a crime while unconscious."

<sarcasm>I guess rape isn't a crime if the victim was drinking... </sarcasm>

** Adults who were victimized due to being in the wrong place and the wrong time, where with some awareness, preparation, and caution they could have prevented the assault.

Really? REALLY?! So if the author of this "paper" were to get jumped and mugged, he'd just shrug it off and say, "Oh, well. I was in the wrong place at the wrong time, and should have been prepared"? Somehow, I doubt it.

** Jews who suffered during the Holocaust (are of course not responsible for the Nazi's evils, but they could have resisted more, been less co-operative, and not gone like lambs to the slaughter. They could have read the situation better and left in time, as many of them (40%) did).

Saying the victims could have resisted more, co-operated less, etc. is victim-blaming. The Nazis were entirely responsible for this ginormous cluster-fuck of a tragedy. Yes, I do see the parenthetical up there, but it does not, in any way, lessen or negate the inherent victim-blaming in saying that the Jews "should have" resisted more. (And really? Second-guessing victims? So not cool!)

4c. Victims who share equal responsibility with the perpetrators:

This category includes victims who share equal responsibility with the offender for the harm inflicted on them. These are people who are conscious and aware of the situation and chose to be part of it. They are not caught by surprise, and common sense could have anticipated the damage that occurred.

Uh-huh, because victims "choose" to be victims, riiiight.

** A man who contracts a sexually transmitted disease from a prostitute.

Isn't a fucking "victim", and should have worn a condom in the first place. This is a bad choice, and one that he is entirely responsible for.

Victims who seek, challenge, tease, or entice the perpetrator.

This? This is just another way of saying, "What did she expect, wearing that dress?" "She shouldn't have led him on." "Why was she out at that time of night?"

Fuck. That. Noise.

Willing participants in a Chicken Game, gun dual, or double suicide.

Are not victims -- they made a bad choice, yes, but they are not victims.

Co-alcoholics, co-addicts after the initial phase of their relationship (after it has been clearly established that the partner is an addict).

What's this shit about "co-alcoholics", anyway? Is it her fault that he keeps drinking? NO! He chooses to keep drinking. The addict can always get clean, and having a supportive partner or supportive friends is a very important part of getting and staying clean.

4d. Victims who are slightly more guilty than the offender.

This category is comprised entirely of perpetrators, and not victims.

This category includes victims who are active participants in an interaction where they are likely to get hurt. While they seek the damaging contact, the offender can easily withdraw from the situation, unlike those in category #5, to follow. Unlike those in the previous category #3, the offender is less responsible for the damage than is the victim.

Yes, yes, let's paint the people making conscious bad choices as "victims". Please. These are just as much "victims" as my abuser was.

** Drunk people who harass sober bystanders and get hurt.

Drinky McDrunkerson there has nobody but himself to blame. In fact, most alcohol-related injuries and fatalities are entirely self-inflicted because the drunk idiot decided to do something stupid and dangerous, and paid the price.

** Cult members who chose to enter the cult as adults and then were brainwashed and harmed. (i.e., Jonestown, Waco).

Cult members are victims, and are not to blame for getting suckered in. Cult leaders tend to be charismatic, convincing, and quite charming. Cults use manipulative techniques to recruit members, and downright abusive tactics to keep them in. Brainwashing and/or Stockholm Syndrome are nasty beasties, and hard to fight alone.

** An abusive husband who is killed by his battered wife (he is primarily responsible but, as this paper states, the abuse must be viewed also as an interaction, and some responsibility shared between the couple).

Once again, I need to point out that, while abuse is an "interaction", it is NEVER THE FAULT OF THE VICTIM. Not even a tiny bit. When the abusive husband is killed, it is nobody's fault but his for abusing a woman so badly that she felt her only recourse was to kill.

** Citizens who collude by passivity in their country's atrocious acts and get hurt by other countries armies (i.e. politically inactive German civilians who did not fight the Nazi regime and got killed by the allies army attacks)

This one -- surprisingly -- is somewhat accurate, though I'd argue that "collusion by passivity" is, yes, bullshit. Those politically inactive German citizens were not to blame for getting killed by the allied forces. That blame falls squarely on the leaders (and subordinates) who prompted the attacks in the first place -- you know, the Nazis.

4e. Victims who are exclusively responsible for their victimization:

This category includes victims who initiated the contact and committed an act that is likely to lead to injury. In these cases, the one who inflicts the damage is not guilty and acts in pure self-defense or as expected from his position. This category is reserved for legally and clinically sane adults.

These aren't victims.

** Rapists who are killed by their complete stranger- victims in self-defense.

Because acquaintance/date/partner/marital rape isn't "really" rape, and those "victims" brought it on themselves... *gag* Rape is rape is rape is rape, it doesn't matter what kind of relationship existed (or didn't, or for however long) between rapist and victim.

** Mercenaries who are wounded or killed.

Pretty sure mercenaries aren't used much any more. In the case that they are, well... it's a known job hazard, and honestly, considering what mercenaries do, I'd say that their life of violence begot more violence.

** People who smoke and get lung cancer.

Are no less deserving of compassion and appropriate medical care. It's well-known that Big Tobacco has continuously lied to consumers. (Not to mention the fact that it's easier to quit using heroin than it is to quit smoking.)

Suicide by those who are not mentally ill. (Mentally healthy and competent individuals can choose to commit rationally planned suicide for which they bear the full responsibility)

Are victims only of the disease that left them in such a state that suicide was the better option.

Can we, as a society, please stop doing this? Stop trying to find ways to hold victims -- especially women/AFABs -- "responsible" for all the shit that happens to us? Can we stop with the "why didn't she just leave?" And the "what did she expects?" And the "Well, she was drunk..."?

It doesn't matter. None of that matters.

What matters is, someone chose to victimize another person.

1 comment:

  1. Hey, Thanks for bringing this nut job to my attention! Now I have to compulsively click through his entire Zur Institute website to see how much more shit he's spewing and see if I (and others) as a CA citizen need to start paying serious attention and get his bullshit 'school' shut down...

    P.S. I found you through the comments section on Passive Agressive Notes dotcom and after reading lots of your thoughts (most of which I remember from the everlasting indoor/outdoor kitty debate lol) I FINALLY clicked on your u-name to see what site you linked to...Anywho, thanks for sharing a part of yourself online like this; you're a brave one!


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