Ryan's critique cast the Moynihan theories as attempts to divert responsibility for poverty from social structural factors to the behaviors and cultural patterns of the poor. Although Ryan popularized the phrase, other scholars had identified the phenomenon of victim blaming. Adorno defined what would be later called "blaming the victim," as "one of the most sinister features of the Fascist character".
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Secondary victimization is the re- traumatization of the sexual assault , abuse, surgical battery , medical malpractice , or rape victim through the responses of individuals and institutions. Types of secondary victimization include victim blaming, disbelieving the victim's story, minimizing the severity of the attack, and inappropriate post-assault treatment by medical personnel or other organizations. Sexual assault victims experience stigmatization based on rape myths.
For example, a society may view a female rape victim especially one who was previously a virgin as "damaged". Victims in these cultures may suffer isolation , physical and psychological abuse , slut-shaming , public humiliation rituals, be disowned by friends and family, be prohibited from marrying, be divorced if already married, or even be killed.
One example of a sexist allegation against female victims of sexual assault is that wearing provocative clothing stimulates sexual aggression in men who believe that women wearing body-revealing clothes are actively trying to seduce a sexual partner. Such accusations against victims stem from the assumption that sexually revealing clothing conveys consent for sexual actions, irrespective of willful verbal consent.
Research has yet to prove that attire is a significant causal factor in determining who is assaulted. Victim blaming is also exemplified when a victim of sexual assault is found at fault for performing actions which reduce their ability to resist or refuse consent , such as consuming alcohol. Most institutions have adopted the concept of affirmative consent and that refraining from sexual activity while under the influence is the safest choice. In efforts to discredit alleged sexual assault victims in court, a defense attorney may delve into an accuser's personal history , a common practice that also has the purposeful effect of making the victim so uncomfortable they choose not to proceed.
This attack on character, especially one pointing out promiscuity, makes the argument that women who lead "high risk" lifestyles promiscuity, drug use are not real victims of rape. Findings on Rape Myth Acceptance have supported feminist claims that sexism is at the root of female rape victim blaming.
A study in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence of male victims of sexual assault concludes that male rape victim blaming is usually done so because of social constructs of masculinity. Victims of an unwanted sexual encounter usually develop psychological problems such as depression or sexual violence specific PTSD known as rape trauma syndrome. An ideal victim is one who is afforded the status of victimhood due to unavoidable circumstances that put the individual at a disadvantage. One can apply this theory to any crime including and especially sexual assault.
Nils Christie, a Norwegian criminology professor, has been theorizing about the concept of the ideal victim since the s. In his research he gives two examples, one of an old woman who is attacked on her way home from visiting her family and the other of a man who is attacked at a bar by someone he knew. He describes the old woman as an ideal victim because she could not avoid being in the location that she was, she did not know her attacker, and she could not fight off her attacker.
The man, however, could have avoided being at a bar, knew his attacker, and should have been able to fight off his attacker, being younger and a man. When applying the ideal victim theory to sexual assault victims, often judicial proceedings define an ideal victim as one who resists their attacker and exercises caution in risky situations, despite law reforms to extinguish these fallacious requirements.
Because they do not fit the criteria being laid out in the rape law, they cannot be considered real victims and thereby their attacker will not be prosecuted. A victim who is not considered an ideal, or real victim, is one who leads a "high risk" lifestyle, partaking in drugs or alcohol, or is perceived as promiscuous.
A victim who intimately knows their attacker is also not considered an ideal victim. Examples of a sexual assault victim who is not ideal is a prostitute because they lead a high risk lifestyle. The perception is that these behaviors discount the credibility of a sexual assault victim's claim or that the behaviors and associations create the mistaken assumption of consent. Some of or all of the blame of the assault is then placed on these victims, and so they are not worthy of having their case presented in court.
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These perceptions persist in court rulings despite a shift in laws favoring affirmative consent- meaning that the participants in a sexual activity give a verbal affirmation rather than one participant who neither answers negatively nor positively. In other words, affirmative consent is yes means yes, no means no and no verbal answer also means no. In addition to an ideal victim, there must be an ideal perpetrator for a crime to be considered ideal.
The ideal attacker does not know their victim and is a completely non-sympathetic figure- one who is considered sub-human, an individual lacking morals. An attacker that knows their victim is not considered an ideal attacker, nor is someone who seems morally ordinary. Husbands and wives are not ideal victims or perpetrators because they are intimately familiar with each other. Many different cultures across the globe have formulated different degrees of victim blaming for different scenarios such as rape, hate crimes, and domestic abuse.
Victim blaming is common around the world, especially in cultures where it is socially acceptable and advised to treat certain groups of people as lesser. For example, in Somalia victims of sexual abuse consistently endure social ostracization and harassment. While they did not detain the offender for long, the officers held Fatima captive for a month and a prison guard continually raped her during that time.
In February , the organisations International Alert and UNICEF published a study revealing that girls and women released from captivity by Nigeria 's insurgency group Boko Haram often face rejection by their communities and families. Their children born of sexual violence faced even more discrimination. Acid attacks on South Asian women, when people throw acid on women in an attempt to punish them for their perceived wrongdoings, are another example of victim-blaming. For instance, in New Delhi in , a group of men threw acid on a year-old girl because they believed she provoked the advances of a man.
In Western culture victim blaming has been largely recognized as a problematic way to view a situation, however this does not exempt Westerners from being guilty of the action. A recent example of Western victim blaming would be a civil trial held in where the Los Angeles School District blamed a year-old girl for the sexual abuse she endured from her middle school teacher. The District's lawyer argued that the minor was responsible for the prevention of the abuse, putting the entire fault on the victim and exempting the perpetrator of any responsibility. Despite his efforts to convince the court that the victim must be blamed, the ruling stated that no minor student that has been sexually assaulted by his or her teacher is responsible for the prevention of that sexual assault.
Roy Baumeister , a social and personality psychologist, argued that blaming the victim is not necessarily always fallacious.
He argued that showing the victim's possible role in an altercation may be contrary to typical explanations of violence and cruelty, which incorporate the trope of the innocent victim. According to Baumeister, in the classic telling of "the myth of pure evil," the innocent, well-meaning victims are going about their business when they are suddenly assaulted by wicked, malicious evildoers.
Baumeister describes the situation as a possible distortion by both the perpetrator and the victim; the perpetrator may minimize the offense while the victim maximizes it, and so accounts of the incident shouldn't be immediately taken as objective truths. In context, Baumeister refers to the common behavior of the aggressor seeing themselves as more of the "victim" than the abused, justifying a horrific act by way of their "moral complexity".
This usually stems from an "excessive sensitivity" to insults, which he finds as a consistent pattern in abusive husbands. Some scholars make the argument that some of the attitudes that are described as victim blaming and the victimologies that are said to counteract them are both extreme and similar to each other, an example of the horseshoe theory. For instance, they argue that the claim that "women wearing provocative clothing cause rape" is as demeaning to men as it is to women as depicting men as incapable of controlling their sexual desire is misandrist and denies men full agency, while also arguing that the generalization that women do not lie about rape or any generalization about women not doing some things because of their gender is misogynist by its implicit assumption that women act by simple default action modes which is incompatible with full agency.
These scholars argue that it is important to impartially assess the evidence in each criminal trial individually and that any generalization based on statistics would change the situation from one where the control of evidence makes false reporting difficult to one where lack of individual control of the alleged crime makes it easier to file false reports and that statistics collected in the former situation would not be possible to apply to the latter situation. While the scholars make a distinction between actual victim blaming and rule by law that they consider to be falsely lumped with victim blaming in radical feminist rhetorics, they also advocate more protection from ad hominem questions to alleged victims about past life history and that the questions should focus on what is relevant for the specific alleged crime.
They also cite examples that they consider to be cases of the horseshoe theory applied to the question of victim blaming. This includes cases in which psychologists who have testified on behalf of the prosecution in trials in which breast size have been used as a measure of female age when classifying pornographic cartoons as child pornography and been praised by feminists for it, and later the same psychologists have used the same psychological arguments when testifying on behalf of the defense in statutory rape cases and getting the defendant acquitted by claiming that the victim's breasts looked like those of an adult woman considered by these scholars to be victim blaming based on appearance and been praised by men's rights groups for it.
It also includes the possibility that biopsychiatric models that consider sexual criminality hereditary and that are advocated by some feminists may blame victims of incest abuse for being genetically related to their abusers and thereby dissuading them from reporting abuse. Other analysts of victim blaming discourse who neither support most of the phenomena that are described as victim blaming nor most of the measures that are marketed as countermeasures against such point at the existence of other ways of discovering and punishing crimes with victims besides the victim reporting the crime.
Not only are there police patrols and possible eyewitnesses, but these analysts also argue that neighbors can overhear and report crimes that take place within the house such as domestic violence. These analysts cite international comparisons that show that the percentage of male on female cases in the statistics of successfully prosecuted domestic violence is not higher in countries that apply gender feminist theories about patriarchal structures than in countries that apply supposedly antifeminist evolutionary psychology profiling of sex differences in aggressiveness, impulse control and empathy, arguing that the criminal justice system prioritizing cases in which they believe the suspect most likely to be guilty makes evolutionary psychology at least as responsible as gender feminism for leaving domestic violence cases with female offenders undiscovered no matter if the victim is male or female.
The analysts argue that many problems that are often attributed to victim blaming are instead due to offender profiling, and suggest randomized investigations instead of psychological profiling of suspected offenders. A myth holds that Jews went passively " like sheep to the slaughter " during the Holocaust , which is considered by many writers, including Emil Fackenheim , to be a form of victim blaming.
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In recent years, the issue of victim blaming has gained notoriety and become widely recognized in the media, particularly in the context of feminism, as women have often been blamed for behaving in ways that encourage harassment. In a case that became infamous in , an year-old female rape victim who suffered repeated gang rapes in Cleveland, Texas , was accused by a defense attorney of being a seductress who lured men to their doom.
Wasn't she saying, 'Come into my parlor', said the spider to the fly? In , in the wake of New Year's Eve sexual assaults in Germany , the mayor of Cologne Henriette Reker came under heavy criticism, as her response appeared to blame the victims.
She called for women to follow a " code of conduct ," including staying at an "arm's length" from strangers. He claimed that immigration of "Muslim fanatics" led to the attacks, and that "while Muslims may have been victims today, usually they are the perpetrators". Anning also stated that the massacre "highlights As of 18 March , a petition calling for his expulsion from the Australian parliament had amassed 1.
Coverage of the Murder of Ashley Ann Olsen , an American murdered in Italy during a sexual encounter with a Senegalese immigrant, focused on the victim blaming in cross-cultural encounters.
In a case that attracted worldwide coverage, when a woman was raped and killed in Delhi in December , some Indian government officials and political leaders blamed the victim for various things, mostly based on conjecture. Many of the people involved later apologized. In August , the hashtag AintNoCinderella trended on social media India, in response to a high-profile instance of victim-blaming.
After Varnika Kundu was stalked and harassed by two men on her way home late at night, Bharatiya Janata Party Vice President Ramveer Bhatti addressed the incident with a claim that Kundu was somehow at fault for being out late by herself. Social media users took to Twitter and Instagram to challenge the claim that women should not be out late at night, and if they are, they are somehow "asking for it".
Hundreds of women shared photos of themselves staying out past midnight, dressing boldly, and behaving in harmless ways that tend to be condemned in old-fashioned, anti-feminist ideology. While attending a year-old boy's birthday party at Stockton Beach , Leigh was assaulted by a group of boys after she returned distressed from a sexual encounter on the beach that a reviewing judge later called non-consensual.
After being kicked and spat on by the group, Leigh left the party. Her naked body was found in the sand dunes nearby the following morning, with severe genital damage and a crushed skull. If I pushed them aside, I believed, these incidents would lose their invasive power over my life. It is precisely this myth—that violations buried are violations dead—that Jessica Valenti dissects with precision in her memoir Sex Object.
The book accounts for the violations most women and indeed Valenti herself have been taught to put away, to chalk up as the costs of survival in a male world. We hear of the time a man exposed himself to her as she waited on a train platform; of when she touches the back of her jeans and finds them covered with the semen of a man standing behind her on a crowded train; of being nearly dragged into the car of a man while walking to the first day of a coveted internship at a magazine.
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