A point of clarification leading into this:
The last post (I’m not convinced that aliens don’t walk among us) didn’t really contain anything that should have been able to stir up so much debate, especially from someone who has known me for more than a quarter century. It was a comment on something that I find amusing — the Contract of Wifely Expectations. Holy fuck, the title alone is enough to keep me from taking it seriously. The entire thing smacks of the sort of thing that a D&D nerd or RenFaire junkie might think was appropriate — certainly not (to me) the signs of an abusive husband/pedophile. But again, what do I know? I thought the humor would be inherent. I was, apparently, wrong.
So this post: this is serious. No fucking around here, folks: if you laugh at any of this, you’re inhuman, and you make the baby jesus cry.
Especially that last sentence.
Do I really, as evidenced in the comments to that last post, hold victims somewhat responsible for what happens to them? Yup. Unapologetically.
“How dare you?”
Like this (watch carefully – never once do the hands leave the arms): all actions have consequence. All actions have reactions. If you live in a totalitarian, fascist society, and you speak out against your government, odds are good, you’re going to end up getting shot, to be made an example. If you send a small child into a pedophile’s home, and turn away, that child’s probably fucked, pun intended. If you leave money out in front of a junkie hurting for a fix, you might as well count it spent.
And if you ignore the signs of an abusive relationship, you’re gonna get punched. If you dress like a porn star in a room full of drunken frat boys, you’re quite likely to end up getting raped.
Does that mean I agree with the fascist, the pedophile, the junkie, the abuser, or the frat boys? Maybe the fascist, sure. But definitely not the frat boys…
Don’t laugh… baby jesus is watching.
And yeah, my empathy level is gonna go down, sometimes through the floor. You know why? Because you’re either too stupid to see the signs that you and trouble are on a collision course, or you’re too arrogant to think that the laws of the universe apply to you. In either case… well, I’ve got other people who deserve my sympathy.
Victims of violence deserve sympathy, not scorn, a helping hand, not a skeptical or critical look.
I’m gonna have to disagree here — everything in this universe deserves a critical look. Because if you want to understand something, if you want to effect change, you’d better understand every aspect of that thing. And it may suck, it may be uncomfortable, but so it goes: changing the behavior of the victim is often the key to decreasing the likelihood of being a victim.
And the thing that gets me most of all:
Someday, someone close to you may be attacked or in an ugly abusive relationship. (Chances are, someone close to you already has been.) That loved one may face the same criticisms and judgments from strangers — I pray you are not so quick to defend them and forsake your loved one.
Okay, maybe I need the clarification: are you saying or implying that I am defending the abuser / attacker / criminal in any of these cases, hypothetically or otherwise? Because you’re wrong.
VERY important point here: I’m not shifting blame. I’m adding it. The rapist or abusive husband or thief is 100% to blame. Should be punished with the fullest capacity of the law. Maybe even more, in some instances. Vigilante justice has it’s place in the world. But damn it, you can not tell me that the person whose car is broken into randomly – wrong place, wrong time – deserves as much sympathy as the moron who leaves a one hundred dollar bill sitting on the dashboard of an unlocked brand new car with the key in the ignition.
Can you? Honestly? Practice that one a few times, because I’m not convinced.
You know, I think it’s sad, because what I’m saying — to boil it all down, this is all about accepting responsibility, and doing so with common sense — is getting crosswired with straw logic and bullshit. Wade implies that I’m saying that the white guy who gets beaten up walking through a black neighborhood doesn’t deserve sympathy; what I’m actually saying is that he doesn’t so much if he’s shouting “nigger” and waving a confederate flag. He’s got the right to do either without getting touched or harmed; that’s what the law says. Hell, that’s what I say, too. But one is definitely a little less deserving of the assault.
No, the criminals should be punished, worse than their crime. The victims should be repaid, as much as possible, and made to feel safe again. But not overly safe, and while my thought process is a dangerously slippery slope, I think that Wade’s is far steeper.
It’s not right that the kid in Tiannamen Square got squished. But damn it, did any of you really not see it coming?