Sunday, May 6, 2012

Philosophical issues regarding the concept of : 'blaming the victim'

Philosophical issues regarding the concept of : 'blaming the victim'

Some quoted thought from an interesting blog post:
Posted by Conner  at Out Of Darkness,  Alien abduction: 
"... I don’t feel it [abduction] is the greatest word to describe what is going on but it is still the best term we have at the moment.
Whether a person’s experience is positive, negative, neutral, a combination of all of these, or something else entirely, the person is still removed from their environment.
Even if an abductee is taken from one part of the house to the other, the person is controlled and removed from where they were.
Free will is taken away.
There is always some level of control [by the abductor] during an abduction.
How is this co-participating?
How is this empowering [me] exactly?
Isn’t co-participating a mutual agreement between parties on what activities will be taking place and when?  It’s not like the aliens call me up on my cell and say they are stopping by such and such a night and they are going to be doing this and that so I better get good sleep beforehand and make sure I don’t have a big day planned for the next day after they come around.
They never ask me if I want to participate in what they are doing.
It’s their ballgame and the game is rigged.
The idea that I agreed to abductions from a former life (soul contract) is insulting.
Did victims of crime or natural disasters agree to a soul contract?
Do people really believe that they would sign a contract that would condemn their family to misery, confusion, and helplessness?
Alien abduction does not happen in a vacuum, you know.
This religious concept [soul contract] conveniently puts all the blame squarely upon the abductee.
How spiritually enlightening is this?
Think about it.
"It’s your fault you got mugged because you were wearing that expensive watch."
It’s expedient to blame the victim so nobody has to think or deal with the problem.
It’s interesting to me that so many experiencers and contactees focus on their perceived religious aspects of the alien abduction phenomenon.
This tells me a great deal because whoever these aliens are, they don’t care about our religious beliefs. ..."

His point is, I think, well made as it refers to an instance, or repeated instances, of abduction by extraterrestrial entities. 

Never mind what I, or you, might believe concerning the objective reality of contacts with or abductions by extraterrestrials.

The questions about the reality of ET visiting the Earth aren't germane to this paper, that issue is for another time.

What he's expressing, the frustrations exhibited, seem authentic and reasonable when applied, both, to the entities doing the abducting and the humans writing about 'abductions' but ascribing some 'feel good' new age 'sweetness and light' to the motives of the ET abductors.

But that's not really my point here and now it's, instead, two lines Conner used as a throw-away analogy:

"It’s your fault you got mugged because you were wearing that expensive watch.
It’s expedient to blame the victim so nobody has to think or deal with the problem."

I've noticed that we older folks and especially we paternal type older folks are held guilty of "blaming the victim" almost any time we're unwise [now commonly thought to be a normal characteristic of the aged] enough to comment on a criminal assault upon a young woman committed by a male.

I have a couple of thoughts on that - to mention and to attempt to explain and, probably, to defend.

The first thing is; when a young woman informs you (or me) that she has been insulted, verbally assaulted or, God forbid, physically assaulted in a sexually oriented way by a male, no matter what your first thought is, the first response should always be something in the nature of, "Are you alright", or if she has been assaulted, "Have you seen a doctor, is there anything I can do to help you?" and in all cases there should follow, when the time seems reasonable some expression of outrage [or at the least, anger] that some man would treat her so badly.

Never respond with, "What ever possessed YOU to go THERE dressed like THAT?" nor any variation on the thought.

In fact, it would be best never to ask that question nor any variant of it of anyone with reference to her, never.

I know that asking that question does not imply that you think the victim is at fault for having asked to be assaulted; but that is what young women these days have been conditioned to infer from the question. 

If you ask it you will be labeling yourself as stupid and insensitive to female gender issues and unconcerned about women's rights, and did I mention STUPID. 

The young woman, or at least the vast majority of young women, believes that she should be free to go absolutely anywhere, wearing absolutely anything - or nothing, should she so desire!

And, of course, she is absolutely correct in so believing.  She should be able to go anywhere dressed any way she likes.  It really is that simple.

But; I should be able to park my car in any legal parking place and leave the key in the ignition and the windows down and the doors unlocked, too.  In fact, I can do that.  The problem is that if I do, there is a very small liklihood that my car will be there when I return; and that tends to be very inconvenient.

Overstating the obvious, I should be able to leave my home to go on a trip [whether to the corner store or to Brazil for a month] without concerning myself about locking the doors, too.

In plain point of fact, up until the summer of 1969, I used to park my car and leave the windows down and, sometimes, leave the key in the ignition.  And until that summer, I often didn't lock the house - and when I did, I knew that anybody who still had a skeleton key could unlock it.

During my childhood, up until 1958 anyway, we never locked the house and the cars parked in the driveway usually had the key in the ignition. 

Older GM cars had a little lever on the bezel of the ignition-lock, you could take out the key without locking the ignition and turn it on by turning that bezel, you didn't need a key unless someone had locked it.

When we moved into a newly built house in 1958 the doors actually had functional locks which took keys that you could not walk into the dime-store and buy over the counter. We still didn't lock it up very much and almost never locked the garage door.

In the summer of 1969 someone stole a few items from the unlocked glove-box in my unlocked car and one of our neighbors had some things stolen from their house.  We all [our neighbors and the people at our church] started locking doors and just never stopped doing so after that.

Still, we should be able to not lock our cars and our houses and expect people to stay out, shouldn't we?

'He was right, dead right, as he sped along; but he's just as dead as if he'd been wrong.'

I don't want to belabor the point, and I'm 90% certain that not a single, solitary woman of the paradigm I'm complaining about, ever will read this post.  [he said; but]
There's an old saying, I've heard it used all my life - you know, since the dark ages - it goes like this:
"Discretion is the better part of valor."

And that's all I'm saying, here.  We don't want our girls, our daughters, granddaughters and our friends to be afraid, we don't want them to feel that they have to ugly-down. Youth and beauty are, as we old folks know all too well, transient.  They're a gift of God to humankind, given to us for our joy.  

My point here is only that it's not an ideal society that we live in, we should be free and unafraid; but we have among us an unknown quantity of unidentified people who pervert and destroy, who take and befoul, who steal, assault and rape and even worse.

So, to the young people: Be free, enjoy your youth and beauty but be aware, be alert and practice discretion that your days may be long upon the Earth.  L'Chaim.

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