tw: victim blaming

If there’s anything more pernicious than the notion that one ought to be ennobled by one’s suffering, it’s the notion that not being ennobled by one’s suffering represents a personal moral deficit.

Like, okay, my horrible trauma unaccountably failed to transfigure me into a saint, and somehow that’s my fault?

So I am absolutely fuming. A few weeks ago, I was called to the dean’s office to discuss the antisemitic bullying I’ve been enduring since freshman year (I’m a senior now). Here’s a brief run down of some of what I’ve had to suffer through these last three years (this doesn’t even scratch the surface):

• A swastika carved into my desk, along with the words “ich haße juden” ie “I hate Jews” in German
• Intentionally spit on, usually accompanied by the word k*ke, the most vile word a Jewish person can be called
• Pushed into lockers/to the ground
• Called a “dirty Jew” more times than I can count, usually once a day

I identified the main perpetrator by name. There is proof he is a Nazi as he has a fucking swastika tattoo on his arm for everyone to see. Close after I went to the dean, the boy I accused was called to the dean. He denied everything, and received NO punishment.

I have several witnesses to these events, he is very vocal about being a Nazi, and he is the head of a neo-Nazi gang that is very active on campus. And the administration did NOTHING. I want everyone to know that antisemitism is alive and thriving, and affects Jews everywhere every day, and the world does not care. The world remains silent.

Victims will almost always be able to admit their own faults. They will know they reacted badly and did wrong. This quality is actually what the abuser uses against them in the first place to make them believe they are the ones in the wrong. Part of healing from abuse is learning to point out which of the abusers behaviors are, in fact abuse, while still acknowledging what you handled badly. (And everyone reacts badly to things when under the extreme pressure of abuse!).

Abusers will almost never admit they have ever done anything wrong at all. Their victims will be blamed for everything. They will hold every tiny thing against the victim, even things they could not possibly control, or they have never tried to talk to them about. They use social bigotries against the victim, and in their own defence. (Especially mental illness is used in this way - they believe their own illness excuses them from every wrongdoing, and their victims illness is proof they are in the wrong).

huffingtonpost.com
Confused Why Women Don’t Report Sexual Assault? Ask Kesha.
Being put through the legal and emotional wringer doesn't guarantee justice.

Kesha is a wealthy, beautiful, white celebrity working at the upper echelons of an elite industry. Yet, even these privileges don’t set her apart from other victims of sexual abuse who face a justice system that often doesn’t protect them. Her story sheds light on why rape remains one of the most grossly underreported crimes.

Women (and men) often wait years to speak up about sexual abuse. Consider Bill Cosby’s victims, some of whom didn’t feel safe coming forward until multiple decades had passed. Still, that fact doesn’t stop people from questioning why victims don’t come forward sooner and suggesting their hesitance makes them liars.

The truth is that there are few incentives to coming forward with an allegation of sexual assault. It means having to recount a trauma over and over again, to people who may not even believe that what you say happened actually happened. It means facing the judgments of those closest to you, and in Kesha’s case, the judgments of the public who determine the success of her career. It means being picked apart, as people try to find just how “perfect” a victim you are. It may mean dealing with law enforcement officials and members of a jury who have been socialized to believe myths about rape.

“You’ve already been violated,” Madonna told Howard Stern last year when he asked why she never reported a violent assault to the police in the late 1970s. “It’s just not worth it. It’s too much humiliation.”

And most of the time, even after all of that “humiliation,” an abuser will never see the inside of a jail cell. According to RAINN, just 2 percent of rapists serve jail time, and though it’s somewhat easier to win a civil suit than a criminal one, nothing is guaranteed.

5

i wanna raise awareness to this issue that someone posted anonymously to Twitter!! please if u can send this person encouraging words. it doesn’t matter if one is under the influence, alone, or not dressed ‘appropriately’ NO means NO.

4

AMANDA PLATELL: “Just to be clear, I’m not blaming this murder victim. Who drank alcohol and partied. Not blaming her at all in any way. She drank Jagerbombs, by the way. But not blaming. No blame here. Even though she drank six of them. No blame.”

bitchmedia.org
The CDC's New Alcohol Guidelines Treat Women as "Pre-Pregnant"
What year is this, again?

On Tuesday, the Center of Disease Control released new recommendations saying that all sexually active women of child-bearing age should stop drinking alcohol if they’re not on birth control.

The guidelines, headlined, “Alcohol and Pregnancy: Why Take the Risk?” say that because half of all pregnancies are unintended, women who are drinking and not using birth control could at any time wind up exposing fetuses to birth control. The announcement is accompanied by an infographic that lists “sexually transmitted diseases” and “unintended pregnancies” as risks for “any woman” who drinks more than eight drinks a week.

Imagine for a moment an alternate reality where the CDC recommended that all fertile men refrain from consuming any alcohol unless they sign a pledge to always use a condom. The government would fund a campaign to get bars to use condoms as coasters. We’d throw boozy parties for dudes who got vasectomies. After all, men drink far more than women do and are twice as likely to become alcoholics.

Would that idea ever be seriously considered? Nope, because it’s ludicrous. And it’s just as absurd to recommend that all sexually active women swear off alcohol.  

The backlash to this announcement has been swift. The recommendations are part of a cultural problem where the health of fetuses is valued and protected over the lives of women and chronically overlooks the role men play in creating pregnancies (case in point: Obamacare covers the cost of female forms of birth control, but not vasectomies). There is a history of well-intentioned public health campaigns shaming women for drinking at all. As blogger Steph at Grounded Parents wrote, the CDC’s idea that all women should be viewed as “pre-pregnant” is offensive for several reasons

“While the U.S. government has not yet formalized restrictions on what I can and can’t do as a woman of childbearing age, this culture shift – viewing women as vessels for potential babies – scares me. I am an adult human. I am whole. I am not less important than my potential future unborn fetuses. To suggest that is offensive. I am not going to make a slippery slope argument, because I think we’ve already reached the bottom of the slope. Our culture doesn’t value women and girls.”

abusers don’t want to carry the guilt for their own abuse you know? they wont do it. they let you know it hurts them and they don’t want to experience any of it, they don’t let you hold them guilty, they say the guilt is on you, they force you to take it, they drown you in the guilt and say it’s all your fault.

so you are the one who feels like a monster. you are the one feeling like you’re toxic and somehow a danger to the others, you are the one carrying the shame and the guilt as if you abused someone that badly, as if you caused for someone to abuse you. you are the one who gets self conscious over all of your actions and words, you feel like you’re the worst human alive, you feel like you deserve to be punished and abused for your crimes, you feel like you’ve done something wrong, like you need to be forgiven but nobody will give you forgiveness, you feel like there’s something inherently wrong and evil inside of you, like it can’t be helped because you are you. you end up feeling like the world would be a better place without you in it. you end up hiding and scared that you’ll be revealed for how horrible you really are. you end up feeling like you don’t deserve to exist.

that is what abuser should have been feeling. that is what they should have been carrying. that was forced on you. you haven’t done anything wrong. you’ve been forced to carry their emotional burden. that is what they should have been going through. forcing the victim to feel the guilt and shame of the abuser, forcing them to carry this burden on themselves, together with the burden of being betrayed and abused, that is actual torture.

and it’s devastating because you never got to be in love with yourself, you never got to experience how it feels to be human, free of guilt, free of thinking about yourself as a monster, free of burden and shame, free of self hatred, free of self consciousness and anxiety, free of fear and paranoia that you’re doing something wrong, free of feeling like you deserve to be punished, free of suicidal feelings, free to feel like you deserve being loved! because that’s what you deserved! you have done nothing wrong! you have done nothing to deserve the burden you’re carrying! it’s abuser who should be carrying it. it’s time for it to be returned to where it truly belongs. and that is not on your shoulders.