Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Confusion

Last night, I was reading this and this. I was confused. To briefly (and in an extremely oversimplified way) summarize, some people were saying women should play it safe and not do things like go out alone at night so as to reduce the possibililty of being subject to sexual assault. And others were saying, "You cannot say that because by inference this means that if you do fall victim to sexual assault, then you are partly or wholly to blame for this because you did not take the said precautions". I could see the point made by both sides and was not able to reconcile the different thoughts running through my head. Then, this morning I walked in to the department to find the following next to the elevator (Poor quality cell phone pics, sorry).

Does this mean the University is engaging in “blame the victim” game now? I am even more confused.

11 comments:

palscape said...

to my old cynical mind, its the university staving of potential lawsuits :P

Anonymous said...

A victim is a victim, be it male or female. Blaming them for not taking unreasonable and unjust precautions is inhuman.

And maybe you are overreacting a little when you say "blame the victim game" looking at the poster? We don't have to worry unless its made into a law like the "sharia law" or something. Then I don't know what to say.

CuriousCat said...

@bongo : Might as well be:) ... and I see that cricket controversies are keeping you busy since return from paradise..

@ Anonymous: Yes you are right about "blaming being inhuman". And the reason I was calling the university poster "blame the victim game" is that as I understood it, the point Falstaff was making was that saying such things as "do not walk alone else you might be assaulted" is what leads to a person that was assaulted feeling guilty for bringing it onto themselves and should we not do something about this?
I am confused as I was saying. I am not quite able to achieve a distance from the emotional aspect to consider this objectively from the sociological point of view yet.

Anonymous said...

hmm. Maybe they should add a footnote to such posters saying "STATUTORY WARNING: Persons getting hurt after following the said precautions may feel guity for not taking the said precautions."

Anonymous said...

oops, read as "not following"

Priyanka said...

Blaming the victim just isn't right and I agree with the 'anon' commentor but i also think that yeah the posters can be misconstrued as they put the onus back on the victim and say you have to take these precautions to protect yourself..else "implying" that blame may fall on you later if something were to happen??!!

CuriousCat said...

I see what you are saying Priyanka. As an example, over at metblogging Chennai, a guy has commented (in some unrelated context),
“In related news, the Shiv Sena has decided to take on the bizarre Congressi feministvadis, who demand the right for females to drink and be 'boisterous' on the beaches on new years eve - without even being touched by the sexually starved males!”
This is a typical blame the victim syndrome that there is an abundance of and I am not able to see a way to help people get out of this mindset.

tangled said...

I really just want to say one thing about the topic:
As much as the advice on the posters might contribute to individual incidents reducing in number, BEING CAREFUL IS NOT A PERMANENT SOLUTION.

Isn't it the point of civilization that we don't have to fear for our safety every time we step out of our homes?
Might as well return to caves and have ourselves a caveman with a club to protect our virtue.

tangled said...

(Which just reminded me of all those arguments that liken lascivious men to savage beasts: "When you're in the jungle you should protect yourself from the predators" etc.)

CuriousCat said...

You hit the nail on the head tangled...you said exactly what I wanted to say but could not find the words...Thank you!

tangled said...

:)