Blaming Victims of the Powerful
Trigger Warning: May be triggering for rape victims
Ten-year-old “G” was attacked in a rape so violent that it made a hole between her vagina and rectum.
She bled so heavily that she nearly lost her life.
In the hospital, G’s mother and aunt fretted over community pressure to kill her to retain family honor.
Little G felt homesick at the hospital, but no one had the heart to tell her that her family was conspiring to kill her.
Later, a doctor found G’s mother holding her daughter’s hand. Both were weeping as the mother said,
My daughter, may dust and soil protect you now. We will make you a bed of dust and soil. We will send you to the cemetery where you will be safe.
Meanwhile, the religious leader who had raped little G went free.
That happened in Kunduz, Afghanistan and was reported in the New York Times.
But nothing that sad, depressing and crazy could happen here, right?
Unfortunately, too many things come close.
Girls apologizing to their rapists
Katie Landry was raised in a conservative Mennonite home, and hadn’t even held hands with a boy, when she was raped. Two years later she told the Dean of Students at Bob Jones University, a Christian fundamentalist school.
The dean, Jim Berg, said she must have committed a sin to deserve the attack, and told her to ask her rapist’s forgiveness.
Five other young women reported the same horrifying experience when seeking Berg’s help.
Kicked off squad for not cheering her rapist
In 2008 a 16-year-old high school cheerleader was kicked off the squad for refusing to root for the basketball player who raped her. School officials had asked her to avoid the school cafeteria and homecoming activities, too.
In another well-known sport-related case, Penn State staff and fans coddled head football coach, Joe Paterno, who had shielded assistant coach, Jerry Sandusky, from the legal consequences of molesting young boys. Many Penn State fans were outraged when news sources shed light on the assaults and cover-up.
Biracial man condemned for complaining about racism
Turning to racism, a young biracial man named Larz was accosted by a student wearing a Klan hood at an Alta High School assembly in Utah. He reported on his blog:
When his friends saw that I had noticed they began pointing and laughing. I immediately demanded that he remove the hood. He then approached me and began dancing in my face and taunting me. I snatch the hood and threw it behind me and his crowd of friends became very displeased with this.
His blog comments too often look like this:
- I think this is ridiculous. Larz needs to GROW UP. Yeah, I think it’s a GREAT idea to make a blog about a kid a lot of people at your school like, and to BASH him, and try to make everyone feel like you’re a victim… that’s really mature.
- The guy who was wearing the white costume, in my view, may have been taunting the OP, however, unlikely due to racism, and more so because he was showing off to his friends.
- First off, you are pretty pathetic ‘larz’. You lied to your teacher to get out of class to go tell daddy that some kids at your school were wearing unethical hoods. Now we also find out you are a troublemaker at school. I have friends that are black, but they don’t act like “n’s”.
Seen through eyes of the powerful
So, people of color who don’t put up with racism are “n’s,” cheerleaders who don’t root for their rapists are kicked off the team, no one should talk of the sins of famous coaches, victims should apologize to their rapists, and honor lies in killing a young daughter who was brutally attacked. While her religious rapist goes free.
Too many of us blame victims who are harmed by more powerful community members.
In each case, the insanities only make sense when we see through the eyes of the powerful, and not through the eyes of empathy.
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Posted on August 1, 2014, in feminism, psychology, race/ethnicity, rape and sexual assault, sexism, violence against women, women and tagged feminism, psychology, race and ethnicity, rape, sexism, sexual assault, violence against women, women. Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.