What is a Victim?

What do you think of when you hear that word? Physical violence or hurtful words; are  the recipients of both really victims? The term probably has a broader spectrum of use than any other word in the English language today and is certainly a big favourite with the media. We can be ‘victims’ of inappropriate behaviour or of brutal rape and yet these two concepts could not be further apart so why do we use the same word? If you are a victim there is the implication that you have suffered and, that in itself can be relative, but can we honestly say that there is the same level of suffering from an unwanted pat on the bottom and a violent rape or domestic assault?

fragile womanI am female but I am not a feminist simply because I don’t believe that women separating themselves from men and hurling accusations at them for their perceived transgressions will do anything to bring about equality between the sexes. If anything, I feel that the current witch hunt against high profile men in the film and television industries is actually damaging women’s position in society. It seems that women are  now either viewed as poor delicate little flowers who must stick together as protection from nasty men or we are vicious bitches who will screech harassment if a man so much as looks at us in the wrong way!

feministSo, where does that leave women in 2018? If we put the label ‘victim’ on ourselves by complaining about unwanted sexual attentions from 20 or 30 years ago and demanding that justice be done aren’t we actually taking away from women who are suffering genuine oppression and violence? Morgan Freeman’s name is currently all over the news as he has been accused by his victims of inappropriate comments and touching; from the reports that I’ve seen this amounts to compliments about the women’s figures or appearance and a hand on the lower back. Some journalists have labelled Freeman as a ‘sexual predator’; 50 odd years ago the same label was given to Ian Brady who raped, tortured and murdered children and, in both cases, ‘victims’ are referred to. Are we honestly saying that an unwanted hand on the back is the same as the rape, torture and murder of children? So why do we use the word ‘victim’ in both instances?

The current feminist revolution demands that women be ‘strong’ and stand up against the patriarchy. How? By running to the newspapers and crying harassment when a man touches their lower back or says that they’ve got a nice rack? Confronting the man and saying ‘I am not comfortable with you doing that, please stop’ is being strong.  Sending out the message that a woman needs the support of thousands of others before she can confront a man about his ‘inappropriate behaviour’ or unwanted sexual attentions is weakness. Not confronting the man himself face to face and letting a rabid pack of journalists and keyboard warriors conduct a trial by media is, in my opinion, spiteful and cowardly. I’m not talking about rape here, that’s a different matter entirely but that’s kind of the point; an unwanted hand on the knee and outdated views shouldn’t cost a man his career….should it?

It seems, these days, that we are constantly called to moral outrage, by the media, in the name of political correctness and I wonder if our senses are becoming dulled to a point that we lose all perspective when faced with real tragedy. There is a video currently doing the rounds on the internet of Morgan Freeman clumsily flirting with a couple of young female journalists and it’s been labelled as ‘disturbing’. The story of a girl who suffered six years of repeated rape and sexual assault at the hands of her stepfather is also described as ‘disturbing’. Have we so lost our grip on the English language (or reality for that matter) that we can honestly equate these two things in any way at all?

bottom tap

This is not the same…

rape

as this

I remember a time when you were innocent until proven guilty but, these days, the mere whiff of an accusation can be enough to plaster your name and face all over the media if you’re a rich, famous, newsworthy celebrity. Instead of a trial by a jury of their peers, they face trial by Twitter and the perpetually outraged……..

What do you think? I’d love to hear from you

Lisa x

 

 

  22 comments for “What is a Victim?

  1. May 30, 2018 at 8:58 am

    I agree with that. We don’t rely on fair trials anymore. People are gonna end you through Social Media and hearsay. I am not saying this because I am a fan of Morgan Freeman or anything, but some of the accusations are unfair and misleading.

    Liked by 1 person

    • May 30, 2018 at 9:11 am

      Thanks for your comment :O) Yes, mob mentality has a lot to answer for x

      Like

  2. May 30, 2018 at 9:00 am

    I am pretty sure I left a comment, I don’t know where it went.

    Like

    • May 30, 2018 at 9:12 am

      Don’t worry it’s there now – I just have to approve them before they appear – that way I don’t get a blog full of spam ;O) x

      Liked by 1 person

      • May 30, 2018 at 9:13 am

        Oh. I do that as well but I am still getting Spam, and some of the comments are in my spam folder that’s why I wasn’t able to reply to some of the comments.

        Like

      • May 30, 2018 at 9:24 am

        Spam is a nuisance isn’t it!

        Like

  3. May 30, 2018 at 5:07 pm

    I absolutely love this blog….well written………..could not have put it better myself…..

    Liked by 1 person

  4. May 31, 2018 at 4:17 pm

    You’ve given me much to think about, for sure. I’ll play the devil’s advocate though, at least in part. I think the word “victim” is assigned levels of degree by the preposition “of.” A person can be a victim of a serious crime, a victim of peer pressure, or a victim of sexual harassment, among many other things.

    Then let’s look at the term “sexual harassment.” I see the term in the classic sense, as described by FindLaw.com:

    “Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitutes sexual harassment when submission to or rejection of this conduct explicitly or implicitly affects an individual’s employment, unreasonably interferes with an individual’s work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment.”

    Of course, touching the small of someone’s back does not constitute sexual harassment, UNLESS there is a threat of intimidation or a deleterious affect on the work environment. This is, and should be, hard to prove, but it does happen all the time and protections from this need to be in place. Whether to protect a female from a male in such a case, a male from a female, a male from another male, or a female from another female.

    I think because of the history of a lack of protections from these things, from small local businesses to large Hollywood studios, it’s important to understand that the victims have rights in these situations. Because, yes, to me they are victims, as well.

    Am I right? Who knows. Has it been blown out of proportion? Perhaps. Or perhaps a bit of over-correction is necessary at this point. That’s my two cents on the subject. 😎

    Thanks for the very courageous post on the topic!

    Liked by 1 person

    • May 31, 2018 at 4:30 pm

      Thanks Tom, I love it when people play Devil’s advocate :O) I totally get where you’re coming from as, in the past, there was a great deal of sexual intimidation and harassment in the workplace – I know whereof I speak as I was subjected to it on more than one occasion when I was in my late teens and early twenties. Actually, thinking about it (and this is why I love devil’s advocates) maybe I would be less bothered by the extreme rules that have been introduced to curb harassment had I not had to deal with it alone. However, saying that, I DID deal with it alone and, because it was harassment and not abuse it made me stronger when I dealt with it personally. As you say Tom it’s a tricky one and you could be right about the over-correction but I do still feel that over-sensitivity on the part of some women does detract from the suffering of others. Question for you, after all that, as a man, do you feel that you have to be very careful when engaging with women you work with in case you do offend them in some way? I imagine there must be a certain amount of eggshell walking? xx

      Liked by 2 people

      • May 31, 2018 at 5:02 pm

        Most definitely. And imagine how much better a world this would be if everyone took just a moment to consider the ramifications of their actions and statements on others before they made them, in and out of our place of work. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      • May 31, 2018 at 5:06 pm

        I think the world would definitely be a better place if everyone considered other people but I also think it’s possible to offend when that’s the furthest thing from your mind. For instance, if a man opens a door for me I think that’s really courteous and considerate but some women see it as insulting and patronizing; it’s the same action but a very different reaction 😊

        Liked by 2 people

      • May 31, 2018 at 5:08 pm

        Truth! But look at us finding middle ground. We can both agree that courteously opening a door for a lady is no form of harassment.

        Even if I nonchalantly watch her walk through. 😉 🙈🙊

        Liked by 1 person

      • May 31, 2018 at 5:11 pm

        I know – how easy was that 😊

        😂😂😂 love it!! X

        Liked by 1 person

  5. June 1, 2018 at 2:44 pm

    Well said…TOTALLY AGREE with everything you said…great blog…

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Tito Jay
    June 2, 2018 at 2:03 am

    Hi Lisa,

    I agree with your points and you made them well! I remember Taylor Swift claiming someone grabbed her butt and there was a picture that I honesty could not tell if the dude did or didn’t. I think she sued him and he got fired. My thought was why didn’t she just slap the sh*t out of him and yell, “Keep you hands off my a$$!” Then just shake it off. She was obviously not alone with the guy because there was the picture that was taken. I don’t get it.

    Peace

    Jay

    Like

    • June 2, 2018 at 4:52 am

      Hi Jay. Thanks for your comment 😊 I don’t remember the Taylor Swift episode but, if those were the circumstances, I absolutely agree with you. A guy doesn’t deserve to lose his livelihood for that. X

      Like

  7. June 16, 2018 at 7:55 am

    I was thinking about posting on this subject, but didn’t. If I had, I could not have written any better than this.. I am impressed.

    Mike

    Liked by 1 person

  8. July 28, 2018 at 8:18 am

    Just because it is not the same doesn’t mean you should try and excuse it. Pre-rape it was tolerable, an unwanted and unexpected risk of taking public transport. Post-rape it would give me flashbacks. It would remind me of the hell I had lived through and I am still living through. It was as bad.

    Liked by 1 person

    • July 28, 2018 at 8:38 am

      Thank you for your comment Andrea – I’m so sorry that you have to live with that.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: