Why We Bang on About Victim Blaming

Content Note: Rape.

I’ve actually had people ask me why liberals, and especially feminists, go on and on about “victim blaming”. They wonder why it matters so much who is actually blamed, they say that what we call “victim blaming” is just “common sense” (e.g. people rape, therefore not getting drunk at a party is a logical way to avoid that). Well, I have a response to that.

A defense attorney in Texas has recently tried to protect his client from changes that he participated in the gang rape of an eleven year old. And here’s his argument:

“Like the spider and the fly. Wasn’t she saying, ‘Come into my parlor, said the spider to the fly?'” Taylor asked.

Yep. He made the argument that an 11-year-old girl was so amazingly sexy that the nearly 20 people who gang raped her just couldn’t help themselves. This was made in court, in front of a judge, on the record. There was a bit of back and forth, too.

“I wouldn’t call her a spider,” Langdon replied. “I’d say she was just an 11-year-old girl.”

“I hope nothing like this ever happens to your two teenage sons,” Taylor snapped back.

Here we go again. An attorney, attempting to discredit a rape victim, tries to paint them as the aggressor, making their client into a mindless sex zombie, entirely incapable of controlling themselves. Even Sinatra and Kelly, in one of the most disturbing songs in an old musical, realize that sleeping with an 11-year-old is a terrible idea. This is basically the same argument that Rep. Roger Rivard made: “some girls rape easy.”

Yet somehow this attorney thought that the idea that said child was just too irresistable to pass up justified what happened to her. He didn’t argue that his client was the victim of alien mind control, or had been replaced by a doppleganger, or that we’re living in a giant simulation and only the judge is real, so there’s no point in sentencing the hologram that is his client to prison. Those ideas would be ridiculous. But the idea that his client just couldn’t help himself from falling for the girl’s pre-pubescent wiles, that was considered a reasonable argument to make in court.

That’s why we are so opposed to victim-blaming: because that argument should be relegated to the same trash heap as mind control and dopplegangers, and it’s wrong that we live in a world where it hasn’t been yet.

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