Wednesday, March 3, 2010

It wasn't my fault

There is in the news right now the sad story of a young woman who went for a run in a park and instead was raped and murdered.

Elsewhere someone said that this happened because she went running by herself.

Did you catch that? She was raped and murdered because she did something.

Things like that get said frequently in our society and few people ever think of what it really means. It's blaming the victim. It's taking total control and responsibility away from the evil man that did that. It's a symptom of the idea that men are merely sex animals who can't control their urges and so it's up to women to stop them and if the man isn't stopped then it is somehow the woman's fault. It's saying that men have no control, no choice in the matter as to how they act. Do you see how wrong that is?!? Do you see how degrading that is to men?

And yet it is such an underlying belief in our society that rape, assault, and molestation are rarely reported because the woman believes she's to blame. That what happened to her was somehow her fault. If she hadn't worn that outfit, or been in that place, or smiled at that guy, then none of this would've happened to her. Yes, we can avoid dangerous places, but dangerous people don't confine themselves to well labeled places. And no means no. The words coming out of a person's mouth should mean more than the shirt they are wearing.

We are all responsible for our individual actions, including the bad people who do bad things. They have responsibility for their lives just as I have responsibility for my own (and my own is plenty enough responsibility for me without worrying about the lives of everyone around me).

I am a runner. And I will continue to run and enjoy it. And my heart and prayers will go out to those parents right now.

And what happened to me all those years ago. It wasn't my fault. I didn't make him do that. It wasn't my fault.


TRS said...

Very well said.

My sister was raped and murdered nearly 25 years ago. I agree, that even though she may have contributed to her position, being where she was and who she went with... it was not HER fault.

And quite frankly, I don't buy the fact that the parole board blames it on the fact that the perpetrator was high/ drugged. He did what did... drugged or not.

Imagine my shock when I was talking with my dad a few months ago and he referred to the fact that my sister, "... went and got herself killed."

It's really easy to say - after the fact - that she shouldn't have been where she was or with whom she was with.

Excuse her for living her life up to that point.
Even after that experience... I knowingly put myself in some places I shouldn't have. And I knew better. I was just lucky. Or she was watching out for me.

And Roxie... it wasn't your fault.