Why Recommending Self-Defense Isn’t Victim Blaming

     I’m typing this post last Monday.  The big news seems to be everybody in an uproar over an answer given by Miss Nevada.  She suggested that women learn self-defense.  Now some feminists are up in arm claiming that her suggestion is victim-blaming.  What!?
     Most people know what victim-blaming is.  For those who don’t, it is the concept that somehow a victim “asked for it” or contributed to their own assault.  Those who blame victims hold the victim somehow responsible (in whole or part) for what happened.  Victim blaming is obviously ridiculous as no one EVER “asks for it”, regardless of clothing choice, behavior, or other factor.
     A victim will be assaulted whether or not they defend themselves.  Defense begins after the assault starts.  “Pre-Emptive” attacks are just assault.  No self-defense advocate holds the victim accountable for what happened.  We just seek to reduce assault overall.  If more victims can defend themselves, there would be less FUTURE victims.  And of course, no victim is responsible for another person’s future assault, be it their attacker or another person.  Each person is simply responsible for their own actions, period.
     “Let’s teach men not to rape.”  FACEPALM!  First, a problem I have with the #yesallwomen advocates is the claim they make about men being the primary aggressors and women being primary victims according to reported cases.  This completely overlooks the fact that rapes where men are the victim are supposed to be the most unreported crime.  The words of such advocates have actually worsened the depression for which a male victim I know is being treated.  Second, who doesn’t realize that rape is wrong?  Rape, theft, murder, and assault are all wrong and we all know it.  Yet it still happens.  We teach children not to play with matches, but we still have fire extinguishers and 911 on speed dial.  A back-up plan is needed.
     “But I shouldn’t have to resort to violence to stop a rape/theft/assault!”  Someone told me this on Twitter.  And you know what?  They are absolutely right.  We shouldn’t have to.  But we do need to.  People shouldn’t rape/steal/assault/murder.  But they do, and that is why we need to resort to violent means.
     Some people say that we should try to find out why people do these things so that we can stop assaults before they occur.  Go right ahead.  Learning self-defense won’t interfere with that.  Prevention is worth a pound of cure.  Until the disease is upon you.  Then prevention isn’t worth squat and cure is everything.
     Others make the claim that self-defense is fear mongering.  No, gun control is fear mongering.  Good guys with guns do stop bad guys with guns.  I see it all the time on my local news.  Elderly woman shoots home invader, woman shoots attempted rapist, man shot attacker, so on and so forth.  You can also learn unarmed defense.  I wholeheartedly recommend it whether you own a gun or not.  Seat belts are not fear mongering, nor is self-defense.  It really is the same thing.  Chances are you won’t be assaulted.  Every self-defense advocate acknowledges that.  But it is just common sense to be prepared.

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