A Tuesday twofer: Victim-blaming and marriage-laming

Posted at 2:15 PM Feb 16, 2010

By Andrea Grimes

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Being a feminist means being able to be both saddened and amused, often within moments of each other. If that hasn't happened to you yet today, please allow me to facilitate.

The saddening part: two studies out of the UK report that people generally--and women especially--are inclined toward victim-blaming in instances of both violence and rape. First, an Edinburgh university study of 11 and 12-year-olds:

They were asked to consider whether or not a man was justified in punching his partner when he found out she had had an affair. Nearly all of the children thought that the woman deserved to be hit. In another scenario, about 80% of the children said a man had cause to slap his partner because she did not have the dinner ready on time.

Researcher Nancy Lombard described the findings as "worrying" because the youngsters had naturalised and normalised violent behaviour. She said: "The children didn't agree with violence, but gave reasons to try to justify it if the woman had done something 'wrong'.

And then, from an online poll unfortunately (and terrifyingly?) called Wake Up To Rape:

Some 71 percent of the women who said they felt some rape victims should take responsibility said the victims were accountable for the crime if they'd gone to bed with the attacker. Only 57 percent of the men felt that way, according to the survey.

One in ten people reported that they weren't sure if they would report being raped to the police, while 2 percent said they would definitely not report it. The reasons for not reporting a rape were being too ashamed or embarrassed (55 percent), not wanting to have to go to court (38 percent), and wanting to forget it had happened (41 percent.)

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angie said:

I'm supportive of survivors who don't wish to report to the police (not because they should be ashamed; mainly because the criminal justice system has little to offer to victims of sexual assault other than revictimization).

That said. . .this is a very sad post indeed.

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