The perils of victimhood, and the pratfalls of blame


#1

If this is a weird way of phrasing the implication that I am victim-blaming, then I find this troubling for several reasons. Firstly I didn’t blame anyone for anything. Secondly, the example of my post was myself, and my own experiences, so I don’t understand how or why people feel entitled to say that I am victim-blaming myself - especially when I explicitly say that I do not blame myself. Thirdly, it glibly accuses me of a bannable offense with no backup or justification offered. So all I get is an accusation which leaves a bad taste in my mouth, and probably some flags. Here is my post in question, which @chgoliz was referring to:

Perhaps I am truly somehow secretly judgemental, or suffer from really poor ethics. But I would like it if people who are critical of what I am saying here to say something about what they find problematic about it. Beyond dismissing it or me with rude labels, that’s too easy! I feel that to be honest, I should speak from what I know, but it feels like an eggshell walk. If I stick to generalities, people complain that I am talking out of my ass. But when I try to offer accounts from my own experiences, I get accused of being self-centered.

It feels horribly unfair that when I try to offer my own personal perspective on things which have happened to me that I get insulted, censored, and ridiculed. Where do people get off insisting to me that “nobody” would feel or act the way I do, based upon what I have experienced? Topics about science, art, and technology are almost always safe. But whenever they are more specifically social issues - homelessness, race, sex, gender, class, government, etc - it always seems like a controversy, despite me having a lot of personal experience with these.

So, how does one know if they are victim-blaming? What if one doesn’t blame or judge people generally? What if one strives to be helpful and see that people are treated fairly? I find these difficult to reconcile with victim-blaming, so I wonder if I understand it differently than how others might. What do you say?


#2

Its not just you. I’ve been accused of white privelage for pointing out that hate crimes against Jews are far more than other groups.

One of the last times this topic of “terrorist = non-white” came up it was pointed out that the term was nothing to do with race during the 70s & 80s when IRA bombing & Arab plane high jacking was often in the news. However reality is a weak barrier against internet outrage.


#3

pratfalls.

My, what good faith you have.


#4

Citation? My gay friends would disagree.


#5

Not according to FBI crime stats, though I suppose it also depends which country you’re talking about.

Edit to add: Jews do however make the majority of religion-motivated hate crime victims at 56.8 percent of that subcategory.


#6

This is the exact same chart as the last time this discussion was had but it doesn’t change my point.

@enso see @Brainspore above.


#7

It certainly does beg clarification since you claim “hate crimes against Jews are far more than other groups.” Are you saying the FBI stats are inaccurate, or do you mean “other RELIGIOUS groups?”


#8

Your point being what?

Given that I have Jewish family (though I am a goy), I don’t see a lot of merits of a long back and forth but if you say something and someone counters with evidence that it isn’t true, if you really want to make the point, you’d give your evidence, right?


#9

@enso @Brainspore I can’t find the FBI report 2015 full numbers, only the 2014 breakdown by victim type. Let me be clear I’m not competing in any kind of Victimhood Olympics or Corpse Accounting here. Black people don’t “win” for having three times the victim count as Jews and Jews don’t “win” for barely edging out a higher victim count than homosexual men n 2014.

As before, in a previous discussion when I pointed out (from a source that didnt include the full FBI stats) that Jews top out the (religious) hate crime stats, it gets called white privilege later on in the thread. This was in agreement with the experience of @popobawa4u, nothing more, nothing less.


#10

But Jews aren’t “white” (historically through the 20th century) so I’m unclear what is has to do with white privilege. That’s just odd.


#11

I touched on that in my comment. In the US the status of “whiteness” has been semi/selectively achieved by assimilation, but outside the US, Jews are still Jews for the most part. I’m guessing the person who mentioned white privilege probably has never lived in area with a large Jewish population. The Persian Jews of LA/NYC would probably find he idea quite funny.

I wonder if the status of “whiteness” is extended to charedi (ultra orthodox) Jews who maintain very visible differences from the default “white” setting?

Pretty sure that none of the militia folks in the thread from which this one branched off would consider any of us as White.


#12

Yeah, I guess that is just asking for trouble


#13

I’ve figured out who you are. You are Jeremy Hillary Boob, PhD. Eminent physicist, polyglot, classicist, prize-winning botanist, hard biting satirist, talented pianist, good dentist, too.

And I claim my five pounds.


#14

I am not really anybody! I can hardly be said to even exist.

Still, quite a few people “liked” @chgoliz comment that my remarks supposedly equate to some obfuscated form of victim-blaming. And yet, neither they nor others are willing to remark upon this in any detail. If there was a bundle of sensory impressions here, it might find the implications distressing!


#15

I don’t think this is the time or place for me to comment or defend why other people commented or liked on a comment or post in specific. Though, as a general matter, I am sorry that you feel that you are being unheard. Though, as another general matter, I would expect that many people who work as victim advocates or in support services or in public health to have their own particular definitions of what it means to be a victim, and those definitions and perspectives have merit and value too, and I would encourage you, as I would encourage anyone, to make room to hear those.

I often think in song lyrics, and so your quote that I quoted sent me to re-listen to the song, and when I re-read the lyrics it seemed, to me, to be a very fitting song for the divide between you and a few of our colleagues in various other threads. No offense, just my attempt to bring levity, and a bit of insight, all around.


#16

This is true. Victim blaming (i.e., silencing) is practically a term of art for many feminists and anti-violence advocates. The term references a long, rich and often contentious history of real conversations, legal and political struggles. It’s worthwhile to first listen and try to learn at least some of that history.


#17

This topic was automatically closed after 411 days. New replies are no longer allowed.