The rationalization of victim blaming

I often hear from friends and co-workers about how people who don’t wear masks all the time and die from COVID deserve their grim fate for engaging in risky behavior. Even though I wear a mask any time I am in public and think everyone else should as well I still cringe when I hear this. It reminds me of the victim blaming done by conservatives against the gay community ravaged by AIDS in the 80s. Victim blaming can not be cleansed or justified just because the victim engaged in “risky” or “dubious” behavior. We should not revell in the demise of someone to this plague because they did not practice exactly the same amount of caution as us any more than we should make fun of an overweight diabetic loosing their leg or a smoker painfully dying of lung cancer even though both of them are aflicted by their own choices. This is true even though there is decades of medical evidence that their behavior causes these aflictions, unlike with COVID. If the obese woman who looses her leg often tweeted about the glorious pleasures of eating entire cakes in one sitting are we now forgiven for victim blaming and shaming her and her family? I think not. We need to be more humane and accepting of the flaws in eachother.

Why don’t you stop drawing false equivalencies. Nobody was choosing to be gay.

All the maga heads are very clearly choosing to be gross assholes.

Getting HIV doesn’t necessarily put others at risk. Getting COVID puts everyone within 10 feet of you at risk.

Getting COVID and refusing to mask up is like getting HIV and refusing to inform your partners about your status.

I’ve dated in the gay community and you know what people say about those who lie/don’t inform any of their partners about their HIV status?

And we know for a fact that masks reduce transmission too.

You keep talking like COVID happens in a vacuum and if anyone gets it or dies of it, then that has no effect on anyone else’s safety. Magaheads aren’t just hurting themselves.

They are LITERALLY plague vectors.


We did not choose to be gay but we did choose to engage in behavior that greatly raised our chances of contracting HIV.

That part’s fine. Not wearing a mask is then like choosing to go around and have sex with a bunch of people while not telling them about your status.


You keep making false equivalences as if you have no actual argument. This is a metaphor that I honestly find rather disgusting of you to be insisting on engaging in, btw.


This is true now, to be sure, but in the 80s when AIDS was still not completely understood it was quite different.

And the transmission of COVID is now well understood. Acting like it’s some big mystery shows how poorly informed or otherwise intent on spreading misinformation you are.


No more than HIV was when we were still being victim blamed.

I don’t consider them to be false equivalencies or I would not be making my argument. If you understand something that renders them flase, I am certainly open to hearing you out.

The lifecycle, transmission methods, genetic structure, transmission prevention techniques, pathophysiology and environmental persistence of COVID are all known to a much better extent now after 1 year than they were for HIV by 1990, several years after it was first identified.

Practically the only thing we have in common is the president pretending neither were a problem.


And you believe this justifies the victim blaming?

One of the reasons I tend to not “blame the victim” as it were in this case is because while I would be okay with some people’s actions ending their lives, this is a team sport, and it’s just sad to me that other people are affected.

I mentioned my mother who has cancer in another thread, and here’s the thing, there’s no real use authorizations for the vaccine to people who have cancer or heavily suppressed immune systems. There’s just not a protocol for them. So, even if she wasn’t a trumper (she’s pro-mask, been sequestering at home because of risk, advocates real life choices), the fact that someone else unrelated to her decides to not wear a mask is going to put her at risk until well after the phase 3 studies end in October and vaccination protocols for suppressed immune system affected people come into play.

So I could be happy that someone who was an anti-masker dies, but they also are potentially killing multiple pro-maskers and such on their way out. Masks aren’t perfect. Especially with the new strain. Higher local virus rates means higher risks.

I just can’t find myself happy that someone who murders people is dead. I’m hopeful that they won’t continue causing suffering, but even that ship has likely sailed.


I’ve yet to see anyone argue that they are happy about maga heads dying from their own stupidity.

I’ve seen some people say it’s very difficult to feel bad about them dying. Or it’s just a waste to care about them and dedicate a bunch of emotional effort.

Nobody seems to me to be celebrating a bunch of magaheads killing themselves and those around them. But I do see at least a few people telling us we should be wearing hairshirts and smearing our selves with ashes over some magaheads we don’t know killing themselves in ways that put the rest of us in danger.

I guess to me that feels emotionally manipulative. As if magaheads are victims and couldn’t have possibly known what they were doing would lead to their own sickness and death along with the deaths of others.

I’m not going to celebrate it personally. But it feels strange and intrusive and manipulative that people are telling me I am a monster for not feeling bad about dangerous loonies dying of something that puts the rest of us at risk.


100% with you. Feel what you want to feel and nobody should tell anyone how to process this. We all have likely very different ways of handling these things. What I would suggest personally though is that this is going to be far, far worse before it gets better. Once the hospitals lose control of this, and they will because of the christmas travel, there’s going to be a lot of people affected and many of us are going to need help. Personally, I’m focusing on helping those people and helping in general, without paying too much attention to maintaining a ledger of who “deserves” help or not. But again, that’s me. That’s how I’m going to handle the upcoming months where we say goodbye to millions.

To be fair, though, those things do happen here but they get erased SUPER quickly. And rightly so, it is a rule here that you cannot celebrate COVID killing someone here.


We were told by these people that their continued wealth and power was worth our deaths, that the overall harm to the economy was more important than our individual lives.

Covid deniers dying of covid are like a serial killer getting E Coli from eating his victim. We were expected to be consumed for the good of the rich and powerful. “Victim” isn’t the word I would use for them.


I agree with you, @Swiftyfive, that their deaths should not be celebrated. But there is a big “well, what did you expect”-shaped asterisk attached to my feelings about their death.

There is a fine line between recognizing consequences and victim blaming.
There is a very thick line between having unsafe sex during a pandemic, and telling everyone else to have unsafe sex, that condoms are a lie, etc.

I don’t want to continue with this metaphor: the people refusing to wear masks are potentially spreading germs to everyone in the store, restaurant, voting center, etc. It isn’t possible to make an informed choice.

But this line is so thick I can not see across it: the difference between using blame against a marginalized group as an excuse to not do anything, and blaming a politically powerful group (and its followers) that is advocating doing nothing.


There certainly are differences but not any substancial enough to justify the reveling in blame and self richeousness I am seeing. As far as advocating the doing of nothing, I don’t think I have seen anyone who died of covid both be in a powerfull position and advocate for doing nothing.

I often walk out of places where someone does not wear a mask but the point is not how exactly one victim blaming episode is to the other but rather that you should not blame victims for their fate as a matter of course, and specially to make yourself feel superior and in that you seem to agree.

All victim blamers have reasons and use their reasons to justify blaming the victim. If you can put forth an example of someone like you just described that was denying covid existed in order to directly enrich themselves but knew that not only was real but considerably more deadly than they professed from their position of power then you certainly have something.

Exactly. In this metaphor, choosing not to wear a mask isn’t just about choosing to have consensual, unprotected sex, it’s akin to exposing everyone you come near to your STDs, involuntarily.

But this whole thread seems like a straw man. I haven’t seen anyone on bbs “celebrating” deaths. If anything, some have simply chosen not to voice compassion. That’s a totally different thing. That’s been discussed on another thread.

And @aLynHall made a reasonable analogy on that thread: someone opting not to take the minor COVID protections we know work is more similar to drunken driving than to AIDS. If a drunk driver runs a bus of senior citizens off a cliff, and also dies in the process, do we expect (nay, demand) that everyone hearing that story express their heartfelt effing dismay that the drunken driver died? :woman_shrugging:t2:


Thereby losing your job, if you work retail. And your health insurance, if you are in the US. And your eligibility for some forms of aid, since you were fired “with cause.”


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