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Blaming the victim

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posted on Sep, 4 2011 @ 08:42 PM

It strikes me that blaming the victim can be one of the most insulting, frustrating, awful things imaginable.

Not only has the victim been victimized...he/she gets to be victimized again when the finger-pointing starts. It's a triple crime: 1) the outrage itself; 2) Not having one's suffering acknowledged; and 3) Actually being blamed for what has happened to you.

It seems this psychological tendency is increasing! For example, "If you are unemployed or having money problems, it is your fault for not being good/hardworking enough." By saying this, people isolate themselves from the "tainted" scapegoat, assuaging their fears because they can say to themselves, "He lost his job because there is something wrong with him. But I am OK." But it brings a sense of false of security, and it turns attention from where it really should be (i.e., the financial system itself and TBTB). If you are blaming yourself for your woes, you might kill yourself, but you probably won't decide to blow up a bank on the way out. TPTB loves people who kill themselves; exploding banks, not so much.

I think we all need to get on top of this, fast, and to realize it is a mechanism for social control, for keeping the blame away from TBTB, and to encourage people to destroy themselves by turning blame inward rather than projecting it out and blaming the people who should be blamed.

"It's all your fault for not being fast enough to escape. Now hold still while you get what you deserve." "Durrr...sounds reasonable to me!"

Shifting from politics to psychology: "It's all in your head."

One of the most insidious ways of blaming the victim is to take a valid social complaint ("The fact I can't get a job despite having done everything right means that something is wrong with society") and refocusing it on the victim by reframing it as a psychological complaint. ("I can't get a job because there is something wrong with me, not with society.") In fact, I sometimes feel Psychology's number-one job is not helping people to feel better but to get the victims to look for cues within rather than demanding social change.

What do you think, ATS? Is "blaming the victim" getting worse? What can we do about it? How can we avoid falling into that trap? How can we help others to stop blaming themseves and start blaming TPTB?

posted on Sep, 4 2011 @ 09:14 PM
Guilt by assocation is hard to get rid of. Even after proving yourself innocent, you will still be assoicated with that crime.

Shifting from politics to psychology: "It's all in your head."

100% agree

Everyone percieves their own different reality.

posted on Sep, 4 2011 @ 09:20 PM
I think society doesn't have a solid line between a victim and a parasite.
Conservatism makes everyone fallen on hard times out as a "parasite", and liberalism makes every useless sponge out to be a "victim".
This is not only personal, but has defined race relations and even global politics.
It seems that parasitic dictators are fed, but the victims never benefit.

However, on a more personal level this is true.
People who are unemployed are stigmatized.
But in some population groups (especially those with specific laws aimed against them) it is seen as imposed rather than chosen.

If it happens to a lot of people in the same boat it is harder to stigmatize.

posted on Sep, 4 2011 @ 09:39 PM

Originally posted by Ellis1234
Guilt by assocation is hard to get rid of. Even after proving yourself innocent, you will still be assoicated with that crime.

Shifting from politics to psychology: "It's all in your head."

100% agree

Everyone percieves their own different reality.

Blech. I never did take to moral relativism. Sometimes the other guy's perceptions are just WRONG in an absolute capital "T" sort of way. This assumes there is something like "truth" apart from what folks "believe" is true, and I happen to think there is, in the same way there are physical laws to the universe that function whether or not someone believes them to apply to everyone.

Now as for blaming the victim, PG, I couldn't agree with you more. It's a classic deflection tactic for those who want to avoid the responsibility, and good escape for those who want to avoid thinking about it.

"What are you doing to make yourself poor, unemployed, unhappy, unhealthy, xxxx ...?" fill in the blanks. In this society of false competition 'social darwinism' is the justification for basically treating others like crap. Folks who were doing well and suddenly find themselves homeless through no fault of their own, hurricane/flood etc, find out how easily it is to slip from accepted member of society to bottom of the rung in no time. As for social darwinism, I think the proponents of this (usually economists) have forgotten the "social" part. It was a theory meant for societies who do or don't prosper and was never meant to extend to the individual, and it should be remembered also that evolution/survival depends on adaptations in the environment - you could say that as all one word - adaptationsintheevironment - because what is successful in one condition will not be in another. For example, if the planet became just 10degrees warmer the human race would not survive. This is also conveniently ignored by folks who want to justify all kinds of abuses on people who "are not adapting", when in fact it is not that they aren't adapting, it's that the SOCIETY is not adapting to take all of it's members along, and may find it's genome becoming less and less adaptable to new conditions.

But back to absolute truth and being right or being wrong. Being right does not depend on who else is right. Even if no one believed in the truth, it would still exist. Blaming someone for their woes is not compassionate, who of us really wants to inflict suffering? Even those that we think might "deserve" to suffer have done many things that do not and who are you to judge whether they ultimately "deserve" pain... most likely we want to enact revenge in the name of justice and that is not justice. Victims and abusers are intimately connected. The relationship is highly complex, as abusive men often say their wives "made" them do it, or things like "she knew what would happen and she did it anyway so she had what was coming to her", or the classic "why were you walking late at night? It's your own fault you were raped....practically asking for it..... look how she was dressed", and so forth. Abusers often portray themselves as victims and their victims as their abusers, the boundaries can be very blurred, however, abusers can be easily identified as the ones who are not suffering, but make no mistake, the bond between them is almost symbiotic/parasitic. Example....

A friend of mine once went in to break up a fight. A man was throwing a girl on the ground and punching her, and she was screaming. When he confronted the man they both attacked him. He ended up in hospital and they walked away hand in hand. Victims aren't victims without having someone to abuse them, and abusers are nothing without victims.

edit on 4-9-2011 by Wertwog because: check for black-hole droppings

posted on Sep, 4 2011 @ 09:44 PM
You would be surprised to see how little crime would exist if there where no victims.

posted on Sep, 4 2011 @ 10:07 PM
reply to post by Partygirl

i came to learn of blaming the victim from seeing both real and fictional/entertainment courtroom antics on TV. it almost seems like lawyers will stoop to any low imaginable while twisting and manipulating the hearts and minds of judge and jury in order to get the desired results and paycheck. i have to guess many people have suffered through the humiliation and degradation of being victims then being re-victimized publicly over the years. just the thought of how sick and twisted that is gives me sadness.

i also saw a lot of blaming the victim mentality take place in the early years of HIV/AIDS when we didn't yet know what some doctors and patients were dealing with in their lives. it wasn't until a lot of people were sick, dying or deceased that mainstream society learned what was taking place. there was a lot of ugly finger pointing at members of the gay community and intravenous drug users as well.

as for your comments on psychology, i'm confused. looking to put blame on society or elsewhere does not sound healthy to me, nor does it sound like something practiced by professionals. a person in need of help psychologically may be guided along any of several different paths to find the answers they seek. if you knew some people who were able to find their way through therapy maybe you would have a different view of it. i notice a popular distrust on ATS of all sorts of doctors and medicine. to each their own. i've had enough of posters in previous threads resort to name calling so i'll keep further opinion to myself though i wish i could share openly.

posted on Sep, 4 2011 @ 10:40 PM
Very, very good post!

Look at the housing crisis, they are blaming people for taking about bad loans. But all the "experts" were telling people this is how you make money and become stable.

Most real mental illness is biochemical and really can't be willed away.

The rest is a person's natural response to bad situations. Look at Jaycee Dugard. She wasn't ill, her mind worked perfectly to keep her alive. The problem wasn't her emotional reaction, it was the failure of the system to monitor people at risk.

posted on Sep, 4 2011 @ 10:56 PM
Thank you everyone for your comments!

I want to address this point:

Originally posted by LargeFries
reply to post by Partygirl
as for your comments on psychology, i'm confused. looking to put blame on society or elsewhere does not sound healthy to me, nor does it sound like something practiced by professionals. a person in need of help psychologically may be guided along any of several different paths to find the answers they seek.

There is such a thing as mental illness, nowhere in my post or anywhere else did I deny it. However, a lot of people get depressed because of the way the society is going...for example if you are a happy person and you lose your job, its natural to be upset. So you go to a doctor and they put you on pills after like ten minutes of talking. See, what would have happened instead if that person had studied how the system outsources his job and then banded together with millions of other upset jobless people to take to the streets, demanding change? Wouldn't that be better than the same million people just isolated, befuddled on pills, looking for answers "within"?

Obviously there is such a thing as real medical mental problems. But I think society is making people crazy too and the way forward is not to dope them up and tell them there is something wrong with them, but to help them understand why the system is corrupt and to help them discover how they can work together with others like themselves to change it.

posted on Sep, 5 2011 @ 02:55 AM
reply to post by Partygirl

excellent OP - I agree with all your points. I see it happen to people all the time.
Luckily, I am not a victim of it - but in a position to be.
There are probably people out there saying, "oh yeah, her, she's just lazy", which is why I distanced myself from them in the first place. I know how they are. And even though I'm secure enough in myself to know that they are wrong, I see no reason to subject myself to that kind of "abuse".

Its like, even if you have a great self esteem... if people tell you that your worthless on a daily basis, you will start to believe them...

TPTB loves people who kill themselves; exploding banks, not so much.

I promise if I ever kill myself, I'm taking a walmart with me

posted on Sep, 5 2011 @ 03:08 AM
reply to post by Partygirl

Nice thread.. I am not ashamed to say that I believe in God. I dont claim to be a purfect example of what God wants in my life, none the less I reather ask forgiveness and guidance rath than deny my weakness's. Having said that, I beleive the PTB want to destroy the weak, the God believing as well as Anyone that is not helping the cause of the rich and greedy. That includes even atheists etc. You see in this world at this point, NO ONE IS SAFE.. IF YOUR RICH, YOUR A TARGET FOR EXTORSION.IF YOUR POOR, YOUR A TARGET AS WELL. The only difference in the two is how TPTB will come after you..


posted on Sep, 5 2011 @ 03:20 AM
I can say from experience and education, that the main aim of psychology is not to help you cope better with the world, although that is what most psychologists/psychiatrists aim to do. The real aim, whether or not they understand this, is to assimilate you into society -- in effect, normalize and de-abnormalize you. This will be accomplished by any means necessary, since your cognitive dissonance in 'not fitting in' acts as a potent motivator in accepting their 'cure' whether it be via drugs, guilt, regression, hypnosis or any other means necessary.

Unfortunately, while it can make people feel more acceptable, it also removes much intuitive creativity, eccentricity, inventiveness, spontaneity and DIFFERENCE in our society. We are supposed to feel pain, negativity, extremes of love, passion, joy and also darkness. Yes, it is HARD to deal with, but it is the human condition. I have come to love people with character and flaws and personality since to me they are brave souls daring to be themselves in a world that wants to make them into another shade of grey.

Now, as you said there are genuine mental illnesses (not as many as you think, or the DSMIII would have us believe). Many of these come from a perfectly sane reaction to an INSANE world, whereby the sane reaction is labeled as insane simply because it is not ADAPTIVE. Blaming victims for their non-adaptive behavior is an extension of this.

Take a look around, and how little it would take for you to step out of line. Sit naked on your suburban/condo patio. Decide not to wear any shoes, ever. Put cheese-whiz in your hair. Drool a little on the bus. Refuse to sit in any chairs. Just for fun. Any of these things will get you labeled pretty fast and most folks won't believe you that you're just playing with them -- they'll seriously think you're nuts.

And just to illustrate, a famous psychologist Erving Goffman wrote a seminal book in the 1960's, "Asylums" that spurred an enormous debate in the profession. He took some of his perfectly sane graduate students and had them pretend to be mentally ill and get themselves admitted into psychiatric care facilities. They were to behave perfectly themselves after they were admitted and study the medical staff. Some of them even openly took notes and discussed their research projects with the staff. Every single student was not only diagnosed with a major mental illness, but Dr. Goffman had to go and personally free his students because the establishment refused to release them!

What is the lesson? From the moment they were admitted (labeled/diagnosed) EVERYTHING they did and said became 'further evidence of their diagnosis'. The doctors and nurses couldn't see how normal these people really were. Be careful of labels, oftentimes what you see is the label, not the person.

Wiki - Erving Goffman

Of course this rocked the socks off the psychiatric establishment. The NET EFFECT, despite the good intentions of individuals working in the system, is to label, segregate, normalize via any means, and integrate folks into 'normal' society. This is seen as "healthy" for you. The presumption being that EVERYONE wants, at some level, to be normal and accepted and if you do not then you are not adaptive . They don't stop at the severely mentally ill, and their are folks who need help, definitely, but their mission -- like evangelists, is to act their 'cure' upon everyone, or else allow themselves to be used by TPTB to guilt and fear us into conformity.

Einstein often didn't tie his shoelaces and button his shirts. He was eccentric in many ways, frequently charming, sometimes brutally blunt and anti-social. This behavior was tolerated more when he was growing up, folks didn't have modern psychology around back then, but as a young man today he would have been pressured to 'normalize'. What would have happened, what is happening right now, to our brilliance, ingenuity and genius that often resides outside of norms?

That is the problem with psychology today. What started out as an honest inquiry and aid into the human mind, I fear, has become a tool of oppressing them.

posted on Sep, 5 2011 @ 09:13 AM
reply to post by Partygirl

We can start by defining TPTB.

We know it isn't the President.
That is a formality and Presidents are nothing but puppets controlled either largely or in full by the powers that be. It isn't congress or the house either since they can do nothing. It is a larger framework that encompasses and connects them all.

I think it is a longstanding root ending in modern times with the Queen and the Pope and America is sort of a sanctioned "experiment in control" and we are a little bit different but an OFFSHOOT of that same imperial magistracy. They just came here and dropped the titles. This is somehow significant though I don't know how but it helps bring these ancient dragon killers up to modern times.

I plan an investigation when I have some time to follow a line of the oldest writings dealing with religion and law since initially they were bound one to the other inextricably. Who were these people that came with their servants, scribes, guards and priests?
They came with ready made craftsmen and skilled workers it would appear since they form out of nowhere and there is no evidence of a history leading up to them.

There was not even in those times 2 sets of laws. There was one set for the slaves and the freemen and there were NONE for the nobility. This has a familiar ring even today. This is how the powers that be remain behind the scenes for all practical purposes they are invisible because this is how it has always been.

I don't think they were an indigenous species and I think a few others were not from Earth initially but came here fully formed. Those that wrote the Vedas, the Egyptians were influenced by the Sumerians but perhaps all three of those civilizations may have come here from somewhere else fully formed. And then we have those giants, gods and demi gods. If I put the significant writings in chronological order from those early days at least where the laws were concerned and follow creation and law stories forward to see where they lead. How they change. I already know all roads lead to Rome...from Rome they crossed an ocean.

I wonder if the old guard left new people who were 100% human in charge and then left here for some reason or if they are interbred with us and we are the result of that today. Behind the scenes and pulling all the strings are TPTB but they are wrapped up in so much camouflage and interwoven within the existing framework and structures that abound...Illuminati Symbols and the layout of streets in the US Capitol should be a clue that they had us them, right in the beginning. That Boston Tea Party...a bunch of Masons dressed to look like Indians. Again demonizing the innocent.

Makes you wonder if the whole annexation from England was a farce to fool the people?

posted on Sep, 5 2011 @ 09:21 AM
As far as what's going on today in the world; it is the victims' fault. Why do continue to blame others for the position we find ourselves in. Fool me once, shame on you, fool me.... we can't be fooled again. Anyways, the root of all this mess lies in our hands. We let this get out of hand because we did not hold those accountable for their actions. We let others play god with our lives. Those in power only have as much power as the people let them have. Its not right to blame the victim when the victim is helpless but we are not helpless. So here's the question, is the victim still a victim if they do nothing to change the situation? I believe the victim is now an accessory.

posted on Sep, 5 2011 @ 09:32 AM
I am guilty of "blaming the victim" in my own life. My best friend (since kindergarden) shot and killed her husband in self defense. I blamed him right off the bat, maybe because I am bias towards her. It took months for the details to come out, and even then I only knew them because I personally went to every single court hearing she had. He was a terrible evil man, she had kept hidden from even me (her closes friend) the horrors of her life. He abused her in some of the most horrific ways you can imagine, the abused his own children in ways that even now turn my stomach, and was monster by all accounts. She shot him because he was about to shoot her and her two children. After finding out all these things, to me, she is the victim now. But in real life he is the "victim" and she is the murderer. So yes, I am blaming the victim.

But, aren't I in the right to blame him....the victim?

posted on Sep, 5 2011 @ 10:07 AM
reply to post by Partygirl

Partygirl thank you so much for your reply. I now understand exactly where you are coming from. You make a very valid point. Reflecting on what you wrote, it would make a lot more sense for quite a few people, depending on their situation / cause of unhappiness, to be advised to seek help with that specific topic instead of sedating them.

As in: loss of employment > job counseling (or) learning to write a more powerful resume (or) simply where to find employment opportunity listings. Someone who has been with an employer 20 years that never looked to work elsewhere would need to know the modern standards.

Again, thanks for the reply and taking the time to explain, that was nice of you

posted on Sep, 5 2011 @ 12:52 PM
reply to post by Partygirl

Interesting thread, thanks for posting Partygirl!

I think what you say has merit. Of course, individuals are just that and one must take into consideration the fact that each case is a mini "study" in its ownright.

Overall, the cards have been stacked against us and we have been conditioned to accept this approach - to the victors go the spoils - of course, internally we are all wondering what in the heck went wrong, why so many hours at the office for so little, no pensions, 401's joke, costs rising and no bonus this year etc etc many good people doing everything they can and STILL society says, "more more more". When is it enough?

I will say the individual determines ultimately their own happiness. Some can't be happy without all their toys and some can. Some need to see themselves as "superior" due to a couple more grand coming in each month - if these are the ones we feel bad for when times get rough, it is hard to find sympathy. Good thread and lots of good thoughts both ways.


posted on Sep, 5 2011 @ 01:26 PM
reply to post by Partygirl

You are so right. In fact I know I am to blame for the whole Clinton/Mena AR./CIA coke smuggling/ADFA/Brown Law Firm/money laundering debacle. Though I don't use coc aine, I did live in the next State at the time, and I am here to accept that blame.

And look at the result. I am broke and Hillary is the Secretary of State. Serves me right, huh?

BTW, in case it is not clear after the humor, I really do agree with you.
edit on 5-9-2011 by Ittabena because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 5 2011 @ 01:39 PM
reply to post by Partygirl

So let me get this right..

Your philosophy is to blame a group of faceless people that you ultimately have never seen, have no proof of, and are responsible for just about everything, most of which.. never even happened.

Nice. Whats your area of expertise in psychology again?

posted on Sep, 5 2011 @ 02:53 PM

Originally posted by wardk28
As far as what's going on today in the world; it is the victims' fault. Why do continue to blame others for the position we find ourselves in. Fool me once, shame on you, fool me.... we can't be fooled again. Anyways, the root of all this mess lies in our hands. We let this get out of hand because we did not hold those accountable for their actions. We let others play god with our lives. Those in power only have as much power as the people let them have. Its not right to blame the victim when the victim is helpless but we are not helpless. So here's the question, is the victim still a victim if they do nothing to change the situation? I believe the victim is now an accessory.

I see where your thinking would lead you to this. You assume, by your reasoning, that victims could un-victimize themselves by acting against the powers that oppress them. I also believe in standing up to oppression, it can empower people and make gains and our history is full of examples where this change has been enacted upon governments and corporations, even individuals, and worked. Example, the trade union movement (before it was infiltrated) is responsible for most worker protections and benefits, even to this day.

However, I ask you to consider this, what if the order of our world is such that there are a few who will always have power and masses and masses of folks who don't. Those with the power over others aren't minded to share and no law applies. Yes, there are times of revolution. The revolutionaries replace the old politicians and so on, but the real powers are never and have never been overthrown. What gets overthrown are the lower levels, the puppets and the actors. This is the never-ending cycle on this planet. Dynasties of ruling families have governed this planet since recorded and before recorded time and these bloodlines are in descendants of those same rulers today. They aren't faceless or nameless but they are untouchable. They own the armies and money of the world, travel freely across the planet, how do we 'revolution', let's make it a verb, on these folks?

How do we 'revolution' on them? By not buying what they are pushing. By seeing clearly into their deceptions. By informing ourselves of their activities and works and choosing not to participate, not engage, and not expose ourselves to their techniques. By exorcising our ability to choose other directions.

What I am going to tell you is that no-one can give or take away your freedom, that is an illusion. They can take away your liberty, your life, but not your freedom. No other being can take that from you. You are born free and will always remain free no matter how many bars and chains are put around you. I know this is difficult to get because in our society we equate freedom with all these options to go where we will, when we will, and do what we will, but it is not. That is having lots of choices available. That is liberty, and laws constrain and limit those liberties and privileges.

IMO, freedom is the inner ability we all have to make a choice. Our choices can be limited, almost all our options and choices can be removed, that doesn't effect our ability. Freedom is not about how many options you have, but your ability to choose between what options you do have. Slaves' liberty is taken, but are they free to make choices... that can not be taken. We are all free, we are born that way and as long as you are alive you will have this gift. You will always have one choice available to you. Do you know what it is?

posted on Sep, 5 2011 @ 05:29 PM
Everytime something bad can blame something on the outside...but this is what is happening on the inside.

Strange title because it really doesn't have anything to do with Tesla!

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