This tired, old victim blaming thing.

It is always disappointing when an opportunity to have a positive influence on how we perceive and condemn violence against women turns into another conversation of  how women are the ones that need to change their actions if they want to avoid being assaulted by men. This is what happened in a Q&A episode this week with a panel discussing Floyd Mayweather’s history of domestic violence.

When it comes to questioning the ways we talk about more complex forms of male violence against women, and the way our society responds to it, we just can’t get past the victim blaming mentality that accepts male violence against women as a ‘fact of life’ that women must navigate rather than society eradicate.

When a man is assaulted, men are not told to avoid walking the streets alone, because that would be ridiculous. Women, on the other hand, are consistently given this directive after violent incidents – even when the victim is attacked in broad daylight. It might not sound like “blame”, but implicitly, it is. It comes from the assumption that the streets are not women’s territory, and we don’t have the same right to walk them in safety as men do. We are expected to keep ourselves safe, because of an assumption that the dangers facing us are unavoidable except if we take extraordinary measures of our own to avoid them.

One of the best Twitter responses to the Q&A episode was Kon Karapanagiotidis:

Dear #qanda don’t discuss violence women ever again unless every sentence starts with either
“Men must
“Men’s behaviour
“Men need to change

Come on Q&A, do better.

Read the full article here >

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