Phrase of the Day: Victim Blaming

Victim blaming: In the context of sexual violence, the survivor is perceived as at fault for his/her own sexual assault or rape, often because of clothing, promiscuity, intoxication, etc. The phrase, “He or she was asking for it” is a classic example of victim blaming.

Because it is not sexual violence specific, this phrase is not constructed as survivor-blaming. And really, people doing the blaming don’t see us as survivors anyway.

Victim blaming is closely related to its rhyming buddy slut shaming. Here’s the definition of slut shaming, from Finally a Feminism 101 Blog:

Slut-shaming, also known as slut-bashing, is the idea of shaming and/or attacking a woman or a girl for being sexual, having one or more sexual partners, acknowledging sexual feelings, and/or acting on sexual feelings. Furthermore, it’s “about the implication that if a woman has sex that traditional society disapproves of, she should feel guilty and inferior” (Alon Levy, Slut Shaming). It is damaging not only to the girls and women targeted, but to women in general an society as a whole. It should be noted that slut-shaming can occur even if the term “slut” itself is not used.

Wow, check that out! Two definitions for the price of one!

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