Sunday, May 24, 2015

The theory of the victim-perpetrator cycle works for (certain) people, but not you Pt 1

I haven't seen it, so I'm naming the cycle of the public's response to (certain) boys & men behaving badly after me. It's shorter than K-R and it's got a great beat:

2. Defend. (AKA 5 Blind Men, 0 Elephant). Weeeeellll, really [insert random factor often based on half-assed pet theory] is partially to blame.
3. Yawn. Ugg, why are we STILL talking about this? It was [X] days ago.

Stage 2 is an excellent time to get a detailed view of the hierarchy of privilege, and is why we know peace and justice-loving aliens who somehow have planet-busting death rays don't follow the news from this planet.

But having already ranted about the victim-harming b.s. that is the victims do unto others what is done unto them theory, I'd like to suggest that this theory - which is dandy for white hetero males in search of forgiveness - is very bad, no good and even dangerous for everyone else. It is, I believe, one reason African-Americans, especially boys & men, are far more likely to come away from an encounter with the police in a body bag, than whites.

We start with the idea that if a bad thing is done repeatedly to a person, they will do that thing to other people. Most frequently it is trotted out to defend (certain) people who abuse children. For men that abuse may be any variety of abuse, but for whatever reason (not knowing what the hell they're talking about?) there's the idea that experiencing X abuse as a child will cause the victim to commit X abuse as an adult. (Not Y or Z or X, Y, & Z).

That's for male victim/perpetrator. Women who were sexually assaulted as girls (i.e., when the majority of females are assaulted) are not expected to sexually assault children, they're expected to beat/neglect/kill them. (Also become sexually promiscuous. And that's just dandy if you later need to find a rapist not guilty by reason of "She's a slut, yer honor.")

That right there should be a huge ass tell that there's something missing from the theory. But often the response is some evo-psych babble that is twice as nauseating and reality-averse as the original hypothesis, so don't go there.

End Pt.