Blaming the victim
October 19, 2017 § 127 Comments
There were once two Greek tribes living in very close proximity, under a High King who ruled from a distant city.
The γυναίκα tribe had plenty of tempting, delicious ambrosia; but small warriors and very few weapons. The άνδρας tribe had strong warriors and powerful weapons; but they had insufficient food of their own, and what food they did have was disgusting, unappetizing, and mildly poisonous. Under the High King’s law the άνδρας defended both their own territory and the territory of the weaker γυναίκα.
The γυναίκα were very proud of their ambrosiac and abundant feasts, which made them feel powerful and important. It became their custom to parade around in the territory of the άνδρας with their delicious and aromatic dishes, to eat in front of the άνδρας, to wink at them and tease them with food that the άνδρας did not have.
Any territory set aside for άνδρας alone was considered an oppression of the physically smaller and weaker γυναίκα; so the High King made it law that the άνδρας could not set aside spaces of their own where the γυναίκα could not go. The γυναίκα were permitted to take their ambrosia with them wherever they went. The High King permitted no limits on the public and brazen display of ambrosia. The suggestion that lawful limits on the public display of ambrosia might be prudent — and that these limits should be set by άνδρας not by γυναίκα — met with outrage, scoffing and accusations of oppression.
It was permitted under the High King’s law that a άνδρας could approach, smell, sample, and participate in a γυναίκα’s meal only when the γυναίκα was explicitly asked and gave explicit permission for each smell and bite; a permission which could be revoked at any time. The γυναίκα would often get drunk and allow a άνδρας to share a meal, and later regret the action; in such a case the άνδρας was considered a criminal because the γυναίκα had chosen to get drunk, thus impairing consent. Sometimes the less morally upright among the stronger and more physically powerful άνδρας would become aggressive; even to the point of taking, without explicitly granted permission, a morsel from the plate of a γυναίκα who had shoved the plate under his nose.
And any suggestion (even from a γυναίκα) that there might be something wrong with the behavior of the γυναίκα was condemned as ‘blaming the victim’.