[LMB] Betan population control

Beatrice Otter beatrice_otter at zoho.com
Thu Jun 6 23:27:53 BST 2019

On Thu, Jun 6, 2019 at 1:02 PM Joel Polowin <mailto:jpolowin at hotmail.com> wrote: 

> For many people, such things are 
> far beyond "hard", and your comment is getting into victim-blaming 
> territory.

--- On Thu, 06 Jun 2019 14:10:45 -0700 Matthew George <mailto:matt.msg at gmail.com> wrote ----
 I find it curious that the designation 'victim' has become a positive one 
that people struggle to acquire; given that it seems to absolve people of 
all blame and responsibility, it makes sense, but that raises the question 
of why *that* occurred in the first place.

Beatrice Otter wrote:

What interests *me* is when accusations of *playing the victim* or *wanting to be a victim* get thrown around, and when they don't.  See, the vast majority of times when I see people being accused of wanting to be/playing a victim, it's not because they actually ARE.  It's because they won't let the abuse that happened to them get swept under the rug.  Girl gets raped and the rapist doesn't even get a slap on the wrist despite very strong evidence?  And then she won't shut up about the fact that he raped her and let him and his friends/family/supporters sweep his crime under the rug?  Why, she's just playing the victim!  She likes the attention, that's why she's doing it!  It couldn't possibly be that she was denied justice, oh no.  Black person harassed because of their race, and the white people around them don't want to change their behavior or stop the person/people doing the harassment?  Why, the Black person is only speaking up because they like to be a victim and want the attention!  It couldn't possibly be that there's something wrong that actually does need to be addressed, oh, no!  And of course, it's never people who have been through that experience who get to decide; it's always people who have never faced that particular problem (and never will) getting to decide that the problem doesn't exist or has been exaggerated and the victim is just trying to escape responsibility.  So often, "they just want to be a victim" is code for "I don't care about that problem because it will never affect me, so they should shut up about it and stop bothering me."  Or even, "I benefit from the system that is hurting them, so I don't want to hear about their injuries."  Not always, but a lot of the time.

This is not to say that some people don't try to be victims.  (In previous generations, we would have said they were trying to be martyrs.)  I have seen many people trying to achieve victimhood, but mostly within circles that are either activist or have a high percentage of people who have suffered, or both; some people will enter those circles and realize that the easiest way to bully others is to claim to be the victim, so that all of their terrible treatment of others is justified.  "I am a victim, therefore nothing is my fault; they are bullying me, therefore any horrible behavior is justified."  It really does exist, I have seen it, and it is vile.  But it's almost always a power move.  That is, it's a way of someone establishing power over someone with less power or resilience; a fake victim lording it over a real one and re-traumatizing them, or a real victim arguing that their pain justifies attacking other people who are also victims but have responded differently.  The thing is, though, that these people are trying for power and control, which groups that have suffered are more willing to give than groups that haven't.  So they don't try this stuff much in the mainstream.  So the people who are *genuinely* playing the victim are seldom the ones who get accused of it. 


>   "Since you *can* change these things, it's *your* fault 
> that you haven't." 

That's generally true. 

Beatrice Otter:

Except for all the times that the person doing the blaming dramatically overstates the ability of the person to actually change the thing that needs changing.  Take weight, for example.  Every research we have shows that lowering your weight is possible short term but virtually impossible to maintain in the long run, and that most methods of losing weight (more than just a few pounds here and there) actually do more damage to your body in the long run than being overweight.  If your metabolism is set to retain as much fat as possible, you can literally starve yourself and still not be as slender as someone whose metabolism naturally doesn't retain much fat.

And then there's all the times when the person speaking assumes that certain changes will make a difference when they are completely irrelevant.  I'm autistic and have a variety of other health issues.  I regularly have people tell me that all sorts of crackpot things will "cure" my autism.  Going vegan!  Going paleo!  Going atkins!  Going gluten free!  Eating kale!  Taking this "holistic supplement" they buy online that totally cures everything!  Colloidal silver!  Essential oils!  Bleach enemas!  (None of these things, by the way, would do a damn thing for any of my conditions, and especially not autism.  Some of them would make me sick.)  But if I don't follow their advice, well, then any time any of my conditions inconveniences them it's just because I'm a jerk and if I just followed their advice I could be normal!

And then there's all the times when the person genuinely can change the things, and they genuinely do help, but have HUGE consequences in other areas.  Like, I know a woman who has very fragile health (multiple life-threatening allergies to common things, an immune system disorder, and one or two other things).  She can't work even part time, tries to bring in money making crafts to sell online because it's all she can do and she can fit it in when she's not sick.  She'd known for years that living in that part of the country was killing her (no way to avoid the things she was allergic to, and too cold and damp for her lungs).  Her husband wanted to stay where he had a good job and family to support them, and thought they could arrange things so that she would be okay.  When he finally conceded that no, there was no way for her to safely live where they were from, they sold everything and moved to a place that was much healthier for her.  She's doing so much better!  Changing the thing worked!  But he hasn't been able to get a job, and so now they're scrambling every month to avoid homelessness.  In that case, she and her husband both think the consequences were worth it.  But what if they aren't?  What if the consequences from changing the thing are much worse than the thing you're trying to change?

I could go on.  Blaming the victim is pretty much always the LEAST constructive thing you can do.

Beatrice Otter

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