Victim shaming is real
It is happening more and more, lately but not just to women; victim shaming is happening to men as well.
Shaming knows no gender.
I'm sure you have heard of sites or apps whose sole purposes are to find fun flings. So, with just a swipe or click, you find a match. Once the mutual, physical attractions are set, small conversations start and then the dreaded question comes into play, "Can you send a nude?"
Then, for some reason, the idea is thought over and maybe that person decides: why not?
The picture sends.
The next day they hear whispers from the people around them. Friends, peers and strangers are shaming the person for freely sending such a "vulgar" picture.
"Shouldn't they have known better?"
"I would never send something like that!"
"That's so disgusting!"
"They should be so ashamed of themselves."
Not one person reprimands the recipient that displayed the picture, without consent. Instead, the blame is put on the person who sent the picture to someone they didn't expect would hurt them this way. They blame the girl, or boy, who did not give their consent for their private photo to be sent to anyone else.
While the innocent is shamed and humiliated, the person that caused the chaos doesn't get into any trouble. Friends congratulate them, viewing their act as a noble right of passage. They get to live each day with no consequences for their actions.
The victim lives in constant fear. Everywhere they turn, whispers are shared between friends. The victim lives afraid of strangers touching them inappropriately, assuming that those around think they are given permission because of that one picture.
“They've already sent a picture, must mean they’re easy”, some say as they pass the victim, while casually picking out favorite snacks at the grocery store.
No matter where they go, the victim lives with the fear and the humiliation of public eyes. They feel like a black hole is snatching the good around them.
How is this right?
What are we doing to stop this?
What are we, as contributing citizens, doing to help prevent victim shaming from happening to the next person?