I've found that there seems to be some connection between trauma in one's life and then turning to some sort of superstition.  It doesn't have to be sexual assault, it can be abuse or any other trauma, but it seems that there is this concept of bad luck.  Either the person thinking they are bad luck, or they are worried that doing something will be bad luck and they will get hurt/injured/assaulted, etc.

 

Then it seems that the supersitious people they turn to, encourage that sort of thinking.  They say "oh you must have willed this to happen" or "it's karma" or "you caused it through the law of attraction" or some other woo.

 

So it ends up being a vicious cycle that the person struggles to get out of.

 

It's happened to me, and to other people I know.  Seems to be a lot of victim blaming/ victim shaming. 

 

I was wondering if any of you have encountered this, and if there was any article about the psychology of it.  I'd like to learn more about how it works, and how to stop the negative irrational thought patterns.

 

Now that I'm an atheist I know I'm not causing anything, and as a feminist I have support that I didn't cause anything, but as someone who's had bad experiences there is this psychological attachment to this irrational thinking and I'd like to learn how to stop doing that.

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Since the state does very little against sexual aggression, I am a proponent of settling things myself. People who commit sexual assaults are an insult to humanity and do not deserve the title. Sexual assault is so hard to prove, that entrusting this to the state is futile. If women settle things on the spot or soon after, we'd reduce the incidence significantly.

If women settle things on the spot or soon after

What kind of actions are you thinking of specifically? A vigilante action of retribution and punishment? No investigation, no jury, no trial? 


Self defence, for present and future. No compromise... for me or future potential victims of this male. If someone does not survive his attack on me, he is unlikely to attack anyone in the future.

Self defense is of course justified, sexual assault should be allowed to be countered with justifiable actions of violence. 

 

A self defense teacher said that the best weapon against sexual assault is to not give in to fear, because that's the assailant's main weapon, which of course he said is easier said then done, wouldn't work as well with sex driven (often inebriated) rapists though, best to play along with them and hit 'em where it hurts. He also said that violence by the victim can often lead to retribution, usually aimed at the face and that it's stupid of a 90 pound woman to fight back against a 200 pound male unless she is aware of the situation and able to make clear decisions. I would admire the victim for whatever decision she could make in such a situation, given the circumstances, let alone a rational one.

 

To be able to fight back an assailant is truly an admirable thing, yet the consequences of a failure to overcome the assailant are pretty bad. The best result of any sexual assault would be a whoop ass off epic proportions and ball busting punishment. Yet the reality of the situation is more grim.

 

There's an awful lot of considerations to be made to be able to reach the best possible outcome and an awful lot of knowledge involved as well. This in combination with the fear of the upcoming physical abuse seems more then enough reason for me to believe that violence might not always be the best strategy for the woman, but it is most certainly justified. Acts of self defense that lead to physical trauma to the assailant are still acts of self defense. If an armed women kills her attacker, so be it. The stress of the situation and the threat of physical harm means that a victim should not be held accountable for her actions.

 

I'm really torn up by the subject, I've seen what physical abuse and sexual assault can do to people, albeit it from the outside, it's something that I would not wish to anyone except perhaps the perpetrators themselves. 

 

Sexual assault and rape I heard are more motivated by a desire for domination and power, sex is the tool or chosen method. I don't know if that's true, or whether it is truly mostly about sex. 

My guess would be that some males tend to be quite pissed off that they are not in control of their own (desired) (sex) life. Women don't give them the attention and recognition that they feel is rightfully theirs. Rape is their revenge, their proof of being in control and an affirmation of their sexual prowess. Whatever their "reason" I hope they all choke on a bowl of dick or drown in a bucket of spunk.

 

I know that you and I seem to disagree on pretty much everything regarding patriarchy so far, but I would definitely grant you this in regards to this subject. The patriarchal bronze age ideas of women being subjugated to men, the need for a "real" men to be the masters of women, their body and their sexuality are still rampant. These ideas will definitely exist in the minds of some people even if patriarchy would not exist, just significantly less then nowadays. 

 

The article on the "Feminist Atheist" Wall is a fine example of this kind of bullshit that continues to supply fuel to the fire and cause more and more victims. Even without the bronze age structure of belief people are still influenced by these backward ideas of women and men and their supposedly different intrinsic value continues to influence current events, leading to 20% of the women in my secular country to suffer from abuse at one point ore another in their lives. 

 

P.S. I edited out about 20 different kinds of profanities, exclamation marks and the like... guess I'm just a tiny bit pissed off.

In North America, 90% or rapes are committed by significant others, or ex's or extended family members and friends. Rapists are repeat offenders. Rapists rarely do significant time. Women can change this. The legal system has a major flaw, it must assess who is telling the truth. But a woman being raped needs not a jury to know this, there is no risk of error for punishment given on the spot or soon thereafter.

I am completely pessimist about the legal system EVER being able to make a dent in rape statistics. Women must stand and fight, if not with muscle then with brains and timing.

Yeah, that's the basic core of superstition/religion.  We seem naturally wired for cause/effect seeking.  When the actual causes of an action aren't seen by us, we start looking for other things around us that may have been the cause.  The problem is that we're not particularly good at sensing cause/effect relationships.

 

The God Delusion (Dawkins) has a lot to say about survival processes malfunctioning and causing religious belief.  The same arguments map over to this sort of thing just as well.  It's primitive survival instincts being used for higher, abstract thinking ... which leads to all sorts of wrong conclusions.

Thanks Joseph.  Yeah, that's what it seemed like.  I still haven't read The God Delusion yet, I'll have to check that one out.  Sounds like some of the stuff Dennett mentions in Breaking The Spell.
Dawkins pulled from many others, yes.  I can't remember which sections were inspired or borrowed from which others.

"Seems to be a lot of victim blaming/ victim shaming."

 

That is quite true, I've heard too many times that bullshit such as "she asked for it" was uttered. Be it clothing, behavior or whatever apparently a woman asked for being assaulted, humiliated and abused. 

 

That is such absurd bullshit that unfortunately happens all too often, police and judges are not exempt from claiming that "No" can actually mean yes depending on the hairstyle, make up and/or clothing of the victim.

Yeah, it is so hard to change a culture where rape is seen as "justified" by many people. 

 

What gets me is that some of these supposed places or philosophies for "healing" that are supposed to "help" people get over traumas, fall into the same pattern of blame/shame.  Or try to tell people that it "happened for a reason" so that you can "use it as a learning experience" or some B.S.  And if you dare to have any residual anger then they blame you for "having an ego" and "not being willing to 'let go' of what happened" to you.   A lot of these positive self-help communities seem to actually be disempowering in certain ways.

This is exactly what I was thinking. People turn to mainstream religion, or to new-agey beliefs that are supposed to be comforting...but they are not! All of the justifications and beliefs of different religions and spiritualities, diverse as they are, end up blaming the victim!

 

The last thing someone needs on top of trauma is the feeling that there is something wrong with them for not being able to "let go" of it, or the feeling that it's karma, everything happens for a reason, or the law of attraction which just plain right out says if you get raped it's because of your negative thinking.

I am profoundly sad to say that this exact scenario was just re-enacted in Manitoba (Canada).  The judge is being roundly condemned.  I hope he loses his job, and is charged and/or sued.  What a pitiful excuse for a human being.  Reports from 2 national papers below:

 

http://news.nationalpost.com/2011/02/25/outcry-grows-against-manito...

 

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/christie-blatchford/ma...

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