I wouldn’t blame someone who has been victimized. That shame lies with the criminal, who is likely incapable of shame at such actions. There is a degree of responsibility to be borne, however, when one makes themselves into low hanging fruit for the criminally minded. If I go get a large cash withdrawal at 2am from an isolated ATM in a rough part of the city, and if I then become victimized, is it my fault? No. But I’m also making it easy for criminals to victimize me. We should live in a place where we can expect our fellow citizens to be decent and honorable, but we do not, and one must act accordingly.
Essays such as these remind of the video of the young lady walking around NYC. It has two parts, one where she wears hijab, and one where she does not. This is in broad daylight, mind you. While in hijab, she is invisible. Not a word is said. When she is in street clothes — somewhat fitting street clothes, which more or less anything would be due to her figure — she is harassed to a degree I found shocking. So, it’s easy to point out that these harassers were men. Let’s narrow it down further, though. What socio-economic background do these men seem to be from? What ethnic group? These aren’t yalies and wall street bankers. They’re the Freddy Grays and Michael Browns of the world. How can the social justice movement square these two elements? Is it the fault of white men that this happens, that they’re disadvantaged and that they harass innocent women on the street?