Except while it may feel good to excuse your response by dragging out the Karpman Triangle, it doesn’t fit here. It’s a nice theory in some situations, but it’s not the be-all and end-all of interpersonal conflict. And it’s mind-bogglingly inappropriate in a discussion of sexual assault. There is no “conflict triangle” that requires everyone to understand each other here. These are actual victims of physical crimes, sometimes violent crimes.
When I was 13, a classmate grabbed my neck in a hallway, pushed me in a corner and ground up against me while he shoved his hand up my shirt, squeezed so hard that he left a bruise, and then laughed and yelled at his friends that were watching, “Hey, yeah, they’re real!” He tried to get his hand down my pants but wasn’t able to because I dropped to the floor and curled up in a ball. And easily a couple dozen people just walked by and ignored it completely, while a half dozen or so or his buddies stood there and laughed and cheered.
So what part of that should I be understanding of, exactly? Where is it that the guys in this situation are being unfairly tagged as oppressors? Or are you going to tell me the same thing I heard from the (male) PE teacher that witnessed it?
Boys will be boys.
They were just playing around.
He’s just trying to show you that he likes you.
What did you say to him to make him mad?
You know, it doesn’t look good if you tattle on your friends.
Is this the part that I’m supposed to just accept because I might hurt your feelings? Should I just be happy for the rare opportunity to wear every turtleneck sweater I owned that week so that the fingermarks wouldn’t show? Because, you know, it wouldn’t be fair to the guys, would it?
Since you’re fond of the Karpman Triangle, perhaps you should re-acquaint yourself with the fourth personality type that appears in the triangle — the Bystander. That’s the person who is aware that there is a problem but does nothing, or sometimes take actions that actually make the situation worse.
You know, like saying that the people that commit a sexual assault are actually the victims here.