Facebookers are less than kind when it comes to women revealing their experiences.
Facebookers are less than kind when it comes to women revealing their experiences. Georja Ryan

'Stop your whining': Why victim blaming is an epic problem

THE internet is a frightening place sometimes.

Perhaps the most frightening part of it is the fact that it brings out the worst in people, almost like it restores us to some primal setting where many are not afraid to drop social conventions and niceties.

In many ways, the internet and the discussions on it, give us a snapshot into just how frightening humanity is.

A quick check of online comments on the recent Don Burke saga provides all anyone would ever need to be deeply concerned about how little we've learned.

On one recent online article, detailing former Block contestant Amity Dry's experiences with Burke, there was not one comment in support of Amity.

Much of the negative commentary was coming from - as is all too common - other women.

"As a woman I get something disgusting said to me on a daily basis, I don't cry about it. F------ move on and stop your whining," wrote one woman.

Because women should just shut up and accept being made to feel uncomfortable?

Another commenter, a man, said the onus was on the woman to "slap" men who make such comments and walk away or demand an apology.

Because a fearful, vulnerable woman is meant to take on someone who is socially and physically stronger than her in such a situation?


This is just one of the posts online:


Crystal Jones

Some men told her she needed to get therapy, another told her if she was still bothered after all this time, she was the one who needed help.

So, if you're suffering from being treated like an object, you're the one who needs help?

Other men got even worse, labelling women coming forward with their experiences as "bitches".

For those people commenting and asking why these women didn't come forward earlier, their answer isn't so far away - it's in their own comments.

Victim-blaming is as old as the hills, and a quick check online reveals it's still alive and well and just as insidious as its always been.

What example are we setting if anyone who comes forward to say they were abused or were put in uncomfortable situations gets told they're crazy or ruining someone's career or is just a "bitch"?

Clearly, media figures misusing their fame and power is just the tip of the iceberg.

There is a much more deeply rooted ailment in society that will likely still be perpetuating for generations to come.

It's the sense of denial and the shaming of the vulnerable that makes the cloaking of abuse so very easy.

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