Fatigue has a commanding disposition like forcing one to engage in mildly fun activities like trolling the comments section on a festive weekend. Featured in the spotlight was an oily lecher’s lewd behaviour performed under the guise of ordinary job description.
Then people who got nothing to do with this matter, began insulting each other in the comments section armed with the very same set of information, or lack thereof, with which to make unsolicited advice and judgements—name-calling, allusions to unintelligent savages—though neither were, on the surface, holding inexcusable opinions, apart from the vile victim-blaming ones like they came from aspiring perpetrators no doubt; that would have been obvious if only they had stopped to listen or consider each other’s arguments in earnest. That’s the problem nowadays—at root, the willingness to listen is losing traction and inversely related to another type of (over) self-confidence—they think they know better— coupled with a similar type of lack of empathy for the victims. (NB: as did the oily perpetrator)
‘Should not have done this or that’ camp—generally does not stray too far from victim-blaming with the exception of noble intentions especially when targeted at careless parents who have put their children in that horrible but avoidable situation in the first place—they ought to have known better being more experienced with the ways of the world, if only they used common sense. The key word is avoidable and this opinion is to be read, if one wants to give it a positive outlook, as an advice on how to avoid falling into the same type of nasty situation like Captain Irritatingly Obvious telling you that you should have locked your doors except people really do forget sometimes especially when fatigue overcomes them such as is common on the last day of family vacations, as was the case in question. Everyone could benefit from occasional reminders to take precautions as best we can, sure, as they would if people also had empathy.
‘Stop victim-blaming’ camp—this is where I fall—lamenting the pitiful show of sympathy. Since the past cannot be changed, speculating is as pointless as telling people what you would have done if you were in that same situation as you finger-wag, not least because you don’t have evidence to back this claim, then it would not be prudent to take your word for it because no reasonable person would have believed you—see the difficulty here? The truth is, there is no guarantee that you will have taken the wiser course—we all have said at some point or another, “I should not or should have done this or that” ie make mistakes. No one is the exception and the one thing we can take from reading another’s misfortune is that some mistakes are costlier than others at the right moment. Besides, with the benefit of hindsight, everyone’s wiser now that the exact sequence of events is made known—it is not the same otherwise, not least because human behaviour is unpredictable and that a determined man will not give up at first obstacle—If he can’t open the door, he will find another and then there will be another thing one ought to have done if only one were as clever as the commenter holding the ‘should have done’ opinion.
Some people share because they need sympathy especially when it’s clear that they don’t need advice or suggestions (such as call the police ASAP); that their painful feelings and memories are validated helps them with the healing process—it is perfectly reasonable to be upset given the circumstances and for the rest of us, really as simple as writing,”I am sorry this happened to you. I hope oily man is brought to justice.” That it would be a failing of society if anger and indignation are not shown at all to sexual abuse and towards the right people because of acts done intentionally; no one is given a pass to behave badly or commit crimes towards someone who is careless or when circumstances are conducive such as murder because no one will ever know.
Quite apart from whether one believes that some people are inherently evil by nature that they cannot help or stop themselves or that there is no such thing as a bad person, only people doing bad things, thus the case of being at the wrong place/time—it’s not the point of this post. Bad things happen and all we can do is to take reasonable precautions to guard against it. Some of our braver kin share their stories to warn others at the risk of being the subject of ridicule and/or recipient of unbearable shame that some people would do anything to avoid even if it will result in perpetrators getting away with crimes that we would not condone if it were done to us or our loved ones. What of sort of society do we want to build?
Should have, could have, if we must apply such woolly standards to the victims, then consistency dictates that we must apply some kind of standard to the criminal. He should NOT have done what he did. Period. Why should we hold the victims to a higher standard if indeed they ‘lack basic sense’?
At the end of this post, my takeaway from all this, and a lesson that I too must also learn: a fight with good intentions can be avoided by listening. Secondly, fatigue has a commanding disposition, it can make one silly and careless, much like (over) self-confidence.