“Don’t go in there!” you scream at the tv, eyes poking out from behind curtained hands. You wonder how she could be so stupid as to go into the graveyard on a misty moonlit night. You would never put yourself in so much danger, therefore you’ll be alright in the big bad world.
Pop psychology suggests that in order to feel better in ourselves, we like to blame others for their miseries. We pass homeless people in the street and we turn our heads. Even those who give a lot of change to the homeless do not lend a hand every time we see someone sleeping rough or begging, because we know we earned that money for ourselves therefore we are entitled to it. But what we imply with that moral take is that the person we are ignoring upon passing is there through their own doing. The conservative view of the lower classes are that they fit into that class through lack of effort or hard work.
Just like we feel comforted knowing we won’t become homeless because we work hard, we also feel relief in knowing we won’t be shot by the mafia, mugged on the walk home or beaten up in the street because we have control of our fate through our actions. If we are sensible then we won’t see harm. So god forbid when we hear someone has been a victim, we as human beings jump to the conclusion that the victim has behaved in a manner as to cause this.
In a culture where misogyny is very much alive it is hard to pin point where some ideologies come from but it is undeniable that the themes and narratives we consume through film and television are contributing to a culture where rape victims are blamed for wearing a short skirt or walking home alone.