Monday, August 26, 2013

Victim-Blaming: A Guest Post

Two weekends ago, I worked Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at JCP. Because my boyfriend loves me, he still spent the weekend with me. And because he really loves me, he surprised me with a clean apartment, multiple home-cooked meals, and a blog post.

Hi, it’s me, Beau... I know I haven’t written a guest post in a LOOOOONG time (sorry for being all Mel Brooks and never making a part II). But while Belle is working her second job today, and between that and spending time with me doesn’t have time to blog, I am looking for ways to help her out. Way number 1 was me doing some laundry and washing her sheets (hey, they are dirty and at least half my fault). While I was down there stuffing sheets and towels into the washer--and hoping I chose the right cycle--I noticed a bulletin on the wall (conveniently located under Belle’s pleading for the return of her sexy panties [which I miss by the way]). After reading said bulletin, I couldn’t help but to compare it with another bulletin posted throughout the building. I am posting both bulletins here for your consideration (sorry for the crappy phone camera quality). I have removed some key information to protect the innocent. Please read them before continuing... I’ll wait.

Let me preface (or midface if you prefer) this blog post a bit. You all are aware of Belle’s fight against victim blaming. What you may not have caught is that I have not always been on her side on this issue. As a logical individual who is all about dealing with consequences and being self-reliant, I have at times in the past engaged in what I now know to be victim blaming... Sad story, but as someone who has seen the light (pardon all of the religious metaphors coming from an atheist), I now find it necessary to point out the message that hit home with me in these two bulletins. Which happens to be way number 2 I figured out how to give her a helping hand this weekend...

Let me gauge your reading comprehension based on your initial reading of these two notices (didn’t know there would be SAT questions did you?). Guess which one is victim blaming... You’ve got a 50/50 chance of being correct with no penalty for being wrong. Spoiler alert: it’s the first one. Get ready folks, it’s time for the quoting stackup. Let me show you in a quick side-by-side recap:

One widely accepted rule is that one should never leave their personal items unattended in public areas.
This letter serves as a reminder that all tenants are obliged under the terms of the lease to respect the peace of other tenants and neighbors.

What about the widely accepted rule that you shouldn’t steal other people’s stuff? Is that not in the terms of the lease?

REALLY? Let me get this straight, making noise late at night and you are breaking the terms of the lease... Theft? Lease doesn’t say shit about that. Some “idiot” broke the “rule” of not watching their stuff all the time. Also, Management is not responsible for stolen articles so make sure you vigilantly watch your things that aren’t under lock and key at all times because we don’t do squat about it. However, if you make noise, Management will investigate complaints and reach “out to multiple units to see if they are the source of the noise.”

Let’s not forget that noise violation is a minor misdemeanor (no possible jail time, but apparently a 3 day eviction notice) and even a repeat offense is only a 4th degree (<30 days), whereas theft of less than $500 in property is a first degree misdemeanor for which max jail time is 180 days (yes I actually looked up city code). Of course, if you consider this to be “Voyeurism” which is defined as: “No person, for the purpose of sexually arousing or gratifying himself or herself, shall commit trespass or otherwise surreptitiously invade the privacy of another, to spy or eavesdrop upon another.” you can tack on a third degree misdemeanor (<60 days) as well.

So according to the cops, the stealing of sexy panties is MOST DEFINITELY the worse crime, but according to the people who provide a roof over Belle’s head, it is HER responsibility to prevent reoccurrence. That is the definition of victim blaming. A thief has access to the building, so the obvious solution is to lock up your stuff and never trust your neighbors. I’m surprised they didn’t recommend you keep a gun under your pillow because the thief might want to steal panties directly out of your dresser, and let’s face it people, a locked door really means yes if there are sexy panties involved right?

So in summary: 1) victim blaming exists, and it’s not cool, 2) SpongeBob is a creeper, 3) Belle works hard and lives in the same building as real life SpongeBob and friends, and 4) you should seriously not blame victims, criminals are the problem.

Well, I am pretty much done ranting, so let me go back down to the laundry room and hope people haven’t stolen the sheets and towels. Because I need dry, clean towels to finish the dishes (yep, way number 3)...


  1. Ahhh, Beau! This is so sweet and thoughtful of you. Being single, I choose to just live vicariously through your guys fantastic relationship. But cuteness aside, I love that you bring up victim blaming in a non-sexual context as an example. Being able to recognize it in everyday things makes it so much easier to connect it in other circumstances. So as always, thank you for your insightful comments both Beau and Belle.

    Hayley AKA Classy in KC

    1. Thanks, Hayley! He's definitely a keeper. :)

      As always, we appreciate your kind words. ♥

  2. I love it when the guys take over the blog for a day! So sweet. I like this different approach to victim blaming; it made me think of it in a different way. Hope you get those panties back ;)

    1. Isn't it sweet?! I didn't even ask him; he just did it!

      I doubt I will ever get the panties back. :( Beau bought me a bunch of replacement pairs, but since most of the original ones were older, I couldn't replace them exactly. Including this one super-cute pink and cream pair that just made my butt look amazing. I would just stare at my backside in the mirror for a good five minutes each morning I wore them. No other pair of underwear has every been that magical.

  3. I love this post from Beau. I'm glad that you've opened his eyes to victim blaming as well! Plus he's such a keeper for being so wonderful and willing to help you out any way he can! xx

    1. We learn a lot from each other. :) Plus he does everything he can to make my life less stressful, which I really appreciate.

  4. I did notice the first letter is very callous about the theft. Is one supposed to stay put in the laundry room from beginning till end of the cycle??

    P.S.- It's adorable, having a boyfriend who cooks, cleans and blogs for you. Voluntarily ;)

    1. Yes, my landlord literally expects me to stay in the laundry room with my laundry from beginning to end. Never mind how hot it gets in a tiny room with no AC during the summer.

      Beau wanted me to point that out. Yes, he is adorable. :)


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Anonymous commenting disabled while my mom is sick.

Comments are moderated because I receive a lot of spam, and I think CAPTCHA is annoying. I reply to most of your comments within the comment section because it inspires discussion between readers. For first-time commenters, I try to reply by email.

Yes, you can comment anonymously. Yes, you can disagree with me. However, as of 05/31/2013, if you are commenting anonymously, and your words are hateful or abusive, I will publish these at my discretion. I like that my blog can be a forum for discussion, but anything that blames or mocks survivors of sexual assault will NOT be tolerated.


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