Home » Theology » Biblical Theology » Wisdom, Folly & “Blaming the Victim”

Wisdom, Folly & “Blaming the Victim”

India girl holding foolish signI recently saw a picture of young woman from India holding up a sign that read “Don’t ask your daughters not to go out, Ask your SONS to BEHAVE.” (sic)

I am well aware of the plight of women in the cultures of India. I have been traveling there regularly since 2008 when I first began to establish Koinonia School of Ministry as a fully accredited Bible College. I’ve seen the squalor, vicariously chaffed at the forced social restraints on women, grieved over the widespread ignorance, wept over the plight of so many neglected and abused children, and received reports about specific acts of violence perpetrated by some radical Hindus both against and on account of some of our female students.

Thus, I found this sign foolish. It presents and either/or where there should be a both/and… at least until the cultures of India change… and even then wisdom will always be demanded on the part of those who by nature are more vulnerable than others. It is always folly to dictate practices based on how one wishes the world worked rather than on how it does in fact work. Ought-to-be is a luxury for day dreams; they have no place in personal policy.

This was my online reply:

“How about we ask our sons to behave, AND ask our daughters to be wise in a wicked world? I am a full grown man more than capable to taking care of myself in most situations, and I limit my behavior to accommodate the wickedness around me. It doesn’t matter what people should be or should do, it matters what people are and what they DO do. I lock my car, try to dress appropriately for each situation, carry myself to project the right kind of message about myself, and limit my movements as much as possible to where it is safe to be, doing what is reasonably safe to do. Wisdom deals with what is. It is folly to pretend the world is different than it is simply because you wish it so.”

To many, however, any discussion of wisdom seems to them an automatic accusation to victims who might have unwittingly participated in the dynamic of the crimes against them through foolish activity. We call this, “BLAMING THE VICTIM.”

What is meant by “blaming the victim” is that any suggestion that people should curb their behavior to confront their environment is also an automatic defense of criminal or immoral activity by predators.

Feminist groups the globe over make videos and wave signs mocking dress codes and moral standards stating that no matter what women do or how they do it (They as you know should be able to enjoy a freedom that males do not enjoy) they should be able to do it without being touched, molested, murdered, or even spoken too… unless the goal was to get noticed, in which case they hope you do speak to them… No! Not you, Fat Boy, that one over there… Yeah! The good looking one… NO! Not you either, Baldy, and not that old guy next to you… Yes! That’s right, just that one there in the muscle shirt… I let it all hang out for him… the rest of you can go about your day and never speak to me or look at me again. Thanks. Oh… sorry… but could one of you get me that guy’s number?

The reality of the world is that no one is exempt from dealing with their environment and wishing won’t make it so. Men have to curb themselves all the time… especially in relationships with women, who seem to spend much of their relationship time trying to retrain us into civilized human beings.

How’s that going for you?

My wife said, “Not very well.”

Men have to deal with public opinion. Men have to deal with the dangers of other men and of women, who, while generally less violent than men by gender inclination, pose their own dangers to those around them. Men have to protect themselves from liars, thieves, cheats, false accusers, hyper-sensitive souls, people who are ready to sue at the twitch of an eyebrow, and even against politicians who would like nothing better than to dominate the lives of everyone else.

We are all creatures of culture, and we all have to either navigate our world, rife with sin and barbarism, or suffer at its many hands.

Wisdom does not condone barbaric activity, it simply instructs people how to maneuver successfully in a barbaric world. Sometimes even wisdom is not enough.

Wisdom has plenty to say to predators, but predators don’t tend to listen… for them we need a law with teeth, and a citizenry ready to deal appropriately with them.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

%d bloggers like this: