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to think these women are not the entirely blameless victims in this situation?

(16 Posts)
AyeReet Thu 27-Apr-17 16:31:01

I'm really confused and scared that maybe I'm a vile victim blamer but I've got to talk about this somewhere.

I'm in a FB group that's kind of parenting focused though over the 5 years or so that's it's morphed quite a bit into more of a general support/body confidence group. The members are almost all female but a couple of male partners/husbands have been added. It's an amazing place to be and I've made some incredible friends that I see almost daily through the group, and got some unbelievable support when I needed it most.

It's just come to light that one of the men in the group has been having online/emotional/sexting affairs with at least 7 of the women and has sent dick pics or "fishing" messages to many more. He has very obviously targeted women who were in difficult situations (relationship breakups, domestic abuse, body image issues etc) and is in my opinion a nasty predatory arsehole.

That said, I'm really struggling with what's being claimed in the group now, which is that all of the women are completely blameless and were victims and in no way responsible for what were basically affairs with someone they knew to be married. I'm not very comfortable with the brow stroking and reassurance because... I think they do bear some responsibility for their own actions. My sympathy lies entirely with his wife and kids!

It's pretty clear to me that the only reason it's come to light is that some of the women found out they weren't the only ones and all of a sudden decided it was actually wrong...

But I can see that this POV is probably victim blaming and that's SO FAR from my usual take on things that I'm really really confused confused

HarmlessChap Thu 27-Apr-17 17:05:01

That sounds exactly the situation I and the rest of the "admin team" had to deal with on an online forum some years ago.

We had to install a modification to the forum software which enabled the admin team to read the "private" messages as there was an allegation of sexual harassment, reading the messages was a revelation.

It was well known that he was married (with a young child) but so many women were prepared to engage with him and it only became an issue when they found out they weren't "special" he was doing it with any woman he could. He was a total sleaze but we didn't have much sympathy for the "victims" as they all knew his domestic situation, even if they didn't know about the other women on the forum, and they were every bit as invested in the communication as he was even if he'd started it.

Flimbo Thu 27-Apr-17 17:08:15

No they are not innocent victims if they are responding to him.

MadamePomfrey Thu 27-Apr-17 17:16:09

I don't think it's victim blaming! Form what you are saying the victims of this are his wife and kids and anyone that received an unwanted dick pick/message but didn't respond!! While I understand people may have been scared to report/confront the issue Those that actively engaged in messaging and replying and flirting are not a victims they are participants! And need they need to take responsibility for how their actions!

Fragglez Thu 27-Apr-17 17:18:19

In my opinion, they were victims until they responded to something inappropriate in a favourable way. Then they were consenting adults.

I get they were fragile and more susceptible to being targeted like this, but a dick pic from a friend's husband is blatantly not ok to respond to positively.

I'm fully prepared to have someone tell me this is wrong and victim blaming, and i will listen if they explain.

Ihaveabloodyheadache Thu 27-Apr-17 17:21:17

I don't think that's victim blaming at all, so you're not being U, they willingly participated, possibly slightly mitigated by being in poor relationships themselves, BUT they should be responsible for their own actions still.
But I don't doubt someone will be along saying you're U

ZilphasHatpin Thu 27-Apr-17 17:21:59

which is that all of the women are completely blameless and were victims

Victims of what? What happened to them? They entered willingly into a sexualised communication with a married man. The only thing they could claim any offence over is if he told them they were they only one. They're all just mortified that they were foolish enough to think they mattered to him.

CassandraAusten Thu 27-Apr-17 17:24:27

I would normally agree with you that a woman who has an affair with a married man needs to take responsibility for her actions.

But... in this case you specifically mention that he targeted vulnerable women. I do feel that makes a difference. Not sure I would see it that way if I was his wife, mind you!

Maudlinmaud Thu 27-Apr-17 17:27:02

I see no victims in this situation.

CherryMintVanilla Thu 27-Apr-17 17:49:19

He has very obviously targeted women who were in difficult situations (relationship breakups, domestic abuse, body image issues etc)

How do you tally this with the rest of your post? He targeted vulnerable women. This is why a lot of these kinds of groups don't allow men to join. He is the one who initiated that kind of contact. What do you feel should happen? I assume you wouldn't want to scrutinize the women's accounts and decide which were blameless victims and which weren't?

CherryMintVanilla Thu 27-Apr-17 17:51:03

If I was a member of a parenting group and was sent a dick pic by one of the husbands I wouldn't necessarily call myself a victim, but I would find it extremely unpleasant...

milliemolliemou Thu 27-Apr-17 18:14:34

Hmm. Is there an article brewing in this somewhere?

FWIW the issues are clear - adult women agreed to participate in an affair with a married man with a child but got cross when it appeared they weren't the only ones. Sounds as if OP needs to bow out of this "supportive" site. If it exists and the story's true.

On the other hand I can believe there are men (and some women) who target lonely and distressed people for numerous reasons - finance, sex etc. As in the Helen Bailey case - where I believe her murderer met her on a widow/ers website.

AyeReet Thu 27-Apr-17 18:26:18

Yes the story is bloody true! Some of us like me don't have very exciting lives and rely far more than we should on online support.

I suppose I think the women who responded to him positively and got further involved are not blameless victims. I'm not talking about the ones who said ignored him or blocked him, of course I don't mean them. I mean the women who were happy to fall for the oldest lines in the book about how he was trapped in a loveless marriage, ect ect, and got into something they thought was deep and meaningful with him. Yes he's a lowlife for targeting his advances on the women he knew were in a shitty situation and would be most likely to respond favourably but even so...

Bluntness100 Thu 27-Apr-17 18:30:31

It takes two so in my view they are equally to blame.

Trifleorbust Thu 27-Apr-17 19:00:54

I would never, ever get involved with a married man because he isn't free to get involved with me. People would be bound to get hurt because of my selfishness. I don't think that is okay.

theculture Thu 27-Apr-17 19:09:17

I suppose it depends, was it always beginning with dick picks, straight into flirting etc or did he sometimes build up a confidence supporting these women who were vulnerable first - grooming them?

I have sympathy in the 2nd scenario - none in the first

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