Ds1&2 and victim blaming(51 Posts)
So I was talking to both DC (Y7 &8) about a talk they've both had on cyber bullying and sharing indecent photos.
They were telling me how they were told to never share photos of themselves naked. It was all about protecting yourself.
And then I asked what would happen if one WAS sharing such a photo and it was then put in the internet/Facebook etc...
Overwhelming answer was 'well they weren't supposed to send that photo of them naked so it's their fault'
For me, it smacks of victim blaming not dissimilar to 'she walked in an unlit street and was raped. That's her fault as she shouldn't have been on her own' type of argument.
I couldn't make then understand that not protecting yourself properly didn't make you responsible. The person responsible was still and always the one who did share the photo, rape, whatever. And that they also broken the trust of the person.
So my question is, what could I say to make it clearer to them? Examples maybe?
Would you say ideally yes, 100% of the time we should protect ourselves-but we're human and we e.g. share information as a confidence with a friend but it's their mistake to pass that on, they might take a shortcut down a dark alley to get home but they're not at fault if they're mugged/beaten surely? Ideally no one would share such pictures but those who do are sharing with a single person, the recipient is responsible and guilty if further shared. How would they feel if someone copied a text or a voicemail they sent and shared it on a group what's app for example? We're only human, we share in confidence all the time and should feel we can with people we trust but obviously protecting ourselves and weighing up the risks is the best thing to do. Does that help at all?
They're 7 and 8. That's the main issue here, they're still growing and not fully formed intellectually. You can educate them, tell them they're wrong but don't be so hard on them.
Sorry read again and seen they're year 7,8. Still the same, but definitely introduce them to the concept of victim shaming.
I think they are Year 7 and year 8 which is 12/13?
Yes they are 11 (nearly 12yo) and 13yo.
I'm not hard on them as in I'm not having a go at them. But the fact that clearly my explaination didn't hit home at all scared me.
It might well be an age issue.
I wondered if it wasn't also because the school has talked at length about how you HAD to protect yourself (with very good reasons) but didn't emphasise how people who did share photos and so on where totally responsible fo Ethan. So what is left in their mind is 'it's your responsibility to protect yourself. If you dint, then though'
milk I did use that sort of example but it didn't work.
Sharing a nude is taking advantage of someone who's screwed up. If you were driving a car and a toddler darted into the road, you wouldn't keep your foot on the gas. You'd stop the car so that the toddler's mistake wasn't catastrophic.
I think that it's easier for kids to understand analogies like if your bike was stolen, you'd blame the thief. It's not the victim's fault for riding a bike that the thief wanted outside.
They would surely understand the basic concept that when you trust and love someone you might share things with them that you want to remain private, and it's not your fault if that person then betrays your trust and shares it with people you don't want them to, because they lied to you that they would keep it private and you can't control what they do with it any more. A bit cringe, I know but a lot of adults don't get it either. I would use that as an opportunity to reinforce that you have to be careful even if you think you can trust people and it's better not to share naked photos with anyone as your account or theirs can be hacked etc even if you can trust the person.
Well how about yes she made the mistake of sharing with one and he/she made a much bigger mistake of sharing on..?
Sounds like you've got a right pair of young lawyers there, Missis.
But I think this is a very muddled area, where ethicists wouldn't agree.
CheekyNandosChicken, you left out the most important part: I'm not responsible if a thief wants my bike, but am I responsible if I leave it unlocked? I think we actually do expect people to take some level of precautions against other people who might harm us, and not just say "They're in the wrong if they hurt me". I haven't got a clear answer to this, and I don't think anybody has.
Yes this is where I find it tricky to explain.
Are you sharing the responsibility if you leave your bike unlocked?
You can say you haven't been careful.
But does it mean that, if you leave your bike on the side of the road, it's OK to steal it? Just because it's there and easy to take.
My take is that you are not careful if you leave the bike unlocked.
But it will be stealing (and therefore your responsibility) if you take the bike, regardless of whether the owner is careful with it or not.
I supposed I'm worried that that sort of thinking can then be applied to a lot of other areas, esp Rape. So if you have been talking to guy, then clearly you have taken a risk and it's your responsibility too if you have raped...
I like Mikado's approach of talking about the victim making a small mistake, but the perpetrator making a deliberate decision to make a bigger horrible mistake. The small mistake the victim made is the kind of mistake that anyone could make, whereas the perpetrators mistake is deliberate and cruel.
I don't think you share responsibility at all. It might not be advisable, but you're not asking them to take what isn't theirs.
And with rape, it's not possible to limit your life in such a way that you can avoid all risk, and people assess risk in different ways. It's entirely the rapist's fault that they chose to commit a criminal offence.
Exactly, the mistake the victim made was to trust someone. That's something we all do at times. The other person made a deliberate choice to betray that trust knowing it would hurt the victim so they are responsible.
I would ask them straight out "is the message you got from internet safety training "it's not such a big deal to distribute nude pictures if someone gave them to you"?".
And then I would bollock them to kingdom come that the reason it wasn't emphasized that "distribution of photos sent privately makes you a total scum bag" is because most people know before they get to 11, that (a) it is illegal, therefore done by criminals aka 'baddies' (b) it fails the do unto others test, and shouldn't need explaining in words of one syllable.
Maybe what makes this whole thing so morally dubious is that it's done on the sly from the beginning. You park your bike or invite someone you shouldn't trust back to your room, and those aren't things you need to be secretive about. But sharing nude pictures with the intention that they're going to be pornographic will be furtive all along. If the kid's self-made porn gets loose among the Y7 crowd, that's just a bad idea continuing the way it started. So a wise person just won't participate in it.
They might have been unwise to trust someone, but the consequences of doing so are horrible if someone betrays your trust. It's not proportionate.
The school should have been very clear that the distribution of "nudes" of under age children is a sexual offence so anyone receiving or forwarding those images is committing a crime. If they have missed out this message, then not only does this create victim blame mentality but it could also have pretty serious consequences if they do get involved in sending pictures to their friends.
I'm pretty sure that the school didn't talk about the fact that having photos of under 16yo was illegal.
I did talk about it and both dcs didn't seem to really know or why it was illegal.
What I also found scary was the 'well so until I am 16 or 18yo, I shouldn't photos because it's illegal. But after that's ok' type of thinking.
Errr.. no. It's not.
The message seemed to have been 'don't take photos of yourself naked or send them to someone' rather than 'having a photo of anyone under 16yo, regardless of how you got it, is illegal.' and do NOT send naked photos of people to others.
Or at least that's how it came across.
I think it need to have a chat again and ask if they did talk about that. And insist that its the 'sharing' of such photos that is the biggest issue (regardless of age too)
Too wrongs don't make a right. And sharing child pornography is A CRIME, not a playground prank gone sour
More on the bike example:
Could you say that you might lend your bike to someone else to use because that person is your friend. Then this friend falls out with you and won't give it back (effectively becoming a thief). It would be wrong for anyone else to use the bike or to share it with others.
That way, the bike owner isn't responsible; they just trusted the wrong person and made an honest mistake.
I don't think emphasizing the criminal aspect of this is a good idea. Because if you're going to talk about how it's a crime to share child pornography, it seems obvious that if that's a crime, making the material and sharing it the first time has to be a crime too. And here you are trying to say the person who originates the material isn't to blame! It just doesn't work. I think maybe the young lawyers aren't so wrong after all.
Hang on a second. Any person has a total right to take a picture of themselves at any time. If they want to share that picture with another person, they are also entitled to do that, there is nothing 'wrong' or 'morally dubious' or any such bollocks as that. It's my body, I can photograph it any which way I please thank you very fucking much.
However, taking that photo and distributing it is a total betrayal of trust, not to mention illegal.
There is no ethical grey area here. The only reason people think there is a grey area is because deep down they think that girls who share pictures of their boobs with boys are sluts.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.