“Victim-Blaming”: A Vacuous and Costly Assertion…

Date: April 06, 2017

01) “Victim-Blaming”: A Vacuous and Costly Assertion

“Mick Hume, in his epilogue to Trigger Warning, categorises and lists a number of short, catchy expressions, which have morphed into dogmas. They are terms with which one side labels an opponent, so as to reduce said opponent’s position or argument to a circumstance of being unworthy of debate or challenge. Note that this is different from a strawman fallacy, which is made out when one dishonestly misrepresents an opponent’s argument so that it can be easily defeated, as the discussed tactic is employed so that the debate may be instead, avoided altogether[1]. Hume writes: “The phrases listed here are all invitations, if not orders, to shut up and withdraw from the rhetorical fray. The code words used are changing and mutating all the time, but the essential message is always the same: either You-Can’t-Say-That, or You-Can’t-Say-That – and quite possibly, both.” Among these, he lists you’re an x-denier, you’re an x-phobic and you’re an x-apologist. I believe that you’re a victim-blamer is a term which has evolved to carry all the same implications, and that is now employed precisely with the intention of shutting the debate down. It is a signal which can be fired in the hope that those listening or reading might learn all that the espouser intends them to know about their opponent, and that the opponent should be disqualified from the debate, or better still, that according to them, the debate was won long ago, and those who dare to question the vogue politics now, are simply “deniers”.”

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