This Punitive Society

I want to be on the stand and say to them: What did she do? What did she do wrong? She chose the wrong men, and for this you want to punish her, as our society punishes women who let men abuse them, as if it was a choice. We forgive the wrongdoer and attack the victim, because we hate victims, even as we are victims. You should have known better! You should have made a better choice! Your choice was wrong, and we as judges, juries, and executioners know this! You should not have made these mistakes and for this, we judge you. For this, we sentence you and punish you for your sins, for your flaws. You were a good mother, but that is not good enough because you never would have been a mother if you had not chosen men who would abuse you. Of course, this line of reasoning falls apart because she could very well have been a mother if she had not chosen these men. But of course she would not have these children. These children will be harmed because of her choices. These children will be harmed too because of their abusive fathers, but we don’t hold the fathers accountable, only the mothers. These abusive men didn’t know any better, but she did. She knew and she chose wrong and for this, she shall pay with their loss. Their pains are her pains. She will suffer for her sins and so will they.

This society is so fucking fucked and fucked up. I can hardly bear it. We are so punitive, so judgmental, so holier-than-thou, such critics.  Critics. We all sit and judge. Our whole culture. We love to annihilate victims for having been victims. In doing so we can ignore the victims in ourselves. We get to be the rescuer in our judiciousness. I will save you from your victimhood, you fool.

It all just makes me want to scream.


I am really at the point where I can’t stand all the judgments in this world.  Everyone seems to know what everyone else should have done.  I’m not a Bible person, but there are adages in there (and other religious texts) that would be useful for us to consider.  One of these is the quote about the sawdust in another’s eye while ignoring the plank in one’s own.

I’m certainly not immune to this.  When I heard about the woman who birthed 8 children, even though I was telling anyone who would listen to stop carrying on about her parent’s bankruptcy and other choices she made, I was still asking aloud why she had IVF in the first place.

I do try, though, to accept that each person has their own journey, their own lessons to learn, and sometimes what may be easier for one with certain life experiences may seem impossible to another with a different set of circumstances.  It is so easy to judge from afar when we really have no concept of another’s life, even if we’ve lived with them.  It is so easy to state what someone “should have done,” especially with the benefit of hindsight and our own experiences.  People are so unwilling to consider things from another’s perspective, as if in judgment one is able to deflect attention away from the self.  There is also the group mentality at play in many cases; it feels better to sit in judgment against one with many than to be the lone voice of distinction.

I get it that this is a shitty little blurb, not backed up by anything other than ranting, and not well articulated, but I’m sick.  I have a horrible upper chest cold.  I am sick to my stomach and on the verge of vomiting most of the time.  I don’t have it in me to write something perfectly articulate and original.  I just wanted to say what I said.