Crowdsourcing: Examples of magical victim-blaming

I’m working on an article about the problem of victim blaming by magical practitioners. I have a handful of examples – including one stunning one from Buckland – but would like to collect as many as I can. So please share: where have you seen or experienced victim blaming in magical contexts?

I’m interested in either examples of written material that I can cite (print and internet both) or first-hand stories that you are willing to have me share and cite in the article. Unfortunately, second-hand stories (“This happened to a friend of mine…”) are not as useful.

If you have a story of your own that you’re willing to share, please include your reaction. Did you recognize it as victim-blaming right away? How did it make you feel? How did you respond, both at the time and after the fact?

Thanks, everyone!

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About Literata

Literata is a Wiccan priestess and writer. She edited Crossing the River: An Anthology in Honor of Sacred Journeys, and her poetry, rituals, and nonfiction have appeared in works such as Mandragora, Unto Herself, and Anointed as well as multiple periodicals. Literata has presented rituals and workshops at Sacred Space conference, Fertile Ground Gathering, and other mid-Atlantic venues. Literata offers healing and divination services as well as customized life-cycle rituals. She is currently completing her doctoral dissertation in history with the support of her husband and four cats.
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5 Responses to Crowdsourcing: Examples of magical victim-blaming

  1. Sixwing says:

    Does The Secret count? (I don’t know if it’s actually a magical practice, which is why I ask. It seems to be a philosophical system more than anything, if I’m understanding it right.)

    Every time I meet someone who’s into that, they seem to burble on about how each person somehow attracted everything that’s ever happened to them (including, you know, scarring or traumatizing incidents, grievous harms and minor nicks alike) and I have to work not to get ranty. I tried reading it once, but when I hit “yes, you DID bring that car accident on yourself” – paraphrasing, as it’s been a while, but that was the specific example – it became immediately obvious that it was a grand way for people to take credit for their successes and.. I don’t know, just never have failures or accidents or hurts?

    Because it’s totally their own fault if they do, and if that’s not victim blaming, I don’t know what is.

    • Literata says:

      Yeah, The Secret and other examples of the “Law of Attraction” taken to its (il)logical conclusion are my canonical examples of victim blaming. I’m going to get a lot of flak for this piece, I expect.

      • Sixwing says:

        I’m not sure why that’s controversial, actually. =/

        I’m looking forward to reading your piece. Maybe, as your previous thread, ‘higher-soul consent’ falls into that bucket as well?

        … says the person who knows very little about this. orz

  2. Literata says:

    Thanks! Yes, I think “higher self” consent can also be involved in victim-blaming, especially the kinds that pretend to be all about “karma.” Let me put it this way: no “higher self” or “self between incarnations” chose my disability for me. Telling me that it did – that I did – quickly turns into telling me that I should take responsibility for it, etc. The challenges of getting into a building with a lot of stairs are not a message from my Deep Self about the metaphorical barriers in my path; it’s a sign that buildings need to be more accessible.

  3. Leo Knight says:

    First, thank you for this blog. I just discovered you via Slacktivist.

    Regarding your question: Many years ago, I was involved with a Wiccan group. I had some artistic skill, and enjoyed contributing paintings, props, etc. for rituals. A young woman in the group asked why I didn’t pursue it as a career. I explained that I had planned to, but my parents died when I was in my teens, first Dad when I was 13, Mom when I was 18. What little money they had saved went to Mom’s funeral, and medical bills since she died without insurance. I hadn’t been able to get back on my feet financially, and making a living was hard. She responded, “You must not have wanted it bad enough.”

    My first reaction was hurt and anger. I considered her a friend. Why didn’t she sympathize with me? I started to argue, but, truth be told, I was attracted to her. So I bit my tongue. I began to rationalize. I had struggled with depression for quite a while. I had spent many days where getting up and out the door felt like a battle. Maybe she was right. Maybe I was playing some poor me victim game. It still hurt. I never told her how I felt. I left the group some time later under bad circumstances. That was 18 years ago. I have had similar comments from mundane folk as well, mostly conservatives. On bad days, I believe they are right.

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