26 September 2016

Victim Blaming: Go Ahead and Blame Us, We're Used to It.

Watch the following video. Go ahead, I'll wait for you. 

Are you back? Good. I missed you. No, really, I did. 

So, what's wrong with the video you may ask? While I agree it is not the smartest thing to stand between a child and free candy, or under a falling piano. The difference between those and a lorry (that's the Queen's English for "truck") making a left turn (right turn if you are in any other part of the world that doesn't call a truck a "lorry") is that the lorry has the ability to slow down and wait for the cyclist, whereas the falling piano and kids fighting for candy are forces of nature, subject to the laws of physics and oncoming sugar comas.

The video does a fantastic job of blaming the victim - the cyclist in this case - for not realizing that the lorry coming up behind him is going to blaze past him and make a left hand turn. Of course it is the cyclist's fault that he was in the way, I mean he was in front of the lorry, how dare he!

Blaming the cyclist is so common it is almost involuntary, like sneezing. Car hits cyclist? Must have been the cyclist's fault for being on the road. At least he was wearing a helmet! Oh, he wasn't? Then it definitely was the cyclist's fault! 

How 'bout we try something different? Instead of putting a video out showing a cyclist clearly doing nothing wrong and saying that it is their fault, let's instead put a video out telling the lorry driver to watch for cyclists and not make left turns into them. 

Fortnately, I haven't been involved in any right hooks (left hooks in the Queen's Monarchy), but I have come close to being hooked, and in every instance, the car has come from behind me, thinking that they are fast enough and far enough in front of me that they can make it, or not even considering that I am there. 

I'm not faulting their attempt at education - a little education goes a long way - but let's educate the right group. 

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