Blaming the Victim?
Billy is eight years old. His family has just moved into a new house. The realtor warned his parents that a registered sex offender lives next door, but they liked the house and bought it anyway.
“Don’t play in Mr. X’s yard,” Mother says. And Billy obeys.
But Mr. X is a cheerful, attractive gentleman. When Billy wants extra money, Mother suggests he offer to trim Mr. X’s hedges or mow his lawn. Billy follows her advice.
Sometimes, when she needs to run to the store, Mother tells Billy to play outside where Mr. X can keep an eye on him — just for a few minutes, of course. So Billy does.
Within a year, Mr. X is back in the court system. Billy is in counseling for wounds that are unlikely ever to fully heal.
Who is to blame?
Billy is an average guy. He is trying to make good decisions for his health. Years ago, scientists warned the medical industry that excessive dietary carbohydrate causes disease, but Big Ag funded them, so they recommend that Billy consume plenty of “complex carbohydrates” anyway.
“Don’t eat too much refined sugar,” the medical industry says. And Billy obeys.
But sugar wears clever disguises. When Billy is hungry, the medical industry directs him to eat multigrain bagals with low-fat cream cheese or bran flakes with soy milk. Billy follows their advice.
Sometimes, when the processed food industry lobbies hard enough, the medical industry tells Billy it’s okay to enjoy snack cakes and soda — in moderation, of course. So Billy does.
Within thirty years, disease has taken hold. Billy is in treatment for obesity, cardiovascular disease, Type II diabetes, or a cancer that refuses to respond to therapy.
Who is to blame?
I’ve taken flak throughout my ongoing cancer prevention series for “blaming the victim” by suggesting that many (not all!) cancers could be prevented by making the right lifestyle choices — if only they weren’t misinformed about what constitutes the “right” choices. Please, read the posts again:
Cancer for a Fortnight, Before Early Detection, In the Beginning: The Cancer-Inflammation Connection, Only YOU Can Prevent Inflammation, Supply Lines: The Importance of Angiogenesis, Short-Circuit: Inhibiting Angiogenesis Naturally, Please Don’t Feed the Cancer, Crap for the Cure.
Is it really the victim I’m blaming?