• Maps and collective responsibility


    This is a post from my WordPress. The original upload date is January 23, 2020. There’s nothing technically wrong here, although my analysis was a bit shallow.

    It’s not that uncommon to find an anti that says something along the lines “I was sexually abused as a kid, so I have a reason to hate maps”, or “I saw a map asking for CP, this is why I think maps are bad”. And it’s really hard to explain them that not all maps are like that, because you get your words twisted as if you said maps can’t be abuse and abusers are never real maps, and accused of No True Scotsman fallacy.

    This is why I thought it might be useful to talk about the mechanism that lies behind this generalization. Fundamental attribution error is a psychological phenomenon when we explain other people’s behavior by their supposed personality traits and ours – by the circumstances we are in. When it comes to outrageously bad things, like child rape, people cling to these explanations as an attempt to distance themselves from the abuser and prove themselves they would never do such a thing. It’s more comforting to say “He abused because he was a pedophile, I am not a pedophile, therefore I can never abuse” than to actually explore the complex dynamics behind abuse. This, by the way, is also why people are so unwilling to listen to the statistics that say up to 80% of child rapists might not be attracted to children.

    So a person explains a particular map’s bad behavior with them being a map, and then projects this onto all maps out there. They end up seeing maps as some sort of a monolithic group where all members are the same and condone each other. Such logic sometimes also get applied to other stigmatized groups, e.g., “I don’t want my son to be gay, because gays have orgies and rape boys”, but it gets called out as bigoted and regressive. The same would happen to a woman who says “I was raped by a man, this is why all men are trash” in 90% of the civilized internet space.

    In reality all maps are different. One map is not responsible for abuse done by another, and doesn’t necessarily lie when they say they don’t support this abuse. To hate all maps because of a few and to try to get maps banned from online spaces just because some use the possibilities of the internet to victimize someone means to discriminate against thousands of innocent people, abuse prevention advocates, just because they share one biological trait with someone they don’t even know or don’t like.

    2023 commentary: what I failed to include, or, to be more precise, did not even think about, is that harmful generalization against other identities has fewer chances to be called out and higher chances to harm the victim if the victim exists on an intersection of several targeted identities. Men as a whole are not as vulnerable to misandrist aggression as men who are gay, or maps, or both. And depending on the context, each of these identities can be used to enhance the accusation. It was inaccurate of me to brush off collective responsibility imposed on other groups of people as something that will be corrected in “90% of the civilized internet space”.

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