Reasons You Shouldn’t Fuck Kids

Reason #212: The Just World Theory

A few years ago, my husband told me about this theory – the “just world” theory.  This theory holds that people inherently need to believe in a just world, a fair world, where good things happen to good people and bad things happen to bad people.  It’s a theory that explains why people don’t believe us fucked kids, or adult rape victims either.  It’s a theory that explains rape myths, like the one that says that she was wearing something provocative, so that is why she got raped.

What all of us fucked kids know for sure, of course, is that bad things do happen to good people.  We know for sure that child sex abuse happens, and since it happens, we also know for sure that it is not a just world.  However, non-abused kids can sometimes grow up to be adults who don’t have this intimate understanding of evil.  Since they haven’t been abused, they cannot understand a world where adults rape children. This is one of the reasons why we have to tell so many times before we are believed by someone.

I’ve been reading this blog “I Was A Foster Kid“, and the shit she has lived through has been horrific.  Just fucking horrific.  And at this point in her journey, she is probably somewhat physically safe (in that she is no longer living with abusers).  But, like most of us fucked kids, she has begun processing the enormity of what she has lived through, and that brings with it emotional scariness. 

The thing about being a fucked kid is that most of us do not believe we live in a just world anymore; we know for sure that the world is not at all ‘just’ or fair.  But we do buy into the just world theory when it comes to our own abuse. All survivors seem to go through an intense period where we believe the abuse was our fault.  Some die with that belief. We think the abuse must have been our fault, that there must be something fundamentally wrong or inherently bad about us, because otherwise how could this have happened to us?  (That’s the just world theory.) Yet when we hear about someone else’s abuse, we never question the fault.  We know for sure it is the abuser’s fault.

I know for sure the abuse wasn’t my fault.  But it took YEARS of therapy to get there.  And the fucked up part of it all is that once you begin to realize that it wasn’t your fault, you also realize just how fucked up the people around you were.  Your eyes are opened to who your dad was and wasn’t, who your mom was and wasn’t, etc.

I don’t believe in a just world.  I believe there are good people in the world who mean me well, and I believe there are also terrible people in the world who mean me harm.  My husband, who was raised in safety by people who loved him, sees the world as mostly good with a few nuts out there.  I have the world pegged as completely opposite: mostly nuts with a few good people out there.  That’s why you shouldn’t fuck kids.

2 Comments so far
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Hi Butterfly,

I have yelled about the just world hypothesis for years, mostly to my best friend. Your post was insightful and accurate. As survivors, we believe we deserved it. I have read from psychologists that this too helps us to feel more in control of our lives, if we were responsible then there is something we can do to change our vulnerabilities in the future, so we feel safer. Like those who believe in the just world hypotesis feel safer because they know that it is victims’s fault they are abused and if they behave, then they are safe. Something really wrong in that ideology, as most people, even those who are not abuse survivors can see. None of us make our world, none of us are that powerful, abuse happens, and we can make our lives safer but never completely safe and never completely when we are children.

The world would be just a little bit more just if we could all be more gentle with ourselves and others. But that brings its own list of risks.

You inspire me, get me thinking, and make me feel. Thank you. Good and healing thoughts to you.


Comment by kate1975

I’ve always been considered cynical and bitter by those around me for no longer feeling safe in the world. And I’ve gotten very victim-blamey comments from people who think that somehow things happened to me simply because I’m me. “That stuff only happens in *your* life.” It can get be frustrating and difficult to try to convince myself that I didn’t do anything wrong when there’s so little reinforcement from others.

Comment by presentlyhuman

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