Victim blaming — an action where the victim of a crime or any wrongful act is held entirely or partially at fault for the harm that befell them. A typical scenario of victim-blaming would be the leaking of one’s nudes where the victim irrespective of gender would be tormented mentally by society by blaming, naming and shaming them. To sugarcoat things, the individuals who often victim-blames would sprinkle a line or two, criticising the person who leaked the nudes before reaffirming his or her stance that the victims are also at fault too. Now, before delving deeper into this issue, it is important to get our facts right on sexting, and the leaking of nudes. Nudes come in two forms, consensual and non-consensual.
When it comes to consensual nudes, in the modern dating scene, it is mostly referred to as sexting. Before chiding sexting altogether, it is equally important to know the reasons behind sexting. Individuals who sext would feel a sense of empowerment and their confidence level would be boosted because they have created a space where they feel safe expressing their sexuality while exploring their body — an important element in everyone’s life that is constantly suppressed by society due to it being deemed as disgusting and unholy.
Another reason why individuals sext is due to external pressure and the need to feel validated by their respective partners. Some people have been manipulated emotionally by their partners to send nudes only to have them break up a few months later because according to their partners, the relationship wasn’t interesting. Now, for the non-consensual nudes! These types of nudes are taken without one’s consent — including grainy pictures from spy cameras in fitting rooms or being filmed secretly by a trusted loved one.
When these nudes, either consensual or non-consensual are leaked to the public’s eyes, it would be based on a multitude of factors. There is no single answer as to how this happens. Sometimes, revenge porn occurs and the person would most likely want to get back at his or her partner for breaking up. However, in certain circumstances, these nudes might be leaked accidentally because the individual’s phone was hacked or if he was too drunk to even remember the fact that he sent those intimate pictures to his work group chat! Nevertheless. it’s never the victim’s fault if his or her nudes get leaked. Sharing intimate pictures as such takes a lot of trust and vulnerability to occur and the person leaking it is guilty because he or she abused and breached the trust given.
Unfortunately, that was not the message that local influencer, Arwind Kumar intended to spread when he posted his recently deleted video. Although we didn’t manage to watch the video, we did indeed manage to get hold of the original caption posted. It reads, “Sending nudes is your choice so stop the blame game! But I trusted…but I was young. If you learnt your lesson good for you, but if you keep repeating it in the name of trust or love, please stop convincing yourself to believe you’re always the victim. You’re not. Period.”
This is indeed a shocking statement to make. Not only did he support the victim-blaming mentality, but his caption has also just invalidated the victims too. That’s not all! It actually gets worse. Shortly after deleting his video due to enraged netizens who were angered by his mentality, Arwind proceeded to post a non-empathetic IG Story that details his reason to delete the video. It says, “If you decide to send nudes, it is your choice. If the nudes get leaked, although, against your choice, it is a consequence of a bad judgement made.”
Adding on, he also stated that there is a repetitive trend where people instead of taking accountability for their bad judgements or the wrong choices they have made, have also been continuously putting the blame onto another person. This just further adds to his victim-blaming mentality and it didn’t even seem like an honest apology in the first place.
Later on, he even hosted an IG Live session where he explained his side of the story and apparently, he was justifying his points throughout the session. A snippet of the session posted by Twitter user @oodlyoodle, revealed some of Arwind’s points.
In the video posted, he said, “Every action has a reaction. If you decide to send nudes, and if someone leaks your nudes, you cannot 100% put the blame on the person who leaked the nudes. Now I am not saying the person who leaked the nudes did the right thing. They are disgusting. But what I am saying is that anyone who send nudes, need to be accountable for their actions. You cannot say the ones who send the nudes are right and did anything wrong. First of all, it’s not about who is right or who is wrong. It is about being accountable for our actions. Please don’t come to me saying that I should apologise to women. I am not going to apologise to anyone.”
what he said (part of it, at least)
— tofu connoisseur 🏴 (@oodlyoodle) August 12, 2021
With the number of followers Arwind Kumar has on his social media pages, his actions were truly disappointing especially to victims of the nudes that have been shared. Tons of young listeners would be agreeing with his words on victim-blaming and sadly, without intervention, this might even produce more individuals who victim blame and carry on the toxic cycle of it.
Let’s just reaffirm this really quickly! The victims are not the ones to blame. If the nudes are being leaked, the real perpetrator is the person who leaked them. It is not wrong for a woman or man to discover their sexuality, consensually in an online realm. Let’s not shame them for that. Also, it is extremely important for people to educate their peers and loved ones regarding this matter in order to break the cycle.