Between the most recent Kardashian cheating scandal, R. Kelly’s dramatic interview, and literally any rape case that’s received heavy media coverage over the last year, one thing is blatantly clear- we still have an issue with accountability.
In a small sense I get it. Accountability is scary. Admitting you were wrong is scary. But by removing accountability, responsibility from yourself, you’re then placing it on someone else’s shoulders.
Khloe Kardashian was vehemently blaming Jordyn Woods despite the fact that it takes two to cheat. R. Kelly defended his actions by claiming parents of the girls he is charged with assaulting ‘gave them to him’. Brock Turner’s dad defended him stating he was ‘just having fun’. Excluding Jordyn Woods, no one in any of these scenarios took responsibility for their part.
The party being blamed is essentially being re-victimized when someone else in the situation chooses not to take responsibility for their actions that caused the issue in the first place. There’s a cause and effect for every action we take. No matter how small or large.
The frequency in which we refuse to take accountability has caused two large issues. People who were negatively impacted by the actions of someone else take the blame. On the flip side, when someone finally steps up and admits that they made a mistake we act as if they’re a martyr amongst mere mortals.
Glennon Doyle’s cancelled webinar a few months back is a prime example of the latter. After realizing she was in the wrong, she addressed it and cancelled the webinar due to the upset it caused. There was an outpouring of support thanking her for being so candid. Glennon is amazing, don’t get me wrong. But in this case, she did what was necessary. No praise was needed.
Taking accountability for your actions and admitting when you’re wrong is part of being a decent human being.
We should all be doing this already without the promise recognition.
It’s time to stop treating those who take accountability for their actions as martyrs and demand that everyone takes accountability for themselves. This is the only way we can set an example for future generations.
Up to this point, all we’ve seen is accountability dodged as if it were a plague. It shows that anyone can basically do what they want because someone else will be forced to take responsibility, or blamed for what happened.
No one likes to admit that they’re wrong or that something they did may have hurt others. Intentionally or not, it’s an unavoidable part of life. If you don’t want to face the consequences of your actions, be more thoughtful. We could all practice more of that.
Image courtesy of the New Yorker