Victim Blaming?

“To err is human, to blame the next guy even more so.”

I work a few nights a week at a local bodega and while working on Wednesday night, a girl came into the store only to leave and discover her bike had been stolen.  The girl hadn’t locked her bike to anything, just locked the wheels, and it appeared that someone came along on another bike, picked hers up, dumped there own, and left.

Bike theft where I live is pretty common. My bike was stolen a few months ago off of my back porch.  Everyone I know has a bike theft story.

When discussing this incident with other store customers, the consensus seemed to be that the girl should have locked her bike to something. I found myself agreeing. I’ve never heard of a bike being stolen from outside of the store.  This incident took place during daylight, at maybe 6:30PM, in a high traffic area.

Is this victim blaming? Is this the same thing that I chastised others for doing?

I realize bike theft and rape aren’t equatable. I also realize that there is a very real relationship between an unlocked bike and bike theft that doesn’t exist for, say, a short skirt and rape. But saying that the girl “shouldn’t have left her bike unlocked” seems eerily similar to the girl “shouldn’t have drank so much.”