I've come across with the phrase below:

Riley has always judged her for it.

I wonder if it simply means that:

Riley has always judged her based on it.

My second question is:

Are these two sentences - from the text below - contradictory?

  • Riley has told her since then that she doesn’t think that anymore.
  • Riley has always judged her for it.

The text is nelow:

It was dark, with only the light from the streetlight outside penetrating the room. Gwen recognized the girl—she was in some of her classes. She was trying to shrug some guy off, but he wasn’t having it. He started pulling off her clothes. Gwen was about to get up—she thought the two of them could make him stop—but then two more men came in and closed the door behind them. One of them propped a chair up under the doorknob so no one could open the door. Gwen was paralyzed with fear.

The other girl screamed, but the music was so loud no one could have heard her. They held her down on the bed while they raped her. They were laughing. It all happened so fast. She hadn’t wanted them to know she was there. She was afraid they would do the same to her.

They left the girl there, sobbing, on the bed. As soon as they were gone, Gwen threw up. She went over to see how the other girl was, but she’d passed out. Gwen turned her on her side so that she wouldn’t choke on her own vomit, and then she went to find Riley. And Riley told her she should have fought back.

Riley has told her since then that she doesn’t think that anymore. When Gwen found Riley at the party and told her what had happened, they went up to see the girl together. Gwen told her she’d been in the room; the girl didn’t say anything, but Gwen could see the reproach in her eyes. She asked Gwen if she would be able to identify the men who raped her, and to corroborate her story. She’d told Riley that she thought she’d be able to recognize them, but the minute the girl put her on the spot, Gwen panicked. She didn’t want the responsibility. […] The girl wanted to press charges, but she didn’t want to do it without Gwen’s help. But Gwen didn’t help her, even though Riley urged her to. She told her that she couldn’t be a witness. She did nothing. She graduated and moved away and tried to forget about it. But she’s always been haunted by the thought that those college boys—whoever they were—are now grown men. And if they could behave that way once, they could do it again. She heard that the girl killed herself not long after. And Gwen’s been living with the guilt ever since.

It has defined her, shaped her life. She’s a coward, someone who failed to do the right thing. She knows she no longer deserves any of the good things life has to offer.

Riley has always judged her for it. Even now, years later, Riley’s generally holier-than-thou attitude infuriates her. She sometimes wonders if Riley did everything she should have done in all those war zones, whether she’d always done everything absolutely fucking morally perfectly. She wonders if Riley ever made a mistake, if she’d ever been afraid, all that time in Iraq and Afghanistan.

An Unwanted Guest by Shari Lapena

2 Answers 2


To judge someone for something is an informal phrase. It means to think the less of someone on account of their having done that thing.

  • And what do you think about my second question? (Are these two sentences - from the text below - contradictory?...)
    – Peace
    Aug 22, 2018 at 21:10
  • 1
    @Peace No, they aren't. The first instance is about fighting back. The second is about coming forward as a witness.
    – Polygnome
    Aug 22, 2018 at 21:33

The simplest alternative that I can think of is that for means because of in this case.

The two sentances are not entirely contradictory, but (presumably) they do indicate human nature - Riley has told her one thing, but it is not entirely true (its a 'white lie') because in reality Riley has always judged her for it but not openly.

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