Inventing Victims

September 17, 2016

People who are unhappy (and, at the risk of being redundant, people who are self-professed “social justice warriors”) often find or invent ways to be victims.

It’s sad, but they look for ways to be offended and “oppressed,” even making up things like “body privilege” and claiming that a college embracing healthy lifestyles fosters “a culture of body shaming even for male students,” by its “numerous healthy eating habits, gym programs, and outdoor activities.” That may sound like something from The Onion, but it’s from an actual editorial in The Feminist Wire.

The author finds Colorado College to be victimizing and says that by “promoting a healthy lifestyle, the college’s culture is promoting body dissatisfaction, as well as making it difficult to navigate public spaces for the men on campus.” (Yes, she really, says that)

These kinds of things are what push thinking like a victim into the mainstream. While giving this author a platform, the editors ironically assert that “The Feminist Wire welcomes only the highest quality original, unpublished essays by emerging writers.” And although the readers of Not A Victim likely understand that the author’s position is teeming with victimism, it’s amazing that this kind of comparing, fairness obsessing, blaming, and wallowing in woundedness gets passed off as legitimate. It is essentially saying that people should be “satisfied” with however their bodies turn out, without taking care of them.

This kind of uncritical thinking goes back to the strange but surprisingly pervasive “every-opinion-is-valid” narrative and the hesitancy to point out flawed opinions due to so-called “political correctness.” Narratives like “body shaming” are popular victim mantras these days, but sadly are harmful to those who buy into them. Instead of seeing normal socialization cues as motivators for self-improvement (exercising, eating healthy, etc.), the victim narratives make people feel resistant to change because they feel the cues are “unfair” or “hurtful.” It may seem compassionate, but it’s harmful to vilify self-improvement motivators.

We hear about victims and the victim mentality quite often, but for some reason – especially when victimism is portrayed as being compassionate – people often miss the tell-tale signs and harmful effects.

Not A Victim is attempting to help change that. It’s a big job and it will take time, but it’s worth it because living with the victim mentality is unhealthy and miserable.


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