Doing Victimhood

 Victimhood can be a performance. Many of today’s feminists “do” victimhood like an actor “does” emotion up on a stage. And the performance-of-victimhood becomes a self-fulfilling cycle – it encourages dissent and then that dissent is used as proof of one’s victim status.

Highly visible feminists (especially on Twitter) like to stigmatise themselves. They align with any political agenda that would be viewed as deviant by mainstream audiences, as a deliberate tactic to position themselves as marginalised. By inciting disapproval and ultimately stigma, it makes the performance of victimhood very easy. All one has to do is trigger disgust and then when any disapproval is uttered, it is then proof (!) of sexism/misogyny/oppression/whatever.

One example is commentator Clementine Ford’s Twitter account header of a broken penis. Or the cross-stitch misandry sisters reported on by Salon

Check Etsy for the word misandry and you’ll find super-cute pom-pom knit hats with “misandry” emblazoned between rows of hearts. You’ll also find lavender and white heart-shaped misandry hair barrettes, a plastic misandry necklace and a misandry-adorned heart-shaped felt brooch with beads.

It’s all pretty distasteful. And do these women really hate men? I doubt it. One thing is irrefutable however – these women love being irritants of a first-class order.

Irritants and shock-jocks should be called out for their offensive comments. But we are afraid of calling out female shock-jocks lest we are accused of sexism. Twitter feminists take any and all criticism as evidence that “women are being silenced”. No. Some of us women are just embarrassed that they speak on our behalf. Some of us cringe at the repeated failures in logic which unfairly malign whole groups of people.

The idea of “woman as victim” is a stereotype like any other, and it needs to be put to rest.  It is just as toxic than other stereotypes of women that people dislike and have fought against (like the docile housewife or trophy-wife ornament). And there’s nothing that undermines agency than a fatalistic, paranoid feeling that the world is out to get you.

If I were a feminist in a position of high visibility I would tell girls that the world is not out to get you. Boys and men are not out to get you. What happens in your life is mostly up to you – the choices you make, the people you associate with, and the vision you have for yourself is your responsibility. Life can be unfair, but it is more unfair if you don’t make good decisions. And if you come up against sexism, stand up for yourself. Speak to authorities and demand action. Don’t walk away and internalise your victimhood and then tell the rest of us that we are all victims too.

6 Comments

  1. yup

    “What happens in your life is mostly up to you – the choices you make, the people you associate with, and the vision you have for yourself is your responsibility. Life can be unfair, but it is more unfair if you don’t make good decisions”

    There’s plenty of disagreement there (about the phrasing, at least) depending on one’s position on certain philosophical issues, to be sure, but your intent is understood and your attempt to influence is recognized under any philosophical assumption (whether your admonishment is more effective than other tactics seems uncertain though).

  2. hqas

    Women’s Victim-hood has kinda become the norm for asserting the feminist ideology, and sometimes labeling ourselves and alienating societies however terrible/unjust is another way of behaving like broken and fragile entities. As if being woman is something to be ashamed about and now we label our sickness as feminism?!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s