Why, if you were victimized, is there an additional stigmata attached to admitting it? Why this inherent misconception that just because someone was a victim, it makes victim their defining characteristic and automatically makes it that they can’t move beyond being a victim as long as they continue to admit that they were, in fact, victimized?
In short, why do victims have to suffer twice – the first time by being victimized, and the second time by admitting they were victimized?
Why the social stigmata against being victims? Oh, right. Comes from the same place as victim blaming – either it’s a way for the one doing it to feel safer and better about themselves, or it’s just somebody being an asshole.
I was the victim of a dog bite. I have no fear of dogs. The only reason it’s even in my mind today is somebody happened to ask me if I’d ever been bitten by a dog. It currently has no effect whatsoever on my life. That doesn’t change that yes, I have been the victim of a dog bite. Being the victim of a dog bite doesn’t make me a bad person in any way. It just makes me someone who, once upon a time, didn’t notice the sleeping dog by the chair and accidentally stepped in it’s paw. The dog forgave me, I forgave her, we moved on. She is still the victim of a clumsy human, and I am still a victim of a dog bite.
So what is this whole ‘seeing yourself as a victim’ bullshit? What, exactly, is a victim supposed to be seeing his or herself as? Why, exactly, are some folks so adamant about adding one more layer of negativity and hardship to those who have been victimized?
Victim itself should be an entirely neutral term, but it isn’t, entirely because of the victim-blamers.
I was nearly arrested because I had the ‘nerve’ to defend myself with force when someone attempted to sexually assault me. So, yeah, victim-blaming and similar behavior pisses me off. Being told ‘I should not see myself as a victim’ angers me because victim should be a neutral term. It’s like telling someone ‘you should not see yourself as a mammal’. And the whole ‘I’m so much better than you because I wouldn’t see myself as a victim if I was in that situation attitude’, that’s just being an asshole.
And there is no reason for victim blaming or stereotyping victims as ‘bitter, sad, folks who can’t get over/beyond it’. And there is no reason to justify the behavior of folks who do victim blame and stereotype.
‘I don’t see myself as a victim because I’m so cool I wasn’t bothered, injured, or upset’ is the way it usually plays out.
How do you ‘feel’ like a victim? That’s the question I’d still like to have answered. Why is victim not a neutral descriptor? Well, frankly, that is because of the victim blamers.
I’m not telling ANYONE what they should ‘feel’ like. I can’t tell someone they should ‘feel’ like a victim anymore than I can tell someone they should ‘feel’ like a mammal, or like an earthling. You either are, or you aren’t.
The problem is, victim blamers have, in addition to blaming the victim for ‘provoking’ the attack in some way, also further degrade them by blaming them for showing any weakness afterwards. And so they do things like suggest people who admit to having been victims are engaging in masochistic tendencies. It’s all bullshit. It all feeds into the victim blaming mindset. And frankly, it all needs to stop.
Victim is not synonymous with whiner
Victim is not synonymous with weak
Victim doesn’t mean ‘can’t get over it’
Victim doesn’t mean ‘lesser’
Victim also doesn’t mean submissive
Victim doesn’t mean masochistic
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