If you look around hard enough, eventually you will find someone who is a victim of some horrible situation or malady. Cancer, racism, AIDS, and so on. And then there are people who will claim to be a victim of something they claim is a horrible situation or malady. Being misgendered, the Patriarchy, eating meat, and so on. And guess who is getting the lion’s share of attention in today’s society? That’s right, it’s the Kardashians. But a close second is the people who claim to be victims.
Last century, we had young men and women fighting wars, living through an economic depression, and fighting against diseases that are now all but obsolete. Today, young men and women have it pretty easy, but they still find ways to make it seem more complicated than a Starbucks menu written in Pig Latin. And those numbers keep growing.
What is it about being a victim that makes so many people want to identify as one? Let’s take a closer look into the Leftist Lexicon and try to puzzle it out together. And remember, do not try this at home. I am a trained professional. Granted, it’s in an entirely different field, but I’m a trained professional nonetheless.
What the Left thinks it means – the status of someone who has endured personal trauma as a result of a hardship
What it really means – the actual status of someone who has actually endured actual personal trauma as a result of actual hardship
That’s a lot of “actual” derivations there, kids. I did it to underscore an important idea: a lot of what passes for victimhood today is bullshit. Even the concept of wanting to be a victim defies logic. So, why are so many people lining up to be a pretend victim? Are they giving away free iPhones or something to the one billionth victim?
It’s not quite that simple. I’ll try to keep this next part short and not so techy to make sure you don’t fall asleep on me here.
The ego is essential to our mental health and our lives in general. It reflects how we see and feel about ourselves, how confident we are to the rest of the world, whether we convey competence on a particular subject or profession, and so on. A healthy ego is kept in check through recognizing those areas where we aren’t the best. An unhealthy ego has no such failsafes and can lead to physical, emotional, and psychological harm when faced with the possibility of failure.
Now what does this have to do with victimhood in its current state? Sympathy. When we are the victim of a tragic event, there is an outpouring of emotion and attention directed at us, which feeds our egos. It also provides a level of protection against criticism if we happen to screw up during that time. Say you just lost your beloved three toed sloth, Zippy. And let’s say you decide to knock over a 7-11 in…oh, I don’t know…Fort Knox. Not only do you have a built-in excuse (the grief over Zippy’s death made you temporarily insane), but there will be people who will come to your aid and defend you. They will even argue for a lighter sentence due to the circumstances.
Granted, most people today wouldn’t try to knock over any 7-11, but the principle is the same. If you can convince people you are a victim of anything, you will get an ego boost and have expectations lowered for you so you can’t lose. Good thing we don’t have a generation full of young people with unhealthy egoooooh, wait, we do. Millennials. And before you start the #NotAllMillennials hashtag, let me point out it’s your peers saying they’re egotistical. Survey after survey shows millennials have big egos, so it’s not just the crochety old blogger saying it. Even if you don’t believe the surveys, think about it for a moment. How many hours do millennials spend…taking selfies?
Congratulations. You’re egotistical.
And more than a little delusional, to be blunt. When you have an unhealthy ego, as many millennials do, you’re more susceptible to self-delusion because you either never get challenged on what you say or do or you wave off any advise as misguided, the result of jealousy and/or hatred, or just plain wrong. Then, when you find out you’re not as totally-super-awesome as you think you are, you crash and burn like the Hindenburg. So, how do you avoid ever having to deal with anything negative in your life? Blame everybody else for your baggage! Perpetual victimhood has become the new American pastime, replacing baseball, frivolous lawsuits, and plastic surgery. And it’s getting easier and more popular.
But here’s the thing that should keep you up at night. What happens to the people who really are victims who need help? Spoiler Alert: it makes people less likely to help them because they will be seen as scammers or attention whores. And all so you can feel special.
Kinda make you look like an ass, doesn’t it?
Fortunately for you, I can’t lay the blame for your pretend victimhood solely at your feet. Your parents/guardians/caretakers set you up to fail by protecting you from criticism, loss, want, and any number of other negative experiences that you need to survive in today’s world. Sure, you may have gotten a trophy at the end of the year, but was it because you earned it or because the adults in your life didn’t want you to feel bad? If it’s the former, you have something to be proud of, but not hang your fedora on later in life. If it’s the latter, you are a victim of bad parenting, but that doesn’t give you an excuse to continue to be a victim and milk it for all it’s worth.
That’s right, kids. You have to grow up and be an adult.
And you’ll suck at it at first. Everybody does. But you’ll figure it out through trial and error and learn how strong and capable you really are. Once you find that out, you’ll never want to be a victim ever again under any circumstances.
If you still want to be a victim afterwards, go nuts. Just be prepared to be mocked mercilessly by those who think you’re overreacting to minor stuff. You know, like me.