The Effects of Victimhood on Society – Stan Collins
Everybody wants to be a victim. A ridiculous thing to long for from my point of view, but it seems that pop culture, and thus most of society, currently values being a victim over winning and becoming successful. When I was younger, we looked up to entrepreneurs. The whole idea was that we were in school to find out what we liked and then we would go out in the world and be the best at that. We all looked at sports cars, and mansions, and vacations on exotic beaches as the highest expression of success, and ultimately, that is what motivated us to be better in as many different areas as we could.
Oh, how times have changed.
Today, the prevailing mindset seems to be that those who strive for success, and the spoils that come with it, are fueled by greed and other sinful intentions. Instead, society shines attention and praise on those who claim to have suffered some injustice, regardless of if there is any basis for the claim. Not a day passes that I don’t hear about some story having to do with someone being offended by something. The release of said story usually results in a boycott of some brand or business, the firing of an employee, or in some cases, a nationwide march or walkout.
We now give huge platforms to people with little or no knowledge of the very topic they are talking about because they fall into some combination of categories of victimhood. These categories were once concise and rational. However, now almost anything will qualify as grounds to play the victim. Sweet sympathy from others is the prize for being acknowledged as having suffered some form of hardship. What I can’t understand is, why would anyone want to strive for receiving sympathy from anyone? It honestly sounds like a completely backwards idea to me. Rather than wanting to achieve some great goal on your own, you’d rather not achieve that goal and blame it on some social injustice? To what end?
Some of the most common stances that those seeking sympathy use are, “I’m black so racism and oppression,” or “I’m a woman so feminism,” or “I identify as non-binary because gender isn’t real and you must now call me by my preferred pronoun.” We are already beginning the quick decent down this slippery slope. The problem is that this train of thought encourages laziness and helplessness; neither of which provide any aid in terms of actually reaching one’s goals. To be frank, such viewpoints are really just excuses as to why something can’t be achieved.
“Society is holding me back because of systematic racism; therefore, I’m not going to even try. Instead, I’ll search for every example of racism I can find and speak out on it.”
What good does such a stance do? As far as I can tell, none whatsoever. Forget the fact that the very premise of this idea is wrong and there are countless examples of successful people in all of these “oppressed identity groups.” Consider the implications of such a mindset. The only possible way to achieve goals from this stance is for someone to just give it to you which rarely, if ever, happens. The other option is obviously working for it and reaching that point on your own. This of course, would disprove the narrative of “we can’t do it because of _____;” which is why, I suspect, hard work is no longer emphasized in society.
How much easier life could be if you didn’t have to worry about setting and working towards goals. You can never fail if you don’t ever try. No one can argue with you if you’ve experienced a particular hardship because they could never understand, having not actually been in your shoes. These are all unfortunately, common expressions that I’ve recently heard; albeit not in so many words. At what point does identity politics begin to become such a burden that it begins to negatively affect society? Well, right now I suppose. With that being said, I don’t come bearing solutions quite yet. I do, however, intend on bringing attention to such topics with hopes of stirring up conversation. What shouldn’t be an uncomfortable topic apparently is; nonetheless, these are things that need to be discussed.
Our very way of life depends on it.
Stan Collins Boyd