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adjwilli Donating Member (63 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 12:17 AM
Original message
Victimization and Feminism
Edited on Wed Apr-07-04 12:41 AM by adjwilli
I've tried to have people explain this to me before, but what is the actual issue that feminisits argue against in looking at yourself as a victim?

I'm interested in this not just for the sake of understanding feminism, but a lot of oppressed groups use the image of being a victim to promote their causes. Tupac and a lot of new reggae especially. Post-holocaust Jewish philosophy, and the amount of WWII movies. Even remembrance of 9/11 to a degree.

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DarkPhenyx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 12:20 AM
Response to Original message
1. I am so not touching this.
particularly with this much beer in me. However, be warned, I am watching. Do'na piss me off! :)
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adjwilli Donating Member (63 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 12:24 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. I meant the question as innocently as possible.
I really am genuinely interested in why. I know it sounds weird, but victimization can be a powerful mobilizing factor. I want to know why specifically feminists reject it, while others parade themselves around as bruised and bloodied.
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DarkPhenyx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 12:26 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. Hope you get a good answer.
You won't, but I hope anyway.
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FlemingsGhost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 12:31 AM
Response to Reply #3
5. We are all victims of our own fears and insecurities.
Edited on Wed Apr-07-04 12:32 AM by DemsUnite
Some deny it, others wallow in it.

(edited for grammar)
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Redneck Socialist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 01:33 AM
Response to Reply #1
8. Not enough beer
if you are refraining from taking this bait. :)
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rwenos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 12:20 AM
Response to Original message
2. Goverment of "preferred rights"
Edited on Wed Apr-07-04 12:21 AM by rwenos
A jurisprudence professor once told me "since the New Deal, we have a government of preferred rights, vested in certain groups."

When the Dem's are in power, it's historically been Labor, racial minorities, emerging businesses, recent immigrants and certain industries.

When the Repub's are in power, it's historically been management, militarists, big business (Corporate America), anti-immigrants and certain industries.

This is a variation on the axiom (first postulated by Marx, but now an apolitical truism): "POLITICS IS CONCENTRATED ECONOMICS."

In other words: Being a victim entitles one to the fruits of government largess, whichever side of the political spectrum one is on.
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seabeyond Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 12:37 AM
Response to Original message
6. i think the victimization comes in
allowing for the discrimination and the less treatment. i think the ultimate of femism is to remove the feeling of victimization. if one is getting paid a buck more cause they are guy, then to keep mouth shut creates the victim, to stand for self and insist on equal pay, takes away the victim state.

i am not a believer in victim. i dont think there is a time i allowed self to be painted as victim. at the point of being victim, we have had to give our power to another. i was raped, and didnt consider self as victim. it was all on the man and his behavior and who he was. had nothing to do with me

i dont buy that victimization and feminism is hand in hand and if there is the feel of victimization i would suggest feminism isnt understood

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Stargleamer Donating Member (636 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 12:53 AM
Response to Original message
7. Some feminists (Andrea Dworkin & others) have no problem
with using the word "victim" which simply means someone that a crime has been done to.
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wickerwoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 01:39 AM
Response to Original message
9. Not sure if I understand the question- but I'll give it a shot.
Edited on Wed Apr-07-04 01:40 AM by bezdomny
I think it's a subjective/objective thing. It's hard to function in the world if you see yourself as a victim because it makes you passive and disempowered. So many women insist on not seeing themselves as the victim.

Objectively, however, they may be a victim (of discrimination, rape, etc.)

So it's important that society recognize your victim status for anything to get better, but it's impossible to recognize it yourself in your daily life and keep on truckin'.

Is this what you're asking?
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tishaLA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 01:58 AM
Response to Original message
10. Your post makes no sense.
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Selwynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 02:10 AM
Response to Original message
11. My shot at the "good answer"
Edited on Wed Apr-07-04 02:13 AM by Selwynn
"Feminism" is not trying to say "walk it off, solider" or "real women don't cry!" or "quit being a baby."

There is a difference between understanding and "owning" the fact that you were indeed the victim of something and never being able to return to normal life because you are paralyzed by the hurt and brokenness of your victimization.

There is a difference between understanding and acknowledging that you WERE a victim of something and constantly re-living that over and over again - the problem is with a kind of fractured self that cannot ever experience healing and move beyond the events of victimization.

The point that many feminist make is that it is appropriate to acknowledge that someone else hurt you. But ultimately that's not enough to heal the pain. At some point you have to be able to say, "yes, someone else hurt me, this shouldn't have happened to me, I was wronged, this is not fair -- BUT there's nothing I can do to change that now, and ultimately I am the only one who can do anything to heal my scars, fix my wounds and restore my life. Even though what happened was not my fault, I have to "own" the responsibility to reclaim my life, to heal wounds, to take back what was stripped away from me, to mend brokenness."

There is a difference between understanding that a person was a victim and being paralyzed and unable to live a healthy happy life because of being trapped in a "victim mentality."

Feminism isn't saying "shut up and get over it." It's saying (though it doesn't speak with one single unified voice) "own it, overcome it, survive it, defeat it, rise above it - heal, recover what was lost, reclaim your self-identity rather than let your past victimization consume you. Part of "owning and overcoming" it would certainly include a healthy remembering of it without having to re-live it.

EDIT to add: in other words, its not trying to tell you to deny that you were hurt or wronged, its trying to empower a person to reclaim back a healthy sense of personal identity, selfhood, empowerment, and control.
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