Saturday, June 25, 2016

Quoted: Carol Tavris on Victim Identity

The power of these symbolic abusers -- and the power of the narrative of The Victim Who Survives -- are reasons that many women, and increasingly men, are attracted to the victim identity, which is rapidly expanding its boundaries. Incest in childhood is abuse, because it is committed by a trusted relative, and is extremely detrimental to a child's emerging sense of self, autonomy, and agency. But is it as traumatic to be flashed by an exhibitionist, fondled briefly in the subway, or kissed against one's will at the end of a date? Increasingly the answer is yes: if you feel abused, you were abused. -- Carol Tavris from The Mismeasure of Woman
This seems harsh now, but given the self-help/repressed memories climate of the late 80s and early 90s in which the book was written, it made sense to ask those question. And maybe I am heartless, but I think those questions should be asked today. "If you feel abused, you were abused."  If you feel victimized, then you are a victim. Not much different the cries of "My FEEEELS!" from those even tangentially tied to the activist left. When your choices are oppressed and oppressor, and you see the most oppressed claiming the biggest prize, what's the alternative?