That is the subject of my October 17 TEDx talk in Colorado Springs- how adding negative connotations to the word "victim" is one of the most common manifestations of victim shaming and rape culture.
By definition, a victim is someone harmed by a crime. Simple. Neutral.
I'm going to track how the word "victim" is used in the media and by people in the public eye on a weekly basis.
September 29, 2015
The National Review
Victim Culture is Killing American Manhood
by David French
"In victim culture, a person cultivates their sense of weakness and fragility, actively retarding the process of growing up....
I’d underestimated the allure of victim status — the ease with which one can achieve power and sympathy all at once."
The shame-infested definition the author puts forward says it all. Being a victim entails weakness and immaturity.
My definition of victim is literal. I was sexually abused as a child. It harmed me. I am a victim, but I am not weak or immature.
There is no allure in being a victim. Merely drawing a connection between those two words promotes victim-blaming and skepticism of innocent men and women attempting to seek justice for horrible crimes committed against them.
September 22, 2015
For Academia, Try being an Adult, not a Victim
By Brad Stuzman
"The underlying motivation is to stifle discussion and close the forum off to anyone who’s not in a sanctified class of victimhood."
Sanctified class of victimhood. Again, creating a definition of victimhood that has nothing to do with the true definition and then insinuating that people seek to be victims because it is a privileged status is harmful to people who have been harmed by crime.
No part of suffering as a result of a crime is a pleasant experience, or one someone would actively seek out.
You tell me: Based on those definitions of victim would you want to be defined as one? Journalists and people in the public eye need to stop turning the word victim into a slur.