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Scientific American: Unraveling the Mindset of Victimhood

(15 Posts)
Kantastic Mon 06-Jul-20 11:07:44

www.scientificamerican.com/article/unraveling-the-mindset-of-victimhood/ This is a long and interesting piece.

Characteristics of the victimhood mindset:
- Constantly seeking recognition of one’s victimhood
- A sense of moral elitism (black and white thinking/"splitting")
- Lack of empathy for the pain and suffering of others. People scoring high on this dimension are so preoccupied with their own victimhood that they are oblivious to the pain and suffering of others.
- Frequently ruminating about past victimization

The victimhood mindset can exist at individual or group level. A group that is completely preoccupied with its own suffering can develop what psychologists refer to as an “egoism of victimhood,” whereby members are unable to see things from the perspective of the rival group’s perspective, are unable or unwilling to empathize with the suffering of the rival group, and are unwilling to accept any responsibility for harm inflicted by their own group

I guess this applies even in situations where the "rival group" never knew themselves to be or thought of themselves as rivals - it's an entirely solipsistic worldview and the true thoughts or feelings of members of the "rival group" don't enter into it.

The problem is of course that accusations of "playing the victim" are often used to undermine and delegitimise genuine issues and real injustices, at both collective and individual level. But the analysis in the article is interesting and it's pointing at something very real IMO.

OP’s posts: |
Ereshkigalangcleg Mon 06-Jul-20 11:20:26

That does sound interesting, bookmarked to read later.

Michelleoftheresistance Mon 06-Jul-20 11:54:26

Interesting. Particularly about the inability to empathise. It's clear that the political TRA lobby see female people as rivals; the 'rights' they demand are to have legal rights stripped from female people and trans superiority over females to be enshrined in law. The suppression and subordination of those they perceive as having what they want.

Female people don't see the TRA lobby as a rival; they would be perfectly happy to exist alongside if respect, values and meeting of differing needs were something mutual and reciprocal.

Kantastic Mon 06-Jul-20 12:13:47

Female people don't see the TRA lobby as a rival; they would be perfectly happy to exist alongside if respect, values and meeting of differing needs were something mutual and reciprocal.

This is it - women are the enemies in a war that we never signed up for and that most of us don't even know is happening.

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DJLippy Mon 06-Jul-20 12:21:30

I wonder how this applies to radical feminism and the men vs women devide.

EmbarrassingAdmissions Mon 06-Jul-20 12:39:51

The problem is of course that accusations of "playing the victim" are often used to undermine and delegitimise genuine issues and real injustices, at both collective and individual level.

This seems to capture Lloyd Russell-Moyle's ghastly accusation levelled at JKR when she revealed her deeply personal history.

women are the enemies in a war that we never signed up for and that most of us don't even know is happening.

Yes - and it's not a war that is a territorial dispute or a grab for resources, it's one that will put an end to women having our own sex and political class. Because this isn't encroachment, it's something that is almost impossible to articulate and doesn't seem to exist the other way around.

I've only skimmed the article and will read it more fully when I can as it's an interesting topic - it feels particularly relevant at present.

Kantastic Mon 06-Jul-20 12:39:59

I wonder how this applies to radical feminism and the men vs women devide.

I was wondering that too - that article doesn't mention whether any of the studies it references disaggregate their results by sex.

It's clear I think that other anti-feminist backlash groups such as incels see women as their "rival group." I don't think there are groups of women, even radical feminists, that see men as their "rival group" in the same way - centering male feelings is something we have to consciously train ourselves out of. But it is food for thought.

OP’s posts: |
Kantastic Mon 06-Jul-20 12:43:11

Yes - and it's not a war that is a territorial dispute or a grab for resources, it's one that will put an end to women having our own sex and political class

I think it is a grab for resources. We are the resources.

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wrongsideofhistorymyarse Mon 06-Jul-20 13:15:44

Thanks for posting.

Imnobody4 Mon 06-Jul-20 14:10:29

Very interesting. I agree that it can be learned and reinforced at a group level, I also think it's become much more common at a group level. I've seen it at an individual level but you can see it in many conflicts where the narrative of historical injustices are used to justify and encourage genocide e.g. Serbs.

Goosefoot Mon 06-Jul-20 14:39:42

Kantastic

*I wonder how this applies to radical feminism and the men vs women devide.*

I was wondering that too - that article doesn't mention whether any of the studies it references disaggregate their results by sex.

It's clear I think that other anti-feminist backlash groups such as incels see women as their "rival group." I don't think there are groups of women, even radical feminists, that see men as their "rival group" in the same way - centering male feelings is something we have to consciously train ourselves out of. But it is food for thought.

I'm not sure I agree with this - I think some women do see men as their rival group. Sometimes in feminists discussions I get the impression that individuals like that think that's what feminism is.

I do think it's not terribly common in the female population, probably because most women have lots of close relationships with men - fathers, brothers husbands, sons - and care about their interests and empathise with them.

Thelnebriati Mon 06-Jul-20 15:15:39

Its been explained repeatedly that women are talking about classes and structural inequality. Women (as a class) are harmed by men (as a class).
Its not victimhood if group A are actually being victimised by group B.

Incels are not being harmed by women, they do see women as a rival group; to the point where some are prepared to commit mass murder. Incels have been labelled as a terror group in Canada as a result of their own actions. Those actions were as a result of perceived deprivation; not as a result of any violence by women towards them.
globalnews.ca/news/6965806/incels-violent-extremism-csis-report/

PermanentTemporary Mon 06-Jul-20 16:39:52

I'd agree this narrative is used by MRAs and anti-feminist women against feminism. This comment is partly a placeholder so ill be back.

Goosefoot Mon 06-Jul-20 19:28:56

Thelnebriati

Its been explained repeatedly that women are talking about classes and structural inequality. Women (as a class) are harmed by men (as a class).
Its not victimhood if group A are actually being victimised by group B.

Incels are not being harmed by women, they do see women as a rival group; to the point where some are prepared to commit mass murder. Incels have been labelled as a terror group in Canada as a result of their own actions. Those actions were as a result of perceived deprivation; not as a result of any violence by women towards them.
globalnews.ca/news/6965806/incels-violent-extremism-csis-report/

The definition of terrorism these days is pretty darn loose.

But the fact that a group of people like feminists, or civil rights activists, or trade unionists, may use class analysis doesn't really mean that they don't also include people or factions or elements within the whole that are about something else entirely.

I can't really think of any movement of that kind that doesn't currently seem to include some of this victimhood culture.

TehBewilderness Mon 06-Jul-20 19:55:34

They appear to have created a euphemism for the paranoid aspects of narcissism conflated it with tribalism and then tried to morph it into a widespread cultural phenomenon.
I hate to see self styled scientific publishers offering up articles that would be shredded in an introductory class.

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