Monday, February 4, 2008

The victimology of Tanya Gold

David Thompson remarks on Guardian columnist Tanya Gold’s claim of victimhood for her alcoholism and other dysfunctional impulses. Ms. Gold blames "society's constant assault on female self-esteem" for her bad habits and related woes. In typically leftist fashion, she never gets around to the possibility of her own personal responsibility for the choices she makes.

There’s some excellent discussion and many additional insights in the comments:

At no point does Ms Gold pause to ask why it is she chooses to care about - and be so influenced by - Heat magazine, MTV, thin fashion models, pubic waxing, etc.

...Ms Gold seems a fairly good example of the mindset Thatcher was talking about, whereby "society" is forever to blame, while adults fail to discipline their children or simply act like children themselves.

Society is a perfect scapegoat since it is completely nebulous and is completely incapable of taking any responsibility. Only individuals can take responsibility.

This isn’t to suggest that there are no legitimate grievances to consider, but Ms Gold doesn’t mention any that I can see. And if the notion of "constant assaults on self esteem" gains popular currency, and to some extent it has, the effects appear disabling rather than liberating.

... when you subtract the pretentious radicalism that often goes with it. You’re basically left with someone who’s whiny, confused and morally incontinent.

...the victimhood meme has greatest currency among lefties, not least because it "reveals" an apparently inexhaustible menu of "injustices" to be corrected, generally with some collectivist and authoritarian measure.

Thompson’s post brought to mind the series currently running in the ‘National Post’, "Rethinking the Reserve". There’s a similar pathology at work among native Indians and it’s the Indian ‘leadership’ that pushes it.

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