Why is Victim a Dirty Word? — The Curvature

Why is Victim a Dirty Word? — The Curvature:

I just read this news story about actress Kristen Bell saying that she never wants to play a “victim.” 1

The rhetoric surrounding the word “victim” is some that has constantly fascinated me.  I often see it used in a disparaging sense, like above.  And it raises a lot of questions.

I understand the desire by those who have been raped or abused to use the word “survivor” instead of “victim,” to take the focus away from what someone else did to them and gave them no choice about, to something positive that they themselves have accomplished.  But let us be honest for a minute: is there more to it than that?  Is there really something there that has to do with shame, with constant admonishments either directed specifically towards them or towards women everywhere, saying “don’t be a victim”?  Is there a desire to get away from that embarrassing, horrible word?  I tend to use the word “survivor” myself.  And I have to wonder.

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About Janet Morris

I'm from Huntsville, Alabama. I've got as many college credits as a doctorate candidate, and the GPA of some of them, too. I have a boss by the name of Amy Pond. She's a dachshund. My parents both grew up in Alabama.