The victim culture of America has been eating away at businesses, public life and individual freedoms for years. Slip on an ounce of water, sue WalMart for millions. Tell a bad joke, lose your job. Offend someone who is easily offended, and find yourself in a diversity training program.
Shutuppery is when folks use the social media, courts and institutions to shut others up. Don’t believe it’s true? Use the full name of the NAACP in a college setting. Say “the gals” to describe a group of women. Use the phrase “Boy, that sure was a great baseball game…” in front of your company’s diversity officer. Go ahead, I dare you. Chances are, the response will surprise you.
Psychology Today is catching on:
The past 20-30 years, however, has seen the rise of a victimhood culture, where you’re hypersensitive to slights…but you never take care of it yourself. You always appeal to a third party to punish for you. And here’s the big concept—you become morally dependent. Young people are becoming morally dependent; they are also less able to solve problems on their own. An adult has always been there somewhere to protect them or punish for them. This attitude does not begin in college. Students have been raised to be morally dependent.
The Obama administration’s justice department very much buys into the victimhood culture—the idea that people are fragile and discrimination is so rampant and damaging that we must have zero tolerance toward it. What counts as sexual harassment no longer reflects what a reasonable person would agree is harassment. If any speech is unwelcome, a student can file charges, and every university must investigate the charge. All of us now live in fear that a single word, a single tweet, can suck us into a vortex of investigations and social media shame.
But you see now it’s starting to affect academic life. Professors are scared. Everything has a trigger warning on campus. Safe places are being established for those dealing with new ideas. The left is finally waking up to the Frankenstein’s monsters they’ve created. Maybe, just maybe they’ll figure out a way to eliminate the victim culture on campus. But only if they don’t offend anyone along the way.
h/t: @michealshermer of skeptic.com who adds that that the quotes above are from social psychologist Jonathan Haidt, who is a well-known liberal. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that. It just shows how much of the culture at large is catching onto the victimhood culture.)