The victim culture: A disturbing part of today’s society?
In Nazi Germany and Nazi-occupied countries free speech was censored by jack booted thugs. Today, we are censored by victim culture and the fact that we don’t want ‘to offend’. Offend others and they become the victim and you become branded as a racist, sexist or some other variety of ‘ist’.
This was demonstrated in June 2015 when seventy two year old Nobel prize-winning scientist Tim Hunt, made a casual comment at conference of fellow-scientists. He was made to resign because of his comment. What was so dreadful? This:
“Let me tell you about my trouble with girls … three things happen when they are in the lab … You fall in love with them, they fall in love with you and when you criticise them, they cry.”
Instantly derided on Twitter, he was accused of sexism. The day after he made this remark, he was obliged to resign from his position as Honorary Professor with the UCL Faculty of Life Sciences and from the Royal Society’s Biological Sciences Awards Committee. His wife (a scientist, incidentally) was reported as saying that had he not voluntarily resigned, he would have been fired.
This is patently ridiculous. Hunt’s field of study is medicine. One flippant comment and the man who has contributed so much to medical knowledge and who has spent twenty five years working with the Imperial Cancer Research Fund has to resign from his posts.
So who were the victims here? Groups who encourage women towards working in scientific fields said that he was undermining their work. Oh, really? If I was a girl intending to study a scientific subject at university would casual remark by some old bloke put me off? Of course it wouldn’t. Had I been in the audience and heard that remark I would have chuckled, not been offended.
How very niggardly
Shock, horror. What a word ‘niggardly’ is. There are many professors and influential people who have lost their jobs or been severely rebuked for using this simple word that means ‘miserly’ or ‘small-minded’. It has absolutely nothing to do with the dreaded n-word that no-one dares utter today. But it sounds like it. So fine, let’s fire or humiliate intelligent people simply for having a better vocabulary than people who saw this word as shocking.
Earlier in 2015, actor Benedict Cumberbatch was in the news because he was on a live TV interview where he was saying that there weren’t enough good acting roles for black people. Except he used the word ‘coloured’. Ka-boom. Shock horror, again. But that’s because it’s hard to know exactly what is acceptable and what isn’t. So ‘coloured’ is wrong. Bad Benedict. But a week or so after the Tim Hunt debacle we had the Rachel Dolezal affair. Rachel is a white woman who for years had claimed to be black. She was exposed. And who did she work for?
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
So coloured is fine. Or isn’t it. Who knows? Now Rachel, it turned out, had simply ‘decided’ that she’d be black thanks to ‘afro-type’ hairstyles and (presumably) a tanning salon, despite evidence to the contrary of photographs showing her as pale skinned blonde teenager. Prior to her genuine race being discovered, she claimed to be a victim of racial abuse.
Because of her situation, the media latched on to a new (well, new to me) phrase which was ‘trans-race’. This in turn upset people who are trans-gender. No doubt this will trigger off something else….
Victims and cry-babies
It seems that so many people like to see themselves as victims. It also seems that an equal number of people are likely to complain if they think they are being belittled. And, as the Tim Hunt affair shows, flippant remarks are likely to offend somebody. And let’s remember that Tim Hunt and Benedict Cumberbatch are both British and the weird British sense of humour should be taken into account too. Ask British Bernie Ecclestone.
Bernie is the commercial boss of Formula One Racing. Some years ago, there was media speculation about (of all daft things) about what colour race suit driver Danica Patrick should wear. One very silly interviewer asked Bernie for his opinion. He said:
“Oh, I think she should wear white, like all domestic appliances”
Feminists were aghast. Oh come on girls, (women, ladies, females, whatever is PC) lighten up. Why do you take these things seriously instead of chuckling? Oh right, it’s because you’re victims.
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