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Victimhood

May 21, 2010

I don’t know if you have noticed, but we love victims. We love seeing people as sad, as somehow needing our help or someone’s help. It is far more difficult to see people as individuals with their own agency and power. It is far easier to understand their plights as sad and pathetic and inherently powerless. 

And when people do start seeing individual agency being exercised, it is usually frowned upon, judged. Making mistakes is not allowed when you are  a child,  poor,  a sex worker, a woman, and all the other categories that make us vulnerable and worthy of pity. 

I have thought about this a lot. And I am inherently against charity and helping people. Most people will not understand this since I am involved in social movements and social activism. But it’s true. Any help I have ever extended to anyone has always been because it hasn’t taken much from me. I don’t believe in my own power to change anyone’s lives. I believe that they themselves are the only ones who can bring about meaningful change. 

To recognize where and how people can exercise their own agencies is the only criteria that I see as valuable.   I am inexplicably angry about all this. Someday I will figure it all out, but for now… I only have questions.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. May 26, 2010 2:02 am

    Well said. I think it’s this false state of power that one comes from when they think they can save someone else. It’s only when we’re drowning ourselves do we realize this fallacy.

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