Posted on | October 24, 2012 | 30 Comments
There is nothing more pathological in contemporary culture than our de rigeur celebration of the hero/martyr/victim as the ambitional ideal. If you can achieve nothing else in life, you can always claim victimhood and be applauded for it. This is why we have hate hoaxes by people like Sharmeka Moffitt, and this is why all the bien-pensants expect us to join their pity party for Lana Wachowski:
Director Lana Wachowski, whose films include Cloud Atlas and the Matrix trilogy and who came out as transgendered earlier this year, told an audience in San Francisco last weekend that she nearly committed suicide as a young adult because of her identity struggles.
“In the absence of words to defend myself, without examples, without models, I began to believe voices in my head – that I was a freak, that I am broken, that there is something wrong with me, that I will never be lovable,” Wachowski said at the Human Rights Campaign’s gala dinner in San Francisco, where she accepted the LGBT organization’s Visibility Award.
Congratulations! You’ve won the “Visibility Award”! You are now a Certified Official Victim-Hero! From Wachowski’s acceptance speech:
I am completely horrified by the “talk show,” the interrogation and confession format, the weeping, the tears of the host [applause] whose sympathy underscores the inherent tragedy of my life as a transgender person. And this moment fulfilling the cathartic arc of rejection to acceptance without ever interrogating the pathology of a society that refuses to acknowledge the spectrum of gender in the exact same blind way they have refused to see a spectrum of race or sexuality. . . .
(See? It’s society’s fault.)
I remember the third grade, I remember recently moving and transferring from a public school to a Catholic school. In public school I played mostly with girls, I have long hair and everyone wears jeans and t-shirts. In Catholic school the girls wear skirts, the boys play pants. I am told I have to cut my hair. I want to play Four Square with the girls but now I’m one of them — I’m one of the boys. . . .
(He never got over third grade — or Four Square, for that matter.)
Here in the absence of words to defend myself, without examples, without models, I began to believe voices in my head — that I was a freak, that I am broken, that there is something wrong with me, that I will never be lovable.
After school I go to the nearby Burger King and write a suicide note. It ends up being over four pages. [laughter] I’m a little talkative. But it was addressed to my parents and I really wanted to convince them that it wasn’t their fault, it was just that I didn’t belong. I cry a lot as I write this note . . .
Well, boo hoo hoo. You see how the celebration of victimhood encourages people to think of their self-pity as justified, as a reaction to “society,” externalizing blame for their own unhappiness onto the uncaring Other. The culture of victimhood permits them to embrace their selfish narcissism — their lack of empathy or understanding for the innumerable Others lumped into the dehumanizing category “society” — in order to export their sense of shame onto these scapegoats: “How dare you be insensitive to my problems, you hateful bigots!”
Here’s the thing: All children experience occasional moments of social awkwardness. Many teenagers feel unloved and sad. These problems are so common as to be nearly universal, and yet Wachowski has such a sense of specialness and entitlement as to believe it horribly unfair — indeed, a social injustice, a violation of human rights — that he/she should ever have had such feelings. And so “society” must be scolded and punished, for we were all guilty of our failure to recognize Wachowski’s specialness.
Hey, Larry, what about your ex-wife, Thea Bloom? You know, the “college sweetheart” you married in 1993, and who divorced you in 2003 saying you had “been extremely dishonest . . . in our personal life”? Is she just part of that uncaring “society” against whom you rage? And isn’t it possible that your rage is actually an externalization of your own guilt feelings over the cruel deceit you practiced against her?
Where does Thea go to get her award?
Wachowski’s problem isn’t “gender identity disorder,” it’s egomania. And there is something profoundly perverse about a culture that empowers such bullies, by celebrating their make-believe victimhood and assisting their petty revenge on society in the name of “human rights.”