Mimsy Were the Borogoves

Editorials: Where I rant to the wall about politics. And sometimes the wall rants back.

The expertise of victimhood

Jerry Stratton, October 26, 2006

In Fox on CBS and the goo of victimhood, the Anchoress has a very well-written post about the dangers of according “expert” status to people solely because they have been victims.

And that is precisely the issue with Michael J. Fox. He is misinforming a lot of people on a serious scientific issue, and he is hoping to sway their thinking based upon nothing but their sympathies. And he cannot be fought with because to fight with him is to be “mean” and unfeeling. So, we’re supposed to just lay down and concede, deciding that “because we feel badly for Fox, everything he says is unassailable and only heartless bastards would dare to ask him straight questions.”

We’ve slipped too far into the expertisation of victims. Victims have something to tell us about being victims; they may have something to tell us about surviving victimization; and their experiences can add to our knowledge about how to avoid being victims. If someone claims that victims don’t exist, then their presence is proof that there is a problem that should be addressed.

But a victim doesn’t automatically gain expert knowledge in biology, medicine, or criminology. I haven’t followed the controversy much, and don’t even know the difference between ESCR and ASCR, but I have skimmed over the headlines and articles, and it does all seem to be about how tasteless it was for some people who disagree with him to engage Fox on the issues.

  1. <- No double standards
  2. Dead Donkeys ->