Something that has gone unremarked in the latest outburst of female hysteria is why these purple-faced rage-heads we see on television and on social media, call themselves survivors. The word turns up in all of their materials and their self-descriptions. It’s clear the word has taken on a spiritual meaning, imbue with sacred properties. The survivor, they insist, is incapable of error or dishonesty. We must not only believe survivors, we have to follow their orders. To do otherwise violates some unexplained, yet sacred code.
The first thing that comes to mind is the literal aspect. What it is they have survived? The claim is they are survivors of sexual assault, which is a strange thing to say since no one actually dies from sexual assault. The law defines assault as “an intentional act by one person that creates an apprehension in another of an imminent harmful or offensive contact.” Therefore, sexual assault is the credible threat of unwanted sexual contact by someone with the present ability to do it, but not the act itself. That’s a different crime.
No one dies from a threat, so the idea of being a survivor of a sexual assault, at least in the narrow sense of the law, is a bit ridiculous. Most likely though, these women are using “assault” colloquially, as in a physical attack. Even so, this has two problems. One is no one dies from sexual assault as currently defined. Even rape is non-lethal. The victim could die from the physical encounter that preceded or followed the actual rape itself, but we have moved into a realm of crime no one includes in the definition of sexual assault.
If we are to take them seriously, we have to stick with present reality when defining sexual assault. In the current age, sexual assault means anything from a dirty joke to a woman being pressured into sex. Somewhere in that range is the woman who got knee-walking drunk and woke up with her panties on her head. Even allowing for the alleged trauma that ensues, these are not things one survives. It’s like saying you survived a parking ticket or a rainy week of vacation. Sexual assault is something you endure and move on.
The other problem is the concept of survival is not passive. It is active, which is why people get applause for things like surviving a ship wreck or fighting off a shark attack at the beach. It was not dumb luck, at least not exclusively, that saved the person. They fought for their life in order to overcome the threat and live. Exactly no one has died from being hit on by the boss, so you don’t get special credit for having endured it until you found a new job or the guy got canned for being a creepy perv in the workplace.
That may sound monstrously indifferent, but that is the point of examining something objectively. An objective view of what we are seeing, therefore, must include the very real and very intense emotion we see from these women. The purple-faced shrieking does not validate their claims, but it does suggest they really believe this stuff. They truly believe they have gone through some transcendent ordeal, a purifying trial that has altered them in ways that only those who have experienced it can understand and appreciate.
That’s the clue as to what may be going on here. Purification rituals are common to religions in all times and all places. For example, baptism, according to the Catholic Church, is the ritual through which we are freed from sin and reborn as sons of God and members of the Church. Conversion to Judaism requires full immersion in a Mikveh, a ritual purification bath connected to a natural spring. In the Greco-Roman world, the mystery religions were those that required initiation of some kind.
We have in modern times the phrase “trial by fire” which we understand to mean a potentially lethal ordeal that also purifies the survivor. They come out the other end of the experience, changed by it in way that can only happen through such an ordeal. Soldiers, for example, who experience heavy combat are assumed to have been changed by the experience. The assumption is the act of survival requires skills and deeds that are otherwise never required. The survivor therefore gains special knowledge as a result.
Within the Progressive coalition, various tribes have creation myths that hinge on the concept of the survivor. American Jews have turned the holocaust into something that dwarfs the flight from Egypt. Integral to what it means to be a Jew has always meant survival. God’s chosen people are always under assault, but they survive because they are God’s chosen people. Surviving the Nazis not only bestows special status on the victims, but it feeds into the sense of Jewish identity as a people under assault.
Black have a similar origin myth. Like the Jews, they were in bondage, but unlike the Jews they never fled oppression. Instead, they were transferred to a different form of oppression in the form of institutional discrimination and segregation. Their survival as a race and their ongoing fight for freedom is what defines blackness in America. The “black body” stuff that turns up in Afrocentric literature is a mystical implementation of the assertion that blacks are under constant physical threat and what defines them is the fight against that threat.
White women find themselves at a loss to match blacks and Jews in terms of victim status. The concept of intersectionality is an effort to become victims by proxy. Since the only thing white women have to complain about is white men lusting after them, they have to find something else. For a long time, feminists have been trying to compare their “struggle” with that of blacks and Jews, but it is a tough sell. Comparing Becky’s struggle to get that promotion, with slavery or the holocaust, does not go over well.
That seems to be where the “I’m a survivor” stuff comes into the mix. Claiming special victim status because your great grandfather had to ride in the back of the bus does not hold up to someone claiming they were assaulted last week. For Jewish women this is like hitting the lottery. They get to remind everyone that they lost family they never knew in the camps, but now they can say Haven Monahan grabbed their boob at a college party. So far, black women have not jumped on this, but maybe that is a bridge too far.
In other words the anger being directed at normal people by these enraged women probably has nothing to do with the rest of us. It is a battle within the Progressive cult over status within the cult. Brett Kavanaugh was just a convenient prop to be used in what amounts to a morality play. That’s the other side of it. This drama allows people in the audience to display their piety, by how they react to the show being staged. It’s why white and Jewish male Progressives have been falling all over themselves in support of this.