Saturday, 22 June 2013

FT Weekend: Victim Envy

Reading a Spectator blog post, in which the author – a man I like and once worked for – mischievously opined that such is the ridicule and opprobrium heaped on opponents of gay marriage that they are now as brave as those gay men and women who came out in the 1970s, after legalisation but well before acceptance. The writer is too intelligent to really believe this analogy. He knows that, while they may be mocked by Frankie Boyle, traditionalists do not get beaten up in the streets for appearing overly conservative. The Carlton Club is not routinely raided by police and The Spectator is not being prosecuted under the obscenity laws.

Or maybe I’m wrong. Perhaps across Britain people are leading double lives, keeping their secret position on gay marriage from their families. Maybe homes are being torn apart as husbands and fathers come out against equal marriage. “We just thought he liked wearing tweed,” sobs a family member. “We used to think he was out canvassing; now it turns out he was ‘meeting friends’ at the golf club.” Others live a lie, sitting at home pretending to enjoy The Graham Norton Show, but secretly watching Jim Davidson online when their partner is asleep...

Thus the people who actually enjoy most privilege in society – white, male Christians – engage in victim envy, convincing themselves that, in losing some privileges, they are in fact the ones being discriminated against. A group that has had its own way for centuries suddenly grasps what it must be like to be on the wrong end of history, and it doesn’t like it. But rather than move on, having an argument, they prefer to seek reassurance in the comfortable cloak of the dispossessed. In the victimhood Olympics they refuse to be also-rans.

FT Weekend - Fagburn never ceases to be stunned by how good their gay coverage is.
As The Guardian and Independent descend into Mail Online-esque patronising puerile populist pants...

"The prejudiced ones seem like the freaks now" - Grayson Perry.

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