Victims On The Left, Victims On The Right

Validation: to make valid; substantiate; confirm

Some people enjoy being victims. People seem to express their enjoyment of being victims by publicly announcing that they are victims. Public announcements provide what I call victim validation. Victim validation gives people feelings of importance as validated victims. Validated victims expect other people to pay attention to their victim needs and take care of their victim needs. Because they feel that publicly announcing their victimhood makes their needs more important than anyone else’s, validated victims feel entitled to ignore everyone else’s needs.

Validated victims blame other people for all of their problems and complain about other people hurting them. Unfortunately, validated victims are everywhere, including the political left and the political right.

Victims on the Left

One example from the political left is Terry O’Neill, President of the National Organization for Women since 2009. I am not a member of the National Organization for Women, but I did sign up for emails. NOW President Terry O’Neill sends out emails to “hundreds of thousands of contributing members and more than 500 local and campus affiliates in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.” I disproved those membership claims, so we don’t know how many people receive the emails. NOW’s claim about the number of members has changed since I disproved its claim of more than 500,000 members.

This email from O’Neill perfectly illustrates victim validation:

Subject Line: Haterade
September 13, 2014
Terry O’Neill, NOW via mail.salsalabs.net

10:53 AM (1 hour ago)

to me

Dear Paula,

 I’m sure you’ve heard by now, but this week NOW called on NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to resign his post. Since we released that statement, it has been a whirlwind of press and action.

You might have seen or heard me on MSNBC, CBS, ABC, NBC or ESPN – or any of a dozen other media outlets. But if you saw me, that means the trolls did too; all week, we’ve been getting barraged with hateful comments via phone, email and on Facebook and Twitter.

Nestled in there — often hidden in the muck — are voices of solidarity. These voices wish us luck in our endeavor, many identify as football fans or activists working in their communities – all agree that we must end the epidemic of violence against women.

Contribute and help us continue our work!

Sure, some of the trolls use the old quip of demanding that I “make them a sandwich” – not the first time I’ve heard that one! I’ve been accused of being “off my rocker”.

The truth is, though, almost all of these comments have been outright and aggressively misogynistic.

 Since I became president of NOW, I’ve received a regular stream of hate mail. Sadly, it just comes with the job. But knowing I have your support makes all the difference.

So a warning to the trolls: We will not deviate from this path. I know that we can change our culture – which is so permissive of violence against women — and change our laws, simultaneously.

How do I know that? Because we’re the National Organization for Women and this what we do – especially with supporters like you.

Thank you for all you do,
Terry O’Neill
President, National Organization for Women

P.S. Thousands of you have already shown your support by signing our petition demanding that Roger Goodell resign. Can I count on your continued support with a contribution today?

Blaming and complaining over and over again, just in this one email. O’Neill clearly feels sorrier for herself than she feels for women who live with domestic violence. She never acknowledges the men who live with domestic violence. She does acknowledge that hate mail “just comes with the job.” Though she made the choice to take a job that comes with hate mail, O’Neill still feels more victimized than women who are victims of domestic violence. Never mind the male victims.

Did O’Neill validate her victimhood on ”MSNBC, CBS, ABC, NBC or ESPN — or any of a dozen other media outlets”? I don’t know. I have better things to do than watch the President of the National Organization for Women demonstrate the fine art of validating victimhood.

Victims on the Right

One example from the political right is a commenter to online articles in local newspapers. This is a much smaller audience than O’Neill’s audience. The commenter and I both live in Wisconsin. She is a Republican. I am a Democrat.

I exchanged comments with this commenter in several discussions. Two discussions illustrate her desire to be a validated victim. Both were political discussions. Several newspapers have written articles about how Wisconsin is doing worse under Governor Scott Walker. For one discussion, I provided this list of online article titles for everyone reading the comments to see:

“Surprise! ‘Pro-business’ policies hurt state economic growth”
Michael Hitzik
Los Angeles Times
May 6, 2014

“State Employment Trends: Does a Low Tax/Right-to-Work/Low Minimum Wage Regime Correlate to Growth?”
Bruce Hall
Econbrowser
April 22, 2014

“Declining Private Employment in Wisconsin, Sideways Trending in Kansas”
Menzie Chinn
Econbrowser
July 17, 2014

“Revised and Updated Data Indicate Minnesota-Wisconsin Economic Activity Gap Increases”
Menzie Chinn
Econbrowser
April 1, 2014

“Right vs. Left in the Midwest”
Lawrence R. Jacobs
The New York Times
November 23, 2013

The commenter wrote these two comments to me:

“California is a disaster. You should quit posting.”

“Yes, Paula Kramer. You should quit posting when you say CA is doing better than WI.”

She included the link below with her second comment:

“California’s Economic Collision Course: Immigration and Water”
Thomas Del Beccaro
Forbes Magazine
August 19, 2014

This article was the only evidence she presented in response to me during the discussion.

Because of these two comments, I gave this commenter a nickname: Stop-Thinking-You’re-Equal-To-Me.

In another discussion, I wrote a comment about how Walker’s policies had made life worse for all Wisconsin residents. I included this list of links to online articles:

“Wisconsin ‘right-to-work” critic will expand company in Minnesota
Tad Vezner
St. Paul Pioneer Press
March 10, 2015

“Wisconsin and Minnesota: A One-Sided Political Competition”
Steve Benen
The Rachel Maddow Show/The MaddowBlog
March 5, 2015

“Scott Walker has failed Wisconsin and Minnesota is the proof”
Jimmy Anderson
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
October 22, 2014

“Minnesota economy beats Wisconsin: 7 charts, 1 table”
Paul Tosto
Minnesota Public Radio NewsCut
January 26, 2015

“A Fiscal Tale of Two States: Minnesota vs. Wisconsin”
Menzie Chinn
Econobrowser
September 30, 2014

“Our view: Minnesota is winning this border battle”
ScottRada
LaCrosse Tribune
January 4, 2015

“Walker vs. Dayton smackdown: Which governor has the better economy?”
Louis O. Johnson
MinnPost
February 7, 2013

“Minnesota making our state look bad”
Tom Clementi
Post-Crescent
January 15, 2015

The January 15, 2015 Post Crescent article includes these statements:

“Despite Walker’s claim that we’re “open for business,” Forbes magazine ranks Wisconsin 31st for business; Minnesota ranks ninth. This despite the fact that the American Legislative Exchange Council, the powerful organization that drafts legislation for conservative politicians and is funded, in part, by Exxon-Mobil and the Koch brothers, places Minnesota in the lowest tier of “ALEC-friendly” states and touts Wisconsin as No. 1 for taxes in 2014.

But that number is countered by reality. The median income for a Wisconsin family is some $8,000 less per year than in Minnesota. Forbes places our Minnesota seventh for economic climate and Wisconsin 27th. Forbes also ranks Minnesota second in quality of life and Wisconsin 17th.

Those numbers make ALEC’s numbers a little suspect and raise the question of exactly who benefits from Wisconsin’s No. 1 ALEC tax rating? Obviously, it’s not the ordinary Wisconsin citizen.”

This was the response from Stop-Thinking-You’re-Equal-To-Me:

“Hey Paula: Obama made me give up my Dr. so it’s best to stop talking about what is taken away from you.”

In response to a list of articles about the effect of state government policies on all Wisconsin residents, Stop-Thinking-You’re-Equal-To-Me wrote about herself. She created inequality for me again by telling me to “stop talking”.

Blaming and complaining, Stop-Thinking-You’re-Equal-To-Me validated herself as a victim. She expects other people to be responsible for her needs while she ignores the needs of everyone else. Why should she pay attention to the needs of people she considers her inferiors?

To make sure she knew I would quote her comments, I sent Stop-Thinking-You’re-Equal-To-Me a private Facebook message. I assured her I would keep her anonymous. I also wrote this:

“It’s sad that you don’t see equality as the benefit it is. It’s sad that you don’t understand that creating inequality for someone else means inviting other people to create inequality for you. You and I are equal, ——-. You deserve the same respect I deserve. I deserve the same respect you deserve. You deserve the same respect from other people that I receive from other people. That is why I hope you stop inviting other people to create inequality for you.”

This is part of her response:

“Now I remember, Paula. Your mother tried to kill you twice and you write about it and have trouble still dealing with it. I had a brother that beheaded himself, an alcoholic husband that became a ward of the state, a family member that embezzled, incidents in childhood that may make you shudder.”

For the record, I write about my mother trying to kill me only when I am participating in discussions about abortion, which might be two or three times a year. I do not write about my mother trying to kill me when it has nothing to do with the discussion.

Stop-Thinking-You’re-Equal-To-Me, however, inserted her personal pain into a discussion that was not about personal pain. Perhaps Stop-Thinking-You’re-Equal-To-Me thought those four examples would force me to see her for the validated victim she believes she is. As a validated victim, no one should expect anything of her, including treating other people with respect and equality. Instead, we should tolerate Stop-Thinking-You’re-Equal-To-Me’s blaming and complaining and take responsibility for easing her pain while expecting nothing in return.

What to Do about Validated Victims?

You could tolerate the victims who share your political views, though you shouldn’t expect them to treat you with respect or equality. You could ignore validated victims on both the right and the left. Or, you could use one or more of these four techniques:

Use the term validated victim to them.

Repeat, “Blaming and complaining again?” each time they do it.

Let them know how many times they made the same statement.

Ask, “What are you doing to change the situation?”

I’ve tried the last two techniques with just one person. After one friend made the exact same complaint five times in a row, I told her she had made the exact same statement five times in a row. I told her I needed to hear it only once. Then I asked her what she was going to do about the situation. She told me she might need to say it five times in a row. I told her she could find someone else to say it to. She no longer calls me to blame and complain about anything.

If we all use similar strategies with the people in our lives, maybe we could gradually convince everyone that victim validation is a waste of everyone’s time. Maybe pointing out the common ground between validated victims on the political left and validated victims on the political right would cause enough healthy embarrassment to stop the blaming and complaining. Something along the lines of:

“You sound just like…”

I’m ready to try.

“Processes Explaining the Concealment and Distortion of Evidence on Gender Symmetry in Partner Violence”
Murray A. Strauss
European Journal on Criminal Policy and Research
July 14, 2007

Paula M. Kramer
Resource Rock Star (See websites below.)
Copyright 2015
All rights reserved.

Posts on this blog alternate with posts at the link below. Posts for both blogs are published on Wednesdays as they are ready to be published. Time between posts could be weeks.

blog.smilessparksuccess.com

Standards For Success Posters

Girl Grit

Girl Goodwill

Resource Rock Star Details

speakingfromtriumph.com

smilessparksuccess.com

For a wide ranging selection of articles on feminism and other topics,
see The Zawadi Nyong’o Daily

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

As an American, I have freedom of speech.

As a woman, I have the right to express my opinion about anything the National Organization for Women claims to do for women.

In 2016, I started adding the section below to all of my new Feminist Leader blog posts. I also added it to all posts published before 2016.

The National Organization For Women
Silences Women

National NOW has blocked me on its Facebook page. I wrote comments based on my blog posts. All of my blog posts are based on a wide variety of evidence. Much of the evidence comes from National NOW’s website, emails and posts from NOW presidents, and emails from NOW staff members. I use no hostile language, no slurs, no profanity. I do use the phrase “glory addicts” in reference to NOW leaders. I also use “glory addiction”, “glory fixes”, and “a dedicated network of glory addicts”. Dr. Marsha Vanderford (Doyle) identified the glory needs of pro-choice leaders in her 1982 dissertation.

Feminist leaders have been silencing women for decades. bell hooks, Gloria Steinem, Urvashi Vaid, and Naomi Wolf got together for a conversation that was published in Ms. Magazine in 1993. The discussion included why women choose not ta call themselves feminists. Did these four feminist leaders working for women’s equality ask women who choose not to call themselves feminist to speak for themselves? Of course not! The four feminist leaders silenced millions of women by speaking for them without first requesting permission to speak for them.

Imagine a group of women who choose not to call themselves feminists getting together for a conversation to be published in a magazine about why some women call themselves feminists. Would hooks, Steinem, Vaid, Wolf, or Ms. Magazine agree with nonfeminist women denying them the opportunity to speak for themselves? Of course not! Would hooks, Steinem, Vaid, Wolf, or Ms. Magazine agree that nonfeminist women had the right to speak for feminist women without their permission? Of course not!

My feminist leader blog posts provide evidence that feminist leaders still create glory for themselves while relegating supporters to “secondary importance”. Dr. Vanderford used the words “relegated” and “secondary importance” in her dissertation. Eoin Harnett of University College Cork in Ireland used the same “secondary importance” phrase:

“Throughout the ages, women were frequently characterised
and treated as inferior and of secondary importance to men.”

NOW leaders even relegated two of their supporters to secondary importance. The supporters responded to my last two comments on National NOW’s Facebook page with comments supporting NOW. NOW leaders silenced those supporters by removing their comments along with my comments. Instead of creating equality, NOW leaders treat other women the same way patriarchal men treat women:

NOW leaders silenced at least three women on Facebook while posting claims to be creating equality for women. Secondary importance is the opposite of equality, as women throughout the ages could testify.

In-House Rhetoric of Pro-Life and Pro-Choice Special Interest Groups in Minnesota: Motivation and Alienation
Dissertation, University of Minnesota, 1982
Marsha Vanderford Doyle, Ph.D.
(Now Marsha Vanderford)
Quoted words on page 350.

“Let’s Get Real about Feminism: The Backlash, the Myths, the Movement.”
hooks, bell, Gloria Steinem, Urvashi Vaid, and Naomi Wolf.
Ms. Magazine.
Vol 4(2) September/October 1993: pages 34-43.

“Multitext Project in Irish History: Movements for Political & Social Reform, 1870-1914”
Eoin Hartnett
University College Cork, Ireland
No date
This project is no longer available online.

Updated April 30, 2017.

If Mitt Were Willing To Share, Would Ann Have A Cure For MS?

Originally published February 24, 2013.

Revised and republished December 20, 2015 after a web host transfer.

The techniques for heart surgery were invented by a black man who began his surgical research career as a nineteen year old. His whose job experience was carpentry and working as an orderly in an infirmary. Because few people had attempted heart surgery before, this black man with only a high school education invented instruments to make heart surgery possible. Some of his instruments are still used in operating rooms today. Vivien Thomas (yes, Vivien Thomas was a man) grew up in a low income household. Vivien himself received a janitor’s wages from Vanderbilt University while he was working as a surgical research technician. In the 1930s, Vanderbilt paid all black males janitor wages no matter what kind of work they did.

Let’s play a little It’s A Wonderful Life, that Jimmy Stewart movie where the main character learns what the world would have been like if he had never lived. What if Vivien Thomas had grown up with inadequate food, inadequate health care, and inadequate education? What if all of those inadequacies made Vivien Thomas unable to fulfill his potential of inventing the techniques and instruments for heart surgery? Vivien Thomas’s wages were so low that he considered switching jobs to better support his family. What if his inadequate pay forced him to stop working on the techniques for heart surgery and go back to carpentry? How many people in your life (you?) would be dead or never born if Vivien Thomas had been unable to invent the first techniques and instruments for heart surgery?

Someone else would have invented the techniques for heart surgery eventually, but it could have been decades later. Heart surgery would not be what it is today, so more people would have died instead of being saved. If your family has a history of heart problems, you might not have been born.

What if a child who could have grown up to develop the cure for multiple sclerosis did not develop the cure because inadequate food, inadequate health care, or inadequate education prevented the fulfillment of his or her potential?

If Mitt Romney would share some of his millions to make sure children of all colors had adequate food, adequate health care, and adequate education, perhaps one of those children would grow up to develop the cure that would give Ann Romney her health back. Mitt and Ann should hope that it’s not too late for the cure to be discovered in their lifetimes. Keeping money in offshore accounts doesn’t seem to have done much for Ann’s health.

Mitt has to hope his wealthy peers are generous with their money as well so the door opens wide enough for that particular child to walk through. We cannot assume that child has been or will be born in the United States. Vivien Thomas was born in New Iberia, Louisiana where he went to elementary school. He attended high school in Nashville, Tennessee. No one could have decided that the black children of New Iberia, Louisiana and Nashville, Tennessee should have all of their needs satisfied to make sure one child could grow up to invent the techniques and instruments for heart surgery. No one can look anywhere in the country or the world to decide that one particular group of children should have all of their needs satisfied so that one child could grow up to develop the cure for MS.

And while the open door would let that child through, it would also let through children who have the potential to grow up and improve lives in all kinds of ways. What other health problems plague your family?

If you focus on money, all you get is money. If you focus on creating opportunities, you receive the benefits of those opportunities. Why hasn’t Mitt Romney figured this out? Because he was too busy thinking up reasons to justify his claim that 47% of Americans don’t “take personal responsibility” or “care for their lives”?

“In Search of Vivien Thomas”
Damon M. Kennedy, DO
Texas Heart Institute Journal
January 2005; 32(4): pages 477-478

“The Real Truth Behind The 47 Percent – Why Aren’t Those People Paying Federal Income Taxes?”
Rick Ungar
Forbes
September 19, 2012

Paula M. Kramer
Resource Rock Star (See websites below.)

Copyright 2015
All rights reserved.

Posts on this blog alternate with posts at the link below. Posts for both blogs are published on Wednesdays as they are ready to be published. Time between posts could be weeks.

blog.smilessparksuccess.com

Resource Rock Star Details

speakingfromtriumph.com

smilessparksuccess.com

Dreary, Gloomy, Or Fun?

Originally published July 26, 2011.

Revised and republished October 28, 2015 after a web host transfer.

When the weather is cloudy or rainy, what kind of day do you choose for yourself?

Dreary day

Gloomy day

Fun day

I choose a fun day.

My mother tried to kill me twice when I was very little. Terror filled my childhood because I never knew when my mother might try to kill me again. I felt safe only on Christmas Day because I knew she could not kill me that day. Terror marked every other day of the year.

When my mother’s attempts to kill me physically failed, She spent the rest of my childhood trying to kill me mentally and emotionally. She would tell me I could have or do something I wanted, then take it away from me at the last minute. On Christmas Day, of course, my mother had to let me keep what she had given me in front of other people. Every other day of the year held the possibility of tears from once again losing what I wanted. I couldn’t even feel safe on my birthday.

I am finally free of my mother. Now every day of my life is a day my mother cannot kill me. A cloudy day is an opportunity to have fun. A rainy day is an opportunity to have fun. Sunny days, snowy days, and stormy days are all opportunities to give myself whatever fun I can for that day.

What do you choose for yourself?

Paula M. Kramer
Resource Rock Star (See websites below.)
Copyright 2015
All rights reserved.

Posts on this blog alternate with posts at the link below. Posts for both blogs are published on Wednesdays as they are ready to be published. Time between posts could be weeks.

blog.smilessparksuccess.com

Resource Rock Star Details

speakingfromtriumph.com

smilessparksuccess.com

Give Yourself A Success Advantage

Originally published March 9, 2011.

Updated and republished September 9, 2015 after a web host transfer.

If you ever vote for a winning candidate with the expectation that your candidate would ignore particular groups of people, you may want to change your Us versus Them expectations. You’ll be disappointed if you don’t. Two examples. President Bush ignored a wide variety of people in making his decision to invade Iraq. We all know how that turned out. President Obama ignored homeowners having trouble paying their mortgages and gave money to banks. We all know how that turned out.

The problem with ignoring Them is that the success of any resident in a country is connected to the success of every other resident, or Us with Them. Another two examples.

In Brazil, the government makes small monthly payments (under $100 to a little over $100) to low income families who keep their children in school and get them vaccinated. Pregnant women must get prenatal care. Although the program has been more effective in rural areas (poverty from lack of food and basic services) than in urban areas (poverty from drug addiction, violence, family breakdown and environmental degradation), it has had a recognized effect in reducing poverty. Known as Bolsa Familia*, the program is credited by Funda’ao Getulio Vargas, a university, with one sixth of Brazil’s reduction in poverty. As the poverty level fell, Brazil’s domestic economy improved.

During the 1960s in this country, Newark, New Jersey refused to recognize its connection to its black residents, holding onto a strong Us versus Them attitude. The 1967 race riots led to poverty and a 2009 estimated per capita income of $17,396. Wanting to avoid race riots, Charlotte, North Carolina decided to recognize its Us with Them connection to its black residents. Charlotte became home to several Fortune 500 companies with a 2009 estimated per capita income of $31,270.

I made a documentary about the most successful and longest running renewable energy fair in the world because I wanted to understand its spectacular success. I discovered twenty-six situational, organizational, financial, emotional, and relationship ingredients for spectacular success. Every spectacular success in the world uses most if not all of these ingredients. One ingredient focuses on self. Two ingredients focus on task. Nine ingredients focus on working with others. Fourteen ingredients focus on satisfying others. Spectacular success comes from working with others and satisfying others because We are connected to Them. My definition of spectacular success is:

The unforeseen success other people intentionally create for you
because you intentionally create success for them.

Even wealthy people need to recognize Us with Them and their connection to every other U.S resident. When a human body has broken bones or a disease, the broken bones and the disease affect the ability of the healthy parts of the body to function effectively. Imagine you have a broken little toe or little finger. That small broken bone would limit your ability to function effectively throughout your daily life. Wealthy people may be financially healthy, but the broken and diseased finances around the U.S. affect their ability to function effectively. Income inequality hurts economic growth for all U.S. citizens.

Our success is connected to Their success because They live where We live. An Economist magazine article points this out. Israel is currently considered an economic miracle because it has become a high tech superpower. But all the new high tech miracles are coming from start up companies that employ only 10% of the population. Long term economic success depends on Israel’s ability to take Us with Them strategies to include Arab Israelis and ultra orthodox Jews by hiring them. Those two groups live where the miracle start ups live, and they will increase to one third of the population by 2025.

Towns, cities, counties, states, and countries that use Us with Them strategies will give themselves a success advantage, just like Charlotte, North Carolina did in the 1960s. Towns, cities, counties, states, and countries that use Us versus Them strategies will give themselves a failure disadvantage, just like Newark, New Jersey did in the 1960s.

Use Us versus Them strategies and you will give yourself a failure disadvantage. Use Us with Them strategies and you will give yourself a success advantage.  That much is your choice.

* The first anti-poverty program using conditional cash transfers was Progresa-Oportunidades, created mainly by Santiago Levy, former deputy minister of finance in Mexico. As of this posting, Brazil’s program is the largest program of its kind.

References

Brazil

“How to get children out of jobs and into school: The limits of Brazils much admired and emulated anti-poverty programme”
The Economist
July 29, 2010
economist.com/node/16690887

60 Minutes

December 12, 2010

Israel

“Beyond the start-up nation”
Schumpeter blog
The Economist 
January 1st-7th, 2011
http://www.economist.com/node/17796932

Newark, New Jersey and Charlotte, North Carolina

http://www.city-data.com/city/Newark-New-Jersey.html

http://www.city-data.com/city/Charlotte-North-Carolina.html

Yeoman, Barry
“A Taste for Tolerance”
AARP Magazine
May/June 2004
http://barryyeoman.com/articles/charlotte.html

Midwest Renewable Energy Fair

https://www.midwestrenew.org/energyfair

Paula M. Kramer
Resource Rock Star (See websites below.)
Copyright 2015
All rights reserved.

Posts on this blog alternate with posts at the link below. Posts for both blogs are published on Wednesdays as they are ready to be published. Time between posts could be weeks.

blog.smilessparksuccess.com

Standards For Success Posters

Working With Others & Satisfying Others

Resource Rock Star Details

speakingfromtriumph.com

smilessparksuccess.com