The Cult of Victimhood

Recently, I heard a Christian yoga organization referred to as a cult. It immediately got my attention, because as you know, I am part of a Christian yoga organization.

When I read the definition of cult, I see where the word could be bandied about. I am a Christian that practices yoga. I have witnessed the idolatry of leadership.

So, the word may be bandied, but let me bandy it back. And shake the beehive in the process.

What about the cult of victimhood?

Why are we as women, so willing to give away our power? Why do we declare ourselves as perpetual victims? Why has our own accountability for personal choices gone awry?

We all witnessed it in the #metoo movement. Sexual assault is vile-period. But, in the thick of the #metoo movement were survivors who accepted cash payments in exchange for confidentiality about their assault. These women as accountable as the perpetrators for subsequent attacks. Yet, when the truth of what was happening came out, they waved their victim flag (significantly stained by blood money) alongside those that chose to go to friends, the press or authorities rather than the bank. If you received a cash payment for your assault, you aren’t a victim-you are a negotiator. Own it. I don’t judge you for bartering at the expense of others- you took back some of your power in that distorted process. I do judge when you cry victim alongside the sisters you sold out.

There are those that victimize themselves over hurt feelings. They seem to equate inference with forced sex. Actual sexual assaults have given way to hair sniffing and insinuation, all #metooed for inclusiveness. It sullies the hashtag. Are we, as women, really so fragile that we equate physical violation with innuendo? Are we so insubstantial that our perception of an innocuous comment’s meaning drives us to lawsuits and hashtags? Are we so adverse to our own liability in a situation that we find it preferable to declare ourselves impotent and, “survivors of a cult” rather than admit to our own misguided ambition for visibility?

Do we realize that as women, when we say we are “triggered” by comments and apparel, we are no different than the men that claim their brutalization of a woman was justified by her attire or sexuality?

Why are we so willing to relinquish our universal strength as women in an effort to subvert accountability for our individual roles in a situation. We perpetuate the stereotype of hapless, histrionic female and hinder our progress as a whole when we sidestep our culpability in the singular.

Hear me: there are actual victims. We dilute their story when we introduce our own slights as equal.

Accountability is not a four-letter word. Slur is.  Why are we so willing to inflict pain on others through libel rather than endure the pain of personal censure? When will we understand that by owning our singular we empower the whole? When will we celebrate the feminine power rather than forsake it in an effort to obscure our own shortcomings? When will we realize owning our shit is real girl power? When will we turn away from the Cult of Victimhood?


Cult [kuhlt] noun

  • a particular system of religious worship, especially with reference to its rites and ceremonies.
  • an instance of great veneration of a person, ideal, or thing, especially as manifested by a body of admirers: the physical fitness cult.
  • the object of such devotion.
  • a group or sect bound together by veneration of the same thing, person, ideal, etc.

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