Vent about “victims”

So, there’s a news story today about a USC professor who made “a pass” at a student while they were both at a conference in New Orleans. The young woman was in tears as she described going to the professors hotel room and sitting next to him on his bed. He apparently tried to kiss her and she ran out of the room. He’s suspended pending an investigation and she’s suing the university because she thinks more should have been done.
So, let me get this straight: a youngish professor and an adult student were both attending a conference, he invited her to his hotel room, she went to his hotel room, he tried to kiss her and she ran out. So, why is she crying? What horrible thing happened to her???
I think young people want to be victims these days! It’s like it’s become cool or “in” to suffer/be a victim. I resent this mindset so deeply. I feel like saying to her “you want to hear a really horrible story of sexual assault?”
When something “might have” happened, so someone feels threatened as a result, but nothing actually happened, I don’t want to hear about it.


I agree with you. I feel like the media and certain groups of people are trying to push certain qualities onto the general population that aren’t really serving a progressive purpose for humanity. Not to make light of assault in any form. But it’s weird, a lot of people are trying to control the world at one time in their own way.


Being scared isn’t actual harm, feeling threatened isn’t actually being threatened or hurt. But, like you said, the media is pushing a message of victimization under any circumstance that may be uncomfortable to someone.
It is damaging to the human psyche and makes weakness the norm. While also further marginalizing actual victims.
Thanks for your response, @catsrcool.

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I 100% agree.

We had a similar discussion about the #metoo phenomenon and it was pretty interesting.

People do want to be victims,

And these kinds of stories make actual victims feel like their claims will not be taken seriously.

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According to one news story, the student said that professor was in charge of the committee that controlled her doctoral dissertation and her future.

It’s one thing if a professor gets involved with a student they have no academic influence over. It’s quite another thing if they mess around with a student that they do have academic influence over.

Most reputable universities have a professional code of conduct for their professors in order to prevent this type of behavior. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always provide enough of a deterrent.


I can understand the stress involved in that situation. I didn’t hear that he threatened her with anything involving his position of authority, but maybe that will come out. But I don’t want to hear that she thought, assumed it was his intent, or was afraid that it would affect her future. I only want to hear if he actually, verbally, said to her that she must succumb to him or fail.

That’s what I see, and I see how it’s fed and it makes me sick. I’m glad I’m not the only one who thinks it does a disservice to actual victims.

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I think the assumption that this might affect her future would be justified whether or not he said anything at all, given his position.


I get what you’re saying, @Hedgehog, there is a culture of victimization going on right now, everyone wants to be a victim, this is just one example.

This is sexual grooming behavior. The process involved a methodical, systematic wearing away of boundaries, morals and values, and appropriate inhibitions and prohibitions.

Undergraduate students are legally considered adults, but the key brain structure involved in decision-making and impulse-control does not fully develop until age 25.

In addition to drastic age differences, students are especially vulnerable to professors because of the power a professor holds over a student’s academic career and quality of life on campus. Even when students believe they are consenting to romantic and sexual relationships with their professors, their ability to consent is undermined by asymmetrical power.


What if she was the one leading him on, going to his room, sitting on his bed… just so she could make a deal out of it and make some money and get sympathy?

I can completely see this as a sick way to get back at someone you don’t like.

I don’t think that guy did anything wrong. It’s all so stupid. People are so sensitive now

That’s not actually how it works. In any employment or academic situation it is not acceptable for someone in a direct line of authority (supervisor, manager, professor) to engage in an intimate relationship with a subordinate, even if it’s consensual.


I’m always a little shocked that other women are often the most critical when a woman who has potentially been victimized speaks out.


In this case I agree that the woman wasn’t a victim, or if she was a victim, she was the victim of a misdemeanor. Unfortunately, in this crazy world there are people who will try to exploit a trend for their own monetary gain, even when it is a legitimate trend of pressing urgency. I’ve been seeing more and more accounts of that kind of thing on the internet. I don’t know how much of it to believe. One time I was at the hospital, and there was this girl there who acted like she didn’t like me. Then, one day while I was outside, she sat down close to me on this bench. I was thinking, “Well, this is a change.” I put my arm around her and gave her a very mild tug in my direction. She fell over in my lap in an exaggerated manor. At first I thought she was trying to set me up for rejection - trying to trick me into making a play for her so she could reject me. Then I looked up and saw the female pdoc walking past, and I realized the girl did that to try to make me look sexually aggressive in front of the doctor. People like this do a lot of harm in the world.

I think people are just jealous and will do things to make the person that they hold jealousy towards fall in anyway they can.

You changed my mind, Moonbeam. This professor might be guilty of more than a misdemeanor. They probably need to check if this is a pattern.

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I guess the lesson is always say, “can I kiss you?” Before making a pass. This actually works too


I’ve actually been brutally victimized, that’s why I draw the line. You’re on the other side of the line if you just “felt like maybe” something was going to happen but it didn’t. I applaud her for taking care of herself and ensuring her future. What a good example she can be… But to see her crying and acting like a victim is frustrating and disappointing.
She doesn’t have to be a victim to then be strong. Be strong and don’t let the media portray you as a victim. Tell the truth that this guy was unethical, but don’t tell me how frail and scared you were when you weren’t.

Unfortunately, there is no cutoff for trauma. People can get seriously disturbed by things regardless of whether or not other people agree with them that it was a trauma. Victim shaming has got to stop. Attitudes like this are the reason I never spoke out about my abuse as a child. I thought it wasn’t bad enough, because it wasn’t a parent who was abusing me.