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Feminist Victims Have No Clout

A father of four calls out those who choose victimhood over dignity

When I was a high school sophomore, a big, acne-scarred kid spat on my head. He absolutely nailed me as I was heading up the stairs to science class. I had no recourse — because, as I said, he was big.

I was humiliated. I felt indignant, cleaned myself up — and went to class.

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This happened over 40 years ago. While it was not pleasant, it has not kept me from enjoying a full, rich life as a family man and business owner.

I have no idea what happened to this kid after he grew up. For all I know, he went to Wall Street, made a fortune, and is still spitting on people.

The indignity of it all is on my mind right now because I have been reading Jessica Valenti’s memoir, “Sex Object,” in which the feminist author catalogues, in endless and shocking detail, the many degradations to which she was subjected throughout her childhood and young adulthood — inevitably by men.

If you’re going to write a memoir of victimhood, do not wrap yourself in the cloak of feminism — you are doing all women a disservice.

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She was repeatedly groped on New York subways. Called awful names. Somehow a photo of her with former President Bill Clinton turned into internet articles about her body. And more.

None of these things should have happened to her, or to anyone. But in her book, the forbidden fruit is victimhood — something the author knows she shouldn’t stoop to, but it’s just so comforting, apparently. Valenti also writes of the seemingly endless series of meaningless sexual encounters she had.

The situation inevitably boomeranged on her; the men with whom she had various relationships never called back.

Whether you’re a man or a woman, you simply cannot write about dozens of trifling sexual encounters and emerge with credibility intact. I wouldn’t care bout what Valenti wrote except for one thing: She is considered a major exponent of modern feminism, and the book jacket describes her as “leading the national conversation in gender and politics for over a decade.”

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To my mind, feminism is about women finding dignity through equal rights — equal opportunity in education, in the workplace, everywhere. Writers are not doing feminism a service by proudly declaiming all meaningless relationships with men.

In life, you have to choose between dignity and victimhood. If you’re going through life as a victim, then you’re just finishing the job of the people who tried to rob you of your dignity.

Valenti bemoans the fact that her high school friends had more money and nicer homes. She apparently has no idea how much more she had than 99 percent of the planet — loving parents who were great role models and went to work every day, a father who stood up for her, and attendance at a great (and free) public high school.

If you’re going to write a memoir of victimhood, do not wrap yourself in the cloak of feminism — you are doing all women a disservice.

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There is no justification for the things that happened to her, or the abuses and indignities that occur to men and women every single day. But to harbor indignities for decades and allow them to dominate the way you “lead the national conversation on gender” — if that’s feminism, count me out.

Twelve-time national bestseller Michael Levin runs Business Ghost, America’s leading provider of ghostwritten memoirs and business books. He has four children. This article has been updated. 

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