7. University of Washington – Feminist Understanding of Victims
Surprisingly, this course lasts just one semester. I’m betting it’s a shallow survey, because it would take at least a year to really make a dent in the canon of feminist victimhood literature. Even if full embrace of one’s status as a victim is a prerequisite, that doesn’t leave much time for instructing students on the art of wallowing in victimhood, the science of reveling in victimhood, and of course, the socio-economic impact of rejecting victimhood. From the University of Washington Women’s Studies catalog:
Explores the meanings of the term “victim” within popular, religious, psycho-social, and feminist discourses and the implications these have for victims, people and institutions that serve victims, and scholars who are concerned with these questions. Examines the tensions between activist and academic understandings of the impact of “backlash”.
Is this a scholarly look at victimhood or yet another seminar designed to remind women of their perpetual status as victims of patriarchal oppression? After looking at a syllabus from an earlier version of the course, my money’s on the latter.