Yes we are bleeding heart liberals, and our feelings are hurt all the time. It’s because we know that an injury to one is an injury to all.
But we must learn that insisting on forcing the perpetrator to acknowledge our suffering at their hands is distracting from the truth that our pain is due to a legitimate issue that bears addressing – that there is action that can specifically prevent future suffering.
When we focus on our pain we undermine the legitimacy of our objections. We must move beyond demanding that our abuser help us heal and move on to stopping the abuse. Healing can only truly happen after we have ended the abuse anyway. The abuse is the issue, not the abuser’s acknowledgment or punishment or even resitution.
We need to focus on the fact that the objection is rooted in logic or ethics or agreed upon terms of condition.
We can’t be sidetracked by the offender’s attempts to deflect from their own choices by indicating that suffering itself is not a legitimate basis for an objection. We need to show how the pain is not the objection, but that the action itself is wrong or bad. If we are the ones with an objection the burden is on us to elucidate how the objection is not semantic or emotional appeal only, but rather genuinely cause to evaluate, judge and mitigate the actions in question.
Modern America is abusive, but we don’t have to enable that abuse, or stay in the situation. We can break free from the chains of victim blaming. Part of that is not *exclusively* acting out the victim part, without seeking any resolution. When we bring to light a real problem, we must be looking to form real solutions, even when we feel that the problem is external of self.
It is up to us to first attempt to reduce or eliminate our own suffering even it’s when caused by others. Addressing what remains is looking at the real problem. Standing back, arms folded, repeating that we have been wronged and demanding for the perpetrator to resolve it may seem entirely justified, and emotionally that is so. However, it does not acknowledge the reality behind our own free will in this existence. To refuse to participate in improving our own experience because it has been affected by others is to dis-empower ourselves by placing our wellbeing in the hands of the perpetrators against us. We are capable. There is no need for and no benefit to waiting for an external source to complete us.
It may be upsetting to set aside feelings that we believe should be acknowledged, but we must focus on making the perpetrator accountable and responsible for specific actions, and engage the rules in specificity – the perpetrator is not obligated to ackowledge or mitigate emotional suffering, but they are obligated to take responsibility for their actions and mitigate resulting losses. We can work on our feelings of suffering with our individual support networks, where those involved care about us and want to support us.
Loss of rights, property, housing, employment, or services due to the victim’s social status is unacceptable. The issue is not that the victim has been hurt emotionally, the issue is that they have lost something of value – most likely that thing is tied to their personal wellbeing – and that is a legitimate cause for action.
Let us not believe the victim blamers who would say that hurt feelings are our issue. We may have hurt feelings, but the reasons our feelings are hurt are absolutely actionable items that should not be ignored regardless of the delivery of the complaint.
Let us empower ourselves by casting off as much damage as we can, mitigating the rest, and addressing the heart of the problem with those who are responsible, and those who will engage viable solutions.