Victim Industrial Complex

On a recent Dad Talk Today Interview Dr. Warren Farrell spoke about a cultural feature of Western society called the Victim Industrial Complex:

“We have developed what some have called, and I agree with, a ‘Victim Industrial Complex’ where there’s tens of thousands of people who are making their living from the defense of women in courts, the defense of women in child custody cases, the defense of the victims, and appealing to the biological instinct that we all have to protect women, and then saying that men have the power as opposed to understanding if you are biologically programmed to protect somebody, that person who is protected is the one who has the power.”

In his book The Myth of Male Power,  Farrell refers to this problem as the creation of a Victimarchy:

But here’s the rub. When the entitled child has the majority of the votes, the issue is no longer whether we have a patriarchy or a matriarchy — we get a victimarchy. And the female-as-child genuinely feels like a victim because she never learns how to obtain for herself everything she learns to expect. Well, she learns how to obtain it for herself by saying “it’s a woman’s right” — but she doesn’t feel the mastery that comes with a lifetime of doing it for herself. And even when a quota includes her in the decision-making process, she still feels angry at the “male dominated government” because she feels both the condescension of being given “equality” and the contradiction of being given equality. She is still “the other.” So, with the majority of the votes, she is both controlling the system and angry at the system.” [The Myth of Male Power]

Elsewhere I have referred to the same phenomenon as a ‘Gynocentric Cultural Complex‘ which is comprised of three central motives: Damseling, chivalry and courtly love. Farrell’s mention of the Victim Industrial Complex taps the same three motives, especially the image of the damsel, or more accurately the ‘damsels in distress’ trope.

A cultural complex is defined as a significant configuration of culture traits that have major significance in the way people’s lives were lived. In sociology it is defined as a set of culture traits all unified and dominated by one essential trait; such as an industrial cultural complex, religious cultural complex, military cultural complex and so on. In each of these complexes we can identify a core factor – industry, religion, military – so we likewise we have core motives for the Gynocentric or Victim cultural complex in order for it to qualify for the title, and that core motive, as already mentioned, is the triad of damsels, chivalry and courtly love.