Amy Davidson in The New Yorker:
George Will is a victim: a victim of a particular thing he calls “victimhood,” which comes with “privileges,” nice things that George Will, or people like George Will, don’t get to have. And this thought, in a column that Will published this past weekend in the Washington Post, is not just attached to a standard rant about, say, affirmative action. Colleges and universities have now learned, he writes, “that when they make victimhood a coveted status that confers privileges, victims proliferate”; he sees this quite plainly in “the supposed campus epidemic of rape, a.k.a. ‘sexual assault.’ ” Students and educators, in Will’s world, are being swarmed by covetous young women.
Why might one covet the “status” of a survivor of sexual assault, and what are these “privileges” that Will sees? Does he worry that he will be asked to give up his seat for some eighteen-year-old girl who has reported a rape? Or is it that she will be allowed to go to the front of the line in the dining hall at her college, or be deferred to in a way that strikes him as unseemly? Perhaps what he calls a privilege is a young woman such as that being listened to by her elders and having her story taken seriously. That counts as a privilege—an extra benefit—only if a girl, in the normal course of things, wouldn’t and needn’t be heard. “Privilege” suggests puzzlement with the very idea of a voice like that mattering, and, potentially, changing the life of a young man. The image Will is conjuring up is of deceptive or “hypersensitive, even delusional” women clamoring for attention, and deliriously pleased to have found a way to get it.