(Something) Shaming

Sociology, 1947

A suffix which can be added to any word in order to immediately stigmatize the person stigmatizing you.

Shaming, or public humiliation, probably goes back to neanderthal times; for example, the barbaric 12th practice of Tarring & Feathering continued even into the First World War. The continually-lengthening list of things being shamed -body, fat, mom, slut, age, pill, thin/skinny - almost certainly have their root in “victim-shaming”, which in turn is derived from the politicised concept of “victim-blaming” from the same-titled 1971 book by psychologist William Ryan. However, in 1947, the language was in full bloom by usual suspect, Frankfurst School critical theory sociologist Theodor Adorno, who described “blaming the victim” as a “Fascist” characteristic in “The Authoritarian Personality” (1950). The most comprehensive account to date is arguably Jon Ronson’s 2015 book “So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed”.