Humiliation  

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Allegory of the World (1515) from the studio of  Joachim Patinir
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Allegory of the World (1515) from the studio of Joachim Patinir

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Etymology: Late Latin humiliatus, past participle of humiliare, from Latin humilis low. To reduce to a lower position in one's own eyes or others' eyes. While related to the word "humble," it is possible for one to be humiliated and not humbled.

Humiliation of the self

Humiliation need not involve another person; it can be a recognition of one's own standing, and can be a way of casting away false pride.

Humiliation of others

Humiliation of one person by another is often used as a way of asserting power over others, and is a common form of oppression or abuse. However, it can also be consensual, as part of an agreement with a lover of erotic humiliation. In either of these cases, it may be motivated by sadism. In addition, many punishments are deliberately designed to be humiliating, e.g. tarring and feathering, pillory, mark of infamy (stigma).

Physical abuse is, in addition to the physical damage, also humiliating, as is intimidation. Rape may, in addition to being humiliating, cause physical damage, including being infected by a sexually transmitted disease, and also the physical abuse of making an unwilling woman pregnant. Some find humiliation by others erotic in certain circumstances: see erotic humiliation. Most use of humiliation is not sexually motivated; many times seen in positions of authority (like parents) or as corrective in certain circumstances.


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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Humiliation" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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