I just figured this out, the so-called "victim complex." People call out sexual assault survivors (the Cosby cases on my mind here) as being in it for attention. Or sexual harassment victims, or people just bringing gender into the conversation. People who "make everything about race" are told they are trying to get attention. All of these are accused of trying to play victims when they don't "deserve" to.
We continually respond with, "why would anyone want this kind of attention?" It's hardly a walk in the park to be a public sexual assault survivor, or to be a POC leading a conversation about race. That is certainly not the attention most people want. Right?
Then it occurred to me: the people who want a narrative of victimhood are those with the most privilege. Of course white men are telling us we are making it up for attention! They are projecting their own pathology onto us. They assume we think like they do - they think we are doing something they would do, trying to get attention and sympathy where none should exist - because we suffer the same from being overprivileged.
I might be the last person to figure this out.