The phrase ... originated in reference to gaming, meaning [that] taking turns assures a fair game. At that time, turnabout was rendered as two words as in turn about. Today, the term has taken on the connotation of revenge or retaliation, in the sense of two parties taking equal advantage of each other. Occasionally, turnabout is fair play is used in a friendly, teasing manner as an admonishment to keep things fair and equal.
Few people know how to humiliate like Donald Trump—he told his Twitter followers to check out a sex tape; he instructed Chris Christie to stop eating Oreos and forced him to assume the role of doting butler—but even fewer take humiliation as personally as Trump does. For eleven months, the Hillary Clinton campaign—as well as almost the entire Republican establishment—waged a war against Trump by attacking and undermining his claims that he was rich and smart and had a working penis. But you have to have shame to be humiliated, and Trump lacks it completely. The only thing these attacks achieved was the inevitable retaliation.
Humiliation is more than an individual and subjective feeling. It is an instrument of political power, wielded with intent.
Mass opposition to the politics of humiliation began from the early 19th century in Europe, as lower-class people increasingly objected to disrespectful treatment. Servants, journeymen and factory workers alike used the language of honour and concepts of personal and social self-worth – previously monopolised by the nobility and upper-middle classes – to demand that they not be verbally and physically insulted by employers and overseers.This social change was enabled and supported by a new type of honour that followed the invention of ‘citizens’ (rather than subjects) in democratising societies. Citizens who carried political rights and duties were also seen as possessing civic honour. Traditionally, social honour had been stratified according to status and rank, but now civic honour pertained to each and every citizen, and this helped to raise their self-esteem and self-consciousness. Consequently, humiliation, and other demonstrations of the alleged inferiority of others, was no longer considered a legitimate means by which to exert power over one’s fellow citizens (emphasis added).