I fucking hate the Oppression Olympics.
As I wrote earlier, the woke and anti-woke movements are obsessed with what someone is: skin colour, sex, weight, health status.
A frustrating pattern I’ve noticed in a lot of social justice circles is this tendency to play the Oppression Olympics. If you’re too low on the oppression hierarchy, your views are less valid and your feelings are less important. “If you’re a black, chronically ill, working-class woman, then your views matter more than those of an East Asian middle-class man,” regardless of their political views, temperament, cultural background, or other characteristics beyond what box they check on a demographic questionnaire.
They’re so focused on categorising people that they forget that they’re dealing with human fucking beings, not a goddamn fucking census box. Are people discriminated against because of their race, sex or gender, class, and other characteristics? Absolutely—and this needs to stop. But this fucking nonsense of acting as though people who “aren’t oppressed enough” don’t have feelings worth considering is absolute horseshit.
Without going into details, I would come close to winning the Oppression Olympics, at least for a professional middle-class person of working-class origins. But I don’t play this game. I refuse to, since the focus shifts from who I am as a person to what I am.
The anti-woke movement offers no solution, since they, too, have the same what-someone-is fixation. It’s just that it’s aimed at racial and gender minorities1 and women, rather than people who have (wrongly) been granted more power.
I agree that we need to question preconceived ideas about power and privilege. But this asinine oppression-ranking exercise is not the way to do it.
I am fucking TERRIFIED to talk about this on my public social media because I don’t want to be excommunicated.
In the Oppression Olympics, no one wins.
- As an aside, why is “racial minorities” now off-limits? I prefer it to “people of colour,” which is self-consciously grating. ↩