Tuesday, 17 December 2013
How not to suck at challenging oppression and privilege:
So you are *insert minority*, but you're also white/able bodied/cis/male/rich/insert a privilege? Please don't do this.
1. Don't square up to privileged people for being oppressive to you and toss groups you don't belong to into your complaint about the lack of inclusion just to give it more heft.
People who have an oppression you do not are not a weapon for you to use, we have our own voices. Let us use them. Anything else is appropriating in nature.
That said one is still more acceptable than two.
2. Don't square up to mainstream groups, appropriate the struggles of others to give your argument more heft and then follow it up by being oppressive as fuck to the group or groups you just appropriated from.
If your fucking default is being a racist/disabilist/classist/transphobic/homophobic/biphobic/sexist shit? You do not get to use PoC/disabled/poor/GLBTQ or presumed female people to add heft to your arguments and then go straight back to being a bigot. It's all or nothing, either support us or don't, don't just support us when it's convenient for you.
3. Don't justify saying oppressive shit with "I'm talking about my oppression".
No, fuck you. It is never okay to say oppressive shit, you should fucking well know better, if you wouldn't like this shit done to you, don't do it to others.
4. Don't act like social justice is only applicable to your specific group.
We all deserve social justice, not to mention, how the fuck do you think your oppression will go away while any oppression exists? When one of us is dehumanised, it makes all of us easy to dehaumanise.
5. Don't expect support and allyship when you refuse to return the favour.
If you are writing long essays on what you expect from allies but basically refuse to be an ally to anyone else?
Yeah, you're fucking up majorly.
6. Don't play oppression olympics.
Yes, we get that X oppression is more important to you but they're all fucking well important. Ours are just as important to us as yours are to you.
7. Don't pretend you didn't hear anything and carry right on when told you said some oppressive shit.
Someone asks you not to use a slur? It merits more than silence and continuing to use the slurs, it merits at least an "I'll think about it", nobody is asking you to fall down begging forgiveness, but don't ignore people you just hurt.
8. Don't treat the issues of others with contempt and then expect respect for yours.
I shouldn't even have to say this. But apparently I do, because really telling other oppressed people to sit down and shut up is still a fucking thing supposed advocates for social justice do.