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Friday, April 16, 2004

What is oppression and what isn't

I am so sick and tired of hearing about how oppressed people are for being rich, white, straight, male, Christian or whatever. Whenever I hear this coming out of people's mouths, I do feel a small urge to let them know what fun it really can be to be oppressed or bullied for being different. Like this wonderous piece of work trolling on Pandagon's site:

being bullied in school has nothing to do with being gay. I know thousands of people who are straight and who were bullied in school. This is just a silly attempt at bullying conservatives into accepting gay marriage.

Beyond the sheer ridiculousness of pretending that gay teenagers aren't bully targets, you see a perfect example of real bullying (such as getting beaten up for simply existing) equated with non-bullying (having to live with the knowledge that people exist who are different than you). It clearly pains some people to have to live in a world with people different from themselves, but I say, tough. Cry me a fucking river.

Other things that are not oppression versus things that are:

*Getting hit on by someone you don't like and blowing them off is not oppression. Getting beat to death because you flirted innocently with the wrong person is oppression.
*Conversely, getting blown off by someone you are hitting on in a bar is not harassment. Calling somebody names and groping them against their protests is harassment.
*People speaking about things that are outside of your belief system on a radio station you can switch off is not oppressing you and your beliefs. You are allowed to have those beliefs even if someone has different ones. Being fined thousands or even millions of dollars for speaking your mind is oppression.
*Not getting to hear people praise your religion day in and day out is not oppression. Being forced to praise a religion that you do not believe in is oppression.
*Hearing criticism of a power structure that benefits you personally is not oppression. Power structures based on accident of birth are oppressive.

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