Privilege and Oppression
December 10, 2010
I am sure it is exhausting and disheartening to be constantly smacked with other people’s privilege, and then to have salt rubbed in the wound by the additional smack of “and we’re only going listen to your experience of oppression if you couch it in terms and with a tone *we* deem acceptable”. My personal philosophy is if someone is sharing an experience of oppression in relation to something I have said or done, I shut up, sack up, and accept their experience in the terms and with the tone it is delivered.
I figure it’s a lot worse to experience oppression than to be a privileged person having someone say something “mean” to me, so I give a very large benefit of the doubt. All one needs to say–rather than getting defensive–is “Gee, I hadn’t seen it that way, but I will definitely think about it now that you point it out.”
In the broader scope of human interaction in privileged environments, there are a lot more constraints on how the oppressed can interact with others and present themselves than on the privileged. This explains why in an environment that is supposed to be “safe”, the oppressed sometimes feel comfortable just fucken teeing off once in a while. Fucketonnes of frustration and rage and powerlessness are being suppressed all the fucken time, and if the shit leaks out once in a while among friends, the benefit of the doubt should be extended.