Friday, April 01, 2016

Modern Progressives - A Pain In The Neck

I wish I could link the original author's profile because he's awesome and he genuinely deserves the credit for this post but since he expressed he wanted to remain anonymous I will respect that wish.

Newest update on my efforts at deciphering the "progressive stack", aka the oppression Olympics:

Race - race seems to be decidedly at the top. If you're black, you're automatically oppressed for maximum oppression points, if you're brown you're still oppressed for substantial amount of oppression points, if you're oriental, you're kind of oppressed, even when you statistically are at the top of most success/quality of life factors, and you get some amount of oppression point. And of course, if you're white, even from a relatively poor country or lower class background, you're the oppressor, which means that most oppression points you might have garnered elsewhere are cancelled and you accrue a hefty sum of privilege points.

Gender - close behind race. If you're a woman, you are automatically oppressed and are awarded many oppression points. Conversely, if you are a man, you accrue privilege points on account of being a horrible oppressor and many of whatever oppression points you might have accumulated elsewhere are forfeit. If you're trans, you usually get the maximum oppression points in this category, though if you're some sort of wacky tumblr fluidgender nonsense, most people still won't take you very seriously, even in progressive circles. Give it a few years.

Sexual orientation - it seems to be slowly falling down the stack. If you're gay, you get some oppression points, but it's a small amount and if you're a gay man, you barely get any at all these days. If you're heterosexual, you obviously accrue some privilege points here, but the impact on your overall oppressed/privileged status is relatively low. If you're bisexual, you might get a few oppression points out of it, but mostly no one really cares.
Religion - with one exception, it seems to be a mostly irrelevant category. If you're a christian, you usually accrue some privilege points, if you're anything else, it doesn't affect your oppression status in any significant way. Of course if you're a muslim... well, we'll get to that later.

Socio-economic class - for an ideology with roots in socialism and marxism, modern leftists seem to put surprisingly little emphasis on class. If you're middle class, you accrue some easily erasable privilege points, if you're working class, no one really cares about you and you're probably a racist, if you're below poverty lines, you get some small amount of oppression points, but nothing much compared to the bigger identitarian issues mentioned above. Nothing is stopping you for example from being an upper class trust fund kid, yet claiming huge stacks of oppression points on your various "identities".

Weight - this rather depends on what circles you are frequenting. On tumblr, if you are thin or at least within the weight limits generally to be considered to be healthy, you accrue considerable amounts of privilege points, whereas being overweight, anywhere on the scale from moderately so to morbidly obese, grants you oppression points, in amounts more or less proportional to your weight. Outside of tumblr, the validity of this currency varies, but if you are fat AND a woman, you can get some mileage out of it in most progressive spaces, because as we all know, beauty standards are oppressive and fat people are helpless when it comes to being and remaining fat.

Disability - this is a relatively marginal category, even though there exists a neologism aimed at people who supposedly slight or discriminate against disabled people. This is presumably because genuinely disabled people are not so numerous and mostly just want to be left alone. In principle you do get oppression points for being disabled and accrue privilege points for being able-bodied, but in reality, this means relatively little, since most people are more or less able-bodied, whereas disabled people tend to have greater problems to deal with than playing oppression Olympics.

These are the regular categories. Then there are some WILDCARDS:

Islam - if you're a muslim, you are in most cases entitled to jump straight to the top of the stack. In fact, being a muslim seems to trump almost any other identity in the oppression olympics. There is very little in the way of bigotry or regressive attitudes, actions and beliefs that progressives are NOT willing to gloss over, when you are a muslim.

Being conservative - if you're any sort of conservative or even just slightly right-wing person who is NOT a muslim, then your oppression points can be cancelled at any point with no refund and that includes oppression points from belonging into such highly protected groups like blacks or women.
Being a "traitor" to any of the special needs "oppressed" groups - similarly to being a conservative, if you don't agree with what progressives think you should think as a member of "oppressed" group XYZ, your oppression points are forfeit. And unlike conservatism, this includes muslims too. You're a woman who doesn't like latter day feminism? Tough luck. You're black and you're not into BLM-style race-baiting and progressive identity politics in general? Well, fuck you. You're a muslim who acknowledges problems with islamic doctrines and wish to reform them? DOUBLE fuck you, you filthy native informant uncle Tom.

Being a virtuous progressive activist - if you sufficiently signal your virtue and repent your privilege loudly enough, both primarily through twitter or tumblr, you can reach the exalted condition of being a progressive activist, and in that blessed state, your privilege points are forgiven, you are granted honorary "oppressed" status and you are entitled to lecture other, less enlightened people on privilege and oppression from your macbook, while sipping a starbucks latte. But there is a catch. If at any moment you fail rigorous purity testing and re-testing that goes on ceaselessly in such high and ideologically pristine circles, your fellow progressives will be more than happy to immediately throw you under the bus. Especially if you're a man.