Oppression Olympics

Oppression Olympics

Updated Nov 02, 2014 at 10:13AM EST by Tomberry.

Added Oct 27, 2014 at 03:36PM EDT by Tomberry.

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About

"Oppression Olympics" refers to arguments in which inequalities faced by a group are dismissed for being considered less important than those faced by another group. While it was originally used inside feminist circles to address race-related grievances within the feminist movement, the term has been used online to mock those who seek approval or praise for being more disadvantaged than others.

Origin

In 1993, the phrase "oppression olympics" was coined by feminist author and activist Elizabeth "Betita" Martínez to challenge the idea of the "hierarchy of oppressions" when addressing inequalities faced by minorities.[13]

Spread

On April 29th, 2008, Urban Dictionary[2] user Allison Amy submitted an entry for "Oppression Olympics." On May 6th, the race and pop culture website Racialicious[3] published an article titled "Re-Examining the Phrase 'Oppression Olympics'", which discussed usage of the term among minority groups. On January 28th, 2010, an entry for "Oppression Olympics" was submitted the the Geek Feminism Wiki.[4] On January 7th, 2013, Redditor 2129096947 submitted an oppression olympics infographic to the /r/TumblrInAction[12] subreddit (shown below).


Oppression Olympics Tu Cló-

On July 21st, 2014, YouTuber Shoe0nHead uploaded a video titled "Oppression_olympics.mp4," in which she mocked third-wave feminist grievances expressed on Tumblr for being unwarranted in Western countries (shown below). Within three months, the video gained over 200,000 views and 5,100 comments.



On August 23rd, 2014, Kotaku[8] published an article in the "Talk Amongst Yourselves" section of the video game blog titled "Gaming Media and the Oppression Olympics," which criticized contemporary feminists, so-called "social justice warriors" and video game news sites. On September 25th, Gawker[11] published an article titled "The Privilege Tournament," which invited readers to cast their votes for who would be considered the most privileged group. A tumblr page was created to list occurences of Oppression Olympics arguments taking places on tumblr[15]. On September 26th, the philosophy blog Critical Theory[10] published post mocking the Gawker article for being an example of the oppression olympics.


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Criticism

The term came under scrutiny by feminists online for the fallacy of relative privation[14] it relates to. The Geek Feminism's definition of it[4] also highlights how it can be used to derail a discussion from its original course, or to silence a debate. A November 4th, 2012 blog post from Everyday Feminism quoted it to support the idea that Oppression Olympics as an argumentative tool shouldn't be used at all when discussing oppression and inequalities[7]. This idea was picked by other bloggers[5][6]. A February 2014 Group Think article from the Jezebel website mocked the term as an argument, emphasizing on its derailing nature[16].

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