Escape From the Oppression Olympics

Like most people, I have my pet theories about why tumblr is such a clusterfuck of identities and petty politics, and why so many people on tumblr engage in bizarre and reactionary behavior well past their teenage years. Even taking into account the Greater Internet Fuckward Theory, tumblr culture is of a very specific vein; the vilification of skepticism, the rejection of human empathy, the furious masturbation to textbook psychology issues to the point where you lose touch with the real world. The hydra has many heads; otherkins, transethnics, sapiosexuals, transtrenders, white knights, and social justice assholes from all walks of life, but at the heart of it is that one word that makes this damn website so infamous: privilege.

To say that tumblr’s obsession with privilege and being offended has made it a laughingstock is an understatement, but the discourse (if you can call it that) is ongoing. Sometimes in the name of “education”, other times in the name of “don’t police my identity I do what I want”, the discussions help no one and in fact, only perpetuate a dangerous cycle.

When you factor in the amount of vitriol that high school and college-age kids spew every day about white girls, heterosexuals, and “cis scum” it shouldn’t surprise anyone that people are going to try and find a way to escape from being treated like shit— consciously or not.

Tumblr is 87-91%[1][2] white and 49% female in its userbase. When you have dozens of blogs for “calling out” and sending death threats to white girls for cultural appropriation, you’re not educating anyone. You’re creating people who feel so guilty about the color of their skin that they either start doing the same to other people in desperate hopes that you leave them alone, or they decide they don’t “feel” white, and decide to identify as another race to escape.

When you tattoo “die cis scum” on yourself, you’re not fighting for transgender rights, you’re being a dumb prick. All those emotionally volatile teenagers you’re telling to go die? The ones desperate for acceptance on this shit website? They are the ones who turn into “trenders”, also known as people who call themselves trans and insist that you don’t need to experience sexual dysphoria to be such. People start calling themselves genderfuck, genderescent, FTMTF, literally anything to avoid being scapegoated as the big bad cissie. They start buying into your dumb rhetoric, desperately trying to be something they’re not.

Tumblr’s idolization of “queer culture” and rejection of heteronormativity? Oh I bet you know how this goes. Pause for a moment to reflect on the fact that the loudest members of the asexual community on tumblr are effectively straight (usually under the guise of demi or gray A). Pause for another moment to remember that they and many other people are viciously insistent on including them under the “queer” umbrella. People have life crisises on their blogs about the fact that they’re only attracted to the opposite sex sometimes or they aren’t constantly horny— and suddenly everybody is huddling under the engorged queer umbrella because nobody wants to be that het person that makes everybody go “ew”.

And what if you’re not straight, or white, or god forbid born with a brain sex that matches your genitals? Even then you’re not safe, because somewhere out there people are sitting with their metaphorical calculator and tallying up your oppressor points. You are told your suffering isn’t as important because you aren’t disabled enough, or you aren’t suffering from fatphobia, or you aren’t made fun of for saying you’re a reincarnated elf, therefore you have privilege! And what about all of those queer trans* women of color that everyone who isn’t a queer trans woman of color loves talking about? In some people’s worldviews, even they aren’t as oppressed as the ~nonbinary~ genders, because at least people take their pronouns seriously.

Because in Tumblr’s black and white world of white cishet kyriarchy, if you’re not oppressed you are literally part of the problem, and no matter what you do you are effectively tainted. All the call out blogs aren’t interested in educating you or answering questions, only their self centered and frivolous outrage that they think is actually helping the world. And the desperate escapism that results isn’t helping anyone either. The protective identities that people develop only cause more problems for the communities they desperately try to be part of, and cause problems for everyone else when in their bid to not be the oppressor, they make up ways of being oppressed. And, because this is tumblr, the most oppressive thing you can do to a person is questioning their beliefs, arguing with them, and pointing out the harmful things they are doing.

Tumblr makes people stop caring about legitimate issues. Tumblr also makes people wish death, humiliation and suffering upon others, all because of some ideology. Tumblr makes people so obsessed with quantifying and defining privilege that they will write off a nine year old Aaron Dugmore’s suicide due to racist bullying as “white tears” and spend their time explaining how “it’s sad but it’s NOT racism”, rather than you know being sad that a child killed himself.

It’s a race to the bottom, a race to be the most oppressed person ever, because if you’re not then someone somewhere is going to find fault with you and make you feel like shit. And you know who wins in a race to the bottom? Nobody. We’re all losers.



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    This is incomprehensibly… perfect in every way
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