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02/18/2016

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Rachel McKinnon

Hi Kevin. As I said in our conversation, I can't think of this as already being named, but here is my suggestion: "Appropriating oppression."

It names the sort of "Hey, me too!" response to claims of systemic oppression and marginalization. I think it's a pretty wide phenomenon, not specific to any particular group, but it always involves someone of a particular privilege group claiming the experiences of oppression/marginalization/struggle as someone of a marginalized group. It's partly a mistake because the experience of the privilege group (member) is never *because* of their group membership. In a way, I often see it manifest as "Hey, I know you have a broken arm, but I have a papercut. See! We're both injured! We're the same!" or some such. Sometimes it's used as a way to deflect attention back on to the (relatively minor) "suffering" of the privilege group, to deflect focus from the oppressed/marginalized group's experiences...and perhaps the privilege group's participation or creation of that marginalization.

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