Oppression Olympics & Why It’s an Issue:

Photo Description: The Olympic Rings with Tourists taking photos and a Bridge behind it.

As someone who spends a lot of time discussing injustices in many different spaces, I’m often confronted with endless attempts to derail conversations by demanding my focus is shifted onto another problem. Before I take this further, I’ll explain what I mean:

Oppression Olympics, in my own words, is what happens when I’m talking about Canada’s decision to accept Syrian Refugees into our country; but suddenly, a wild Pokémon appears and starts talking about homelessness within Canada and how the Government should spend money on that. Essentially, trying to create a hierarchy of social issues by suggesting that one issue is more important than another.

And here’s the problem with this approach: an issue is an issue. Oppression is still oppression. Derailing conversations by ranking others as more important than another shows that the individual in question doesn’t actually want to have a meaningful conversation on how to help both sides that need attention; while also suggesting that it’s not possible to focus on multiple issues at once.

News alert: Just because someone is currently speaking about feminism doesn’t mean that they don’t care about the treatment of Native Americans.

The reality is that Oppression is terrible no matter what. Oppression doesn’t need to be ranked to get attention or to be abolished. I assure you that you can fight for a cause while acknowledging the other causes that exist in the world. Don’t pretend to suddenly be concerned about an issue and use it to derail conversations, because it’s incredibly counter-productive.