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I've been hurt too

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I've been hurt too is a silencing tactic in which someone argues that oppression is no different from, or is no worse than, or is in fact better than some specific bad things that can happen to people, often particularly things that happen to them. People making this argument may also appropriate oppression terms like "hate crime" or "discrimination" or "racism" to describe bad things that happened to them.

Oppression — being systemically discriminated against because of one's membership in a disempowered group — is indeed not the only terrible thing that can happen to people. Death of a loved one happens to most people during their lifetime, for example. Illness, accidents, job loss, crime, loss of treasured possessions and failure of friendships and romances are widespread and don't necessarily result in oppression. These can cause intense pain and disturbance without making someone oppressed.

However, the existance of pain that isn't oppression does not logically imply that oppression does not also exist, nor that it is not widespread, nor that it is not painful. It simply shows that it is not the only kind of pain in the world. (This fallacy does have one truthful aspect related to it, which is that not all oppressions are based on unchangeable characteristics. Poverty or disability, for example, might be oppressions one experiences following life events such as illness, accidents or job loss.)

One of the features of oppression, however, is that among other inequalities, difficult life events may be compounded when one is oppressed. You might need to deal with illness and inadequate pain relief because you're perceived as a drug seeker (poor people, racial minorities) or inadequate treatment because drugs are not tested on people like you (racial minorities, women). Doctors, lawyers, or police might regard you as a worthless or stupid person, or a liar, based on your membership of oppressed groups, or they may exploit you. You might end up in medical debt. You might not have adequate financial resources and literacy to deal with funeral expenses or advice on someone's estate. Your existing poverty and a breakup might make you and your children homeless, or require you to stay in an abusive relationship in exchange for shelter. The cash that was in your stolen purse might have been your week's grocery money. Terrible things happen to most people in their life, including privileged people, but privileges allow one some additional resources to respond to them.

In addition, oppression may be easier to dismantle than some life tragedies are to prevent (death, for example). Identifying oppression with unpreventable tragedies, as this silencing tactic may do, can falsely equate oppression with a (probably) unalterable natural force like death.

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