On the one hand, some oppressions weigh heavier than others. On the other hand, you can’t diminish oppressions that you think are less heavy.
After WW II, my mother, who lost most of her family, friends, and fellow Jewish community members, spoke with a non-Jewish woman. The latter assured her they had ‘suffered terribly too.’ ‘How,’ my mother asked friendly. She said: ‘Toward the end of the War, there was an exchange of fire close-by. Several bullets went through my linen cabinet. There was not one piece of clothing left without bullet holes.’ My mother could have asked: ‘How does that compare to the genocide I went through? But, she understood, it doesn’t work like that. My mother mildly added when she told this story: ‘Everyone feels their own hurt the most.’
Feminism seems to have begun by non-blue-collar women. Working-class men don’t silently think that women are less worthy yet sweet-talk about them. They say their prejudices openly, and if you think differently, you’re welcome to have your say. So, they were ‘the sexists’ for early feminists who were not so class-aware. They failed to see that underlying sexism is exploitation and men who do manual labor are fellow oppressed. They didn’t recognize that ‘educated’ men had learned to hide their disdain. They didn’t know that women often run the working-class families. Left-wing feminist Hillary Clinton called them deplorables; self-declared multi-millionaire Donald Trump handily called them My Forgotten People.
A guy told me last week: When I told my father I was Gay, he said: OK, no problem. But when he told his father that he had become a Vegan, the world was too small. Even now, after years, he refuses to accept this. From this, we could conclude that his father understood that being Gay is not a choice. But still, you can’t give up being Vegan either, just because others dislike it. And animosity and irritation of carnivores are often palpable.
A small but loud minority of non-religious Jews really hate the religious wholeheartedly. True, it’s mostly built on the misunderstanding that the religious must hate them. They often don’t have one religious friend. Their opinions about ‘the religious’ are often the same things as Antisemites say. Yet, such hatred nurtures Gentile Antisemites and can be threatening.
On the other hand, in a White crowd, if you don’t let non-Whites speak first, you fortify racism. That doesn’t mean that Whites are not oppressed and underprivileged in zillions of ways (except as Whites). But it’s the turn of Whites, Gentiles, Men, Straights, Cis-gender, Wealthy, majority people to feel uncomfortable. It won’t kill you. Not as an ideal end-state to strive for, but as your contribution to the uprooting of all oppressions.
It is a known strategy by the powers that be to play oppressed groups against each other, like Blacks and Jews. While they waste their energy on fighting each other, the Owning Class can maintain its billions unopposed.
And by pouring Christian Antisemitism into Africa and the Working Class, Jews stay dependent on oppressive regimes and the billionaires. They then can hold them hostage and use them as their shield and scapegoat.
Only two ways can end all privilege: to know history and use our brains.