It is amusing to watch WJM hoist a materialist with his own petard. All that follows is WJM:
So, if you could, you’d force others to live by your preference – let’s call it the non-oppression of women. Your position is that it is your subjective preference as to how people should behave, and attach no “absolute” value to that preference, and that there is no “absolute truth” as to how people should behave or treat others.
From your perspective, then, the oppressors in your example are also forcing others to live by their preference, even though they mistakenly believe that their preference is an absolute truth.
So, again from your perspective (correct me if I’m wrong), both you and the oppressor group are, ultimately, forcing others to live according to your personal preferences.
Outside of the fact that one group mistakenly believes (under your view) that their beliefs represent absolute truth, isn’t oppression and non-oppression achieved the same way – forcing people to behave in a way that they don’t want to behave?
Let’s look at the definition you provided for oppression:
Oppression is when an identifiable group is forced to do something because another identifiable group says they must.
Aren’t those you’ve identified as oppressors being forced to do something (not behave the way they have been, behave in an acceptable way) because another identifiable group (you and those enforcing your laws) say they must? Does this not make YOU every bit as much an oppressor, by the very definition you provided?
Let’s look at another part of your definition:
Oppressed is being forced to do something that everyone else is not forced to do.
Those whom you have identified as the oppressed are being forced, by you and your law enforcers, to do something that you and your law enforcers are not being forced to do – they are being forced to not act on their beliefs or preference, to stop engaging in their preferred behavior.
Hmm. You might counter here that both your group and the oppressor group are being held to the same specific behavioral standard – you can’t forcefully segregate women at that time of the month. Therefore it wouldn’t meet the second part of your definitional standard of oppression: “Oppressed is being forced to do something that everyone else is not forced to do.”
Let’s illustrate the problem here with a more revealing example: what if the preferred behavior of a group is homosexuality. What if another group creates a law outlawing that behavior and enforces it. Now, they could say “We do not engage in homosexuality so we are not forcing them to give up any activity we ourselves engage in.” But, what the first group would be doing is denying the homosexual group the ability to engage in adult, consensual sexual relationships with their preferred gender, which the first group gets to do.
So, it seems clear logically that you would be just as guilty of oppression as those whose oppression you are seeking to eliminate; in fact, there would be no way to impose enforced behavioral restrictions on anyone with out oppressing them in some way, because you would be forcing them to stop acting on their beliefs and preferences, while other groups can freely act on theirs.