Response to Oppression

I liked how the beginning of this article started with the notion of what oppression means. And that, saying that one group of people being oppressed does not take away from the hardships or struggles of another group. I think this can be related to the Black Lives Matter movement and the argument that All Lives Matter. Saying that black lives matter doesn’t mean that they are trying to create a new hierarchy, but rather expressing their frustration and anger at being systematically oppressed for centuries.

I also liked the part where the author mentions the difference between hardship and oppression. She mentions that you aren’t oppressed if it comes to an end and if a barrier benefits your superiority compared to someone else’s. I think this was important to mention as, for example men, say they are oppressed but for different reasons. However, they are benefiting from society and they are the superiors in the hierarchy. It is important for people to learn what it actually means to be oppressed.

I also liked the part where the author mentioned men’s and women’s restraints, and how they both led to the oppression of women. For example, women have physical restraints, such as curling up within themselves among the presence of men. Doing this causes no reward but only a feeling of weakness. Men have emotional restraint in that they don’t usually cry or show much emotion, other than anger, among other men. They will however, in the presence of women. This lack of emotion and unwillingness to show “weakness” gives them power and are praised for this. Ultimately, the signs of being feminine or womanly are seen as a weakness. In this way, both types of restraints lead to the oppression of women.

She ends stating that women are oppressed simply being a woman. That, no matter what race or class one is from, any disadvantages are linked or related to being a woman. It is different for men because being a man is an advantage, and nothing about simply being a man stands in the way of living his life. For these reasons, women are an oppressed group and although men have their own disadvantages, they aren’t oppressed. I think this article is so important to understand what it actually means to be oppressed and how it shouldn’t be a word taken lightly.


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