Relationship between privilege and oppression

When privilege and oppression intersect | Everyday Democracy

relationship between privilege and oppression

Oppression, Intersectionality and Privilege Theory. Karl Gill . for Marxists, class is an objective relationship tal division between those who own and con-. In which we learn about the basics of privilege, oppression, and what they There's a big difference between “inequality” and “unfairness,” and. This breaks down the difference between prejudice, discrimination, and oppression — with examples of exactly how they can show up in our.

The problem with broad application of these terms outside of their intended meaning is that they diminish their real truths. Since this is a massive lesson, it will happen in a two-lecture series.

Make sure you stay tuned! Du Bois in the early s.

When privilege and oppression intersect

It took a longer time for these ideas and terms to permeate academia and later, public consciousness. I repeatedly forgot each of the realizations on this list until I wrote it down.

For me white privilege has turned out to be an elusive and fugitive subject. The pressure to avoid it is great, for in facing it I must give up the myth of meritocracy.

relationship between privilege and oppression

Just like oppression is connected — and, in many ways, invisibly so — privilege exists throughout the networks of our identities, and different privileges may play into one another or coexist alongside alongside our own oppressions. I see a pattern running through the matrix of white privilege, a patter of assumptions that were passed on to me as a white person.

Power Privilege and Oppression

There was one main piece of cultural turf; it was my own turf, and I was among those who could control the turf. My skin color was an asset for any move I was educated to want to make.

I could think of myself as belonging in major ways and of making social systems work for me. I could freely disparage, fear, neglect, or be oblivious to anything outside of the dominant cultural forms. Being of the main culture, I could also criticize it fairly freely.

relationship between privilege and oppression

In proportion as my racial group was being made confident, comfortable, and oblivious, other groups were likely being made unconfident, uncomfortable, and alienated. Whiteness protected me from many kinds of hostility, distress, and violence, which I was being subtly trained to visit, in turn, upon people of color.

We usually think of privilege as being a favored state, whether earned or conferred by birth or luck. Yet some of the conditions I have described here work systematically to over empower certain groups.

But Make It Fashion

In order for privilege to work, it needs a whole structure of social power surrounding it. If you look very closely at just one wire in the cage, you cannot see the other wires. If your conception of what is before you is determined by this myopic focus, you could look at that one wire, up and down the length of it, and be unable to see why a bird would not just fly around the wire any time it wanted to go somewhere… As the cageness of the birdcage is a macroscopic phenomenon, the oppressiveness of the situations in which women live our various and different lives is a macroscopic phenomenon.

But when you look macroscopically you can see it — a network of forces and barriers which are systematically related and which conspire to the immobilization, reduction and molding of women and the lives we live. In order to better understand the matrix of power that privilege and oppression rely on, you need to understand the building blocks. Instead, privilege and oppression rely on a lopsided social order that is created, upheld, and borne from power, prejudice, bigotry, discrimination, and inequality.

The Building Blocks Power Power is a mechanism for social domination. There are different types of power: I get frustrated at the police as a blind man, but I freely express that frustration as a white man. Such experiences have caused me to realize that when it comes to oppression and privilege, each of us lives with multiple identities that shape our experience of the world and how we are perceived. To better understand these multiple identities, let us consider the concept of intersectionality.

How multiple identities shape our experiences Intersectionality is a theory that explores how individuals can face multiple categories of discrimination when they belong to more than one marginalized group. For example, the experience of an African-American woman is not comparable to the experience of a white woman or an African-American man.

The concept of intersectionality came out of the Feminist movement, as women of color critiqued the movement for not acknowledging that the oppression they experienced was different than the oppression experienced by white women.

This is not to say that there are no similarities between the experiences of women of color and white women; instead, it is simply an attempt to point out that women of color experience greater and more complex levels of oppression. Complexity is an important hallmark of intersectionality. Every individual is a woven tapestry of identities, including, but not limited to, race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, disability, class, and religion. Perhaps one of the first people to speak out about issues of intersectionality was a woman named Sojourner Truth.

Sojourner was a prominent nineteenth-century abolitionist known for her frank and powerful speeches.

relationship between privilege and oppression

Her parents blamed Laverne for the bullying, eventually forcing her to attend therapy. As a blind woman, Ever Lee Hairston was a leader in disability activism. She was an inspirational leader with her soaring rhetoric and determination to never give up.

Understanding the Relationship Between Privilege and Oppression by Genavieve DeCaria on Prezi

This determination was tried and tested as she faced discrimination in the job market because of her blindness. She overcame this discrimination and eventually became the supervisor of some of the people who had doubted her. She gained that determination through growing up picking cotton as the daughter of African-American sharecroppers. Her first experience as an activist was in the civil rights movement of the sixties. At the intersection of privilege and oppression Intersectionality is normally applied to individuals who face multiple levels of oppression, such as Sojourner, Laverne, and Ever.

However, my identity as a blind white man is a little different. In my case, it is oppression and privilege that intersect, not multiple levels of oppression. Such an intersection further muddies the already complex waters of intersectionality.

relationship between privilege and oppression

For example, I have had a lot of practice talking about my marginalized status as a blind person, and I am very comfortable doing so. However, talking about my privileged status as a white male is another matter. I did not grow up talking about race, and I can sometimes find talking about white privilege uncomfortable. In other words, my identity as a blind person does not erase my other identities. This coexistence of identities can be confusing for me. When I react to certain situations I have to ask if it is due to my marginalized status as a blind person, or my privileged status as a white person?

This is not always an easy question for me to answer. I believe that the discomfort I feel with such questions is actually a positive thing, and a necessary first step towards growth. It is only through understanding and embracing the multiplicity of our identities that we can truly know and appreciate all aspects of ourselves.

I have seen firsthand the danger of failing to see complex intersecting identities. Growing up in the deep south I often encountered people who resented political correctness.

In my experience, such resentment is most commonly felt by poor white people.

relationship between privilege and oppression