"Oppression" or "systems of oppression" operate as a shorthand terms in much writing and speaking so that we do not have to list all these systems of meaning and control each time (i.e. racism, ableism, xenophobia, etc.). I needed a term like that, but "oppression" implies a kind of top-down understanding of power that is at odds with the Foucaultian model I rely on in my work.
From my membership in all of these groups I have learned that oppression and the intolerance of difference come in all shapes and sizes and colors and sexualities; and that among those of us who share the goals of liberation and a workable future for our children, there can be no hierarchies of oppression.
I think America offers a dream that cannot be fulfilled as easily anywhere else in the world as it could be fulfilled here. Although oppression was common to all of us, those styles of oppression gave us the opportunity to see the world in dimensions we didn't quite see growing up in any one place.
In my profession more generally, it's not an exaggeration to say that masculinity is viewed as the root of all evil. If you were to take a literary theory course, you might think it would be about literature, but it's really not. It's about all the various forms of oppression on earth and how we can see them playing out in literary works. And behind all these forms of oppression is a guy.
Language has everything to do with oppression and liberation. When the word "victory" means conquer vs. harmony and the word "equality" means homogenization vs. unity in/through diversity, then the liberation of a people from a "minority" class to "communal stakeholders" becomes much more difficult. Oppression has deep linguistic roots. We see it in conversations which interchange the idea of struggle with suffering in order to normalize abuse. We are the creators of our language, and our definitions shape the perceptions we have of the world. The first step to ending oppression is finding a better method of communication which is not solely dependent on a language rooted in the ideology of oppressive structures.
It is the obligation of every person who claims to oppose oppression to resist the oppressor by every means at his or her disposal. Not to engage in physical resistance, armed resistance to oppression, is to serve the interests of the oppressor; no more, no less. There are no exceptions to the rule, no easy out...
Young people have this almost romantic attachment to civil rights, liberties, emancipating people from oppression, etc. The idea that such oppression exists in this country offends me, but it's able to be pushed and sold because education in this country is so woefully incompetent and inept.
The men who are to protect the community against violent aggression easily turn into the most dangerous aggressors. They transgress their mandate. They misuse their power for the oppression of those whom they were expected to defend against oppression. The main political problem is how to prevent the police power from becoming tyrannical. This is the meaning of all the struggles for liberty.
Ludwig von Mises
..the struggle to end sexist oppression that focuses on destroying the cultural basis for such domination strengthens other liberation struggles. Individuals who fight for the eradication of sexism without struggles to end racism or classism undermine their own efforts. Individuals who fight for the eradication of racism or classism while supporting sexist oppression are helping to maintain the cultural basis of all forms of group oppression.
I suggested then that the prize was not given merely as recognition of past achievement, but also as recognition, a more profound recognition, that the nonviolent way, the American Negro's way, was the answer to the crucial political and moral question of our time: the need for man to overcome oppression and violence without resorting to violence and oppression.
Martin Luther King Jr.
The British government had not engaged in any serious actual oppression of the colonies before 1774, but it had claimed powers not granted by the governed, powers that made oppression possible, powers that it began to exercise in 1774 in response to colonial denial of them. The Revolution came about not to overthrow tyranny, but to prevent it.
Nonviolence is the answer to the crucial political and moral questions of our time: the need for man to overcome oppression and violence without resorting to oppression and violence. Man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.
Martin Luther King
My job is to confront apathy and confront all the forces that tend to batter each of us down with all kind of oppression, even self-oppression. I consider that the main job of the art that I do- to rattle the cage, wake people up, wake myself up, confront all that would conspire to keep us down.
Freed from the sublimated form which was the very token of its irreconcilable dreams a form which is the style, the language in which the story is told sexuality turns into a vehicle for the bestsellers of oppression. ... This society turns everything it touches into a potential source of progress and of exploitation, of drudgery and satisfaction, of freedom and of oppression. Sexuality is no exception.
Although I believe identity politics '"produces limited but real empowerment for its participants," it is important to note that it contains significant problems: first, its essentialist tendency; second, its fixed _we-they_ binary position; third, its homogenization of diverse social oppression; fourth, its simplification of the complexity and paradox of being privileged and unprivileged; and fifth its ruling out of intersectional space of diverse forms of oppression in reality.
For too long, many nations, including my own, tolerated, even excused, oppression in the Middle East in the name of stability. Oppression became common, but stability never arrived. We must take a different approach. We must help the reformers of the Middle East as they work for freedom, and strive to build a community of peaceful, democratic nations.
George W. Bush
I am not saying that a female-dominated or Amazon society based on the oppression of men is any more "just" than is a male-dominated society based on the oppression of women. I am merely pointing out in what ways it is better for women. [ ¶] Perhaps someday a choice between forms of injustice will not be necessary.
To answer oppression with appropriate resistance requires knowledge of two kinds: in the first place, self-knowledge by the victim, which means awareness that oppression exists, an awareness that the victim has fallen from a great height of glory or promise into the present depths; secondly, the victim must know who the enemy is. He must know his oppressor's real name, not an alias, a pseudonym, or a nom de plume!
If the goal of feminism is to end patriarchy and gender-based oppression, then transgender politics supplies us one of the most important perspectives from which to view - and challenge - binary gender and gender-based oppression. As mentioned in previous chapters, if no clear distinction exists between "male" and "female, " it becomes impossible to oppress people according to their gender. If we have no sole criterion for determining who is "man" and who is "woman, " we can't know whose role it is to be oppressor, and whose to be oppressed.
The breakdown of mummies and daddies was an important part of lesbian relationships in the Bagatelle... For some of us, however, role-playing reflected all the depreciating attitudes toward women which we loathed in straight society. It was the rejection of these roles that had drawn us to 'the life' in the first place. Instinctively, without particular theory or political position or dialectic, we recognized oppression as oppression, no matter where it came from. But those lesbians who had carved some niche in the pretend world of dominance/subordination rejected what they called our 'confused' lifestyle, and they were in the majority.
It is no solution to define words as violence or prejudice as oppression, and then by cracking down on words or thoughts pretend that we are doing something about violence and oppression. No doubt it is easier to pass a speech code or hate-crimes law and proclaim the streets safer than actually to make the streets safer, but the one must never be confused with the other... Indeed, equating "verbal violence" with physical violence is a treacherous, mischievous business.
Religion, which was obviously created to give meaning and purpose to people, has become part of the oppression. This is true in both Eastern and Western religious traditions. The Buddha, Jesus and Muhammad were all revolutionaries who critiqued and attempted to dismantle the corrupt societal traditions of their time. Yet their teachings, like most things in human society, have been distorted and co-opted by the confused and power-hungry patriarchal tradition. What were wonce the creation myths of ancient cultures, have become doctrines of oppression. More blood has been spilled and more people oppressed in the name of religion than for any other reason in history.
Teaching and learning _religious plurality often ends up privileging religious _texts_ over _practice_ and largely ignoring the social and historical contexts and the lived experience of people who shape, situate, and structure these religious texts. Furthermore, adopting the politics of recognition as a pedagogical principle in teaching can lead to an _uncritical silence_ about the various forms of oppression and domination of certain religious groups. Here people often use _religious difference_ as a _religious alibi_ for the oppression or violation of human rights of certain groups of people, such as women or LGBT people.