Monday, March 29, 2010

convo: oppression

We discussed oppression and I argued that there are people (not everyone of course) that capitalize on their oppression and at times falsely declare they are or have been in this state. I wasn’t trying to devalue certain people’s oppressive experiences or the reality of oppression, because it DOES exist in ALL societies. But, notwithstanding, there are some individuals who abuse the term oppression. It is most irksome because there are people out there who are truly oppressed, whether due to politics, religion, society or the economy.

But, then again, are they oppressed by the fact that they want to experience oppression? I’m conflicted by my statement because what if my claim itself is of an oppressive nature; it could be the case that they don’t have the freedom to see clearly, and with this lack of freedom they are truly oppressed.


  1. I guess, psychologically speaking, there are people who justify their passivity by calling themselves oppressed or victimized.

    My way of realizing if they don't mind their oppression or if they are truly against it, is through observing their fight with the oppressive forces. hmm does that make sense? lol

  2. Thanks for commenting, Aso.
    That does make sense Aso: like you said, some people do mistake their passivity for oppression. I agree that those oppressed should rebel against their oppression rather than claim their oppressed and uncritically accept the fact. However, I believe, and Simone De Beavoir makes this claim in Ethics and Ambiguity, that there are people who are not aware of their oppression.

  3. True! and that's the creepiest source of oppression! There are a lot of cultural "norms" that I later realized were indeed cruel oppressions. Normalizing oppression makes you not even know how badly you're chained.
    Hmmm your writing makes me realize some facts. Things just click.

    Thanks Zeinab for writing and for writing so beautifully.

  4. It really is and takes time and much effort to unveil.
    You made me smile with your final comment, merci Aso jaan.