BUFFY: My shoulders are naked and I am drenched in the blood of my enemies. You are my physical and mental equal. I wish to express my respect for you in the physical embodiment of my ideals: the act of love. Let us have sex now.
ANGEL: Buffy, I can’t. You know that if I were to experience even a moment of perfect happiness I would lose my soul.
BUFFY: This sounds like a problem for you, not a problem for me.
ANGEL: I can’t –
BUFFY: We’ll just do me, then. Kneel."
— Ayn Rand’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer, by goddess Mallory Ortberg
According to Bob Mullaly, “oppression carries out certain social functions for the dominant group by ensuring that society reproduces itself and maintains the same dominant-subordinate relationships” (2007).
So: not everything that hurts or offends you is oppression. Not everything that makes you angry is oppression. Here are some things that oppression is:
- Group-based. Oppression is based on your membership in a subordinate group. If you have not been historically dominated, you are not being oppressed.
- Relational. We are all brought in the same toxic, hierarchical culture. None of us are free of it. In certain situations we may have privileges as well as oppression. This is not a black and white issue.
- "Not accidental (nor is it usually intentional)." In other words, oppression isn’t always carried out with the notion that it is hurting another group, but because it benefits the dominant group. Members of the dominant group tend to view their privileges as “earned right” and deny oppression exists.
- Everyday. Oppression isn’t just threaded through our institutions, it plays out in social interactions.
Questions to ask yourself
- Is it happening to you because you are a member of a particular group? (For example, a woman, person of colour, low-income, immigrant, et cetera)
- Is it benefitting another group? Has that group historically been dominant over the one in question?
If the answers are no, it is not oppression.
So. Let’s recap. Not getting any dates is not oppression. Facing consequences for publishing racist or misogynist opinions is not oppression. Not getting what you want is not necessarily oppression.
Source: Bob Mullaly, 2007. Oppression: the focus of structural social work. The New Structural Social Work. Third Edition. 252-286. Don Mills ON: Oxford Press.
- Me: "*says literally anything about Black womanhood to another Black woman on Twitter*"
- White man: "Well, rationally speaking, with no lived experience, knowledge or emotional investment, while denying your humanity or intelligence, I would just like to say, BLAH."
- Black man: "Well, the real issue is you aren't worshipping Black men enough. Unity. Blah. Me. Blah."
- White woman: "ALLLLLL WOMEN. ALL. ME NOT YOU. ME ME ME."
- Non-Black PoC: "Oh yes, this specifically Black issue that has literally nothing to do with me is about ALL PoC. So let's discuss ME instead. Let's discuss absolutely any WoC except the Black women this is about."
— Deborah Brock, 2009, Moving beyond deviance: Power regulation and governmentality. From Making normal: Social regulation in Canada, ed. Deborah Brock, Scarborough: Thomson-Nelson.
Mass Effect 3′s art director, Derek Watts (via gaarrus)
So what’s up with wholly in creative pieces of shit getting to be in charge of art direction huh
#yeah was just reading about lack of female turians#on the wiki#and it’s like#get some fucking biologists on your team#someone with an interest in biology#shorten or increase their crests#increase or decrease their mandibles#darker colours#LOOK AT SOME FUCKING BIRDS DEREK#LOOK AT THE BIRDS AND COPY THE FEMALES (via extoria)
Whaaaaat the heeeeeell.
"Look at the birds, Derek" lol lol lol