An introduction to the issue of oppression and cruelty

Authoritarian oppression[ edit ] The word oppress comes from the Latin oppressus, past participle of opprimere, "to press against", [1] "to squeeze", "to suffocate". Such governments oppress the people using restriction, control, terror, hopelessness, and despair. This socioeconomiccultural, political, legal, and institutional oppression hereinafter, "social oppression" probably occurs in every country, culture, and society, including the most advanced democraciessuch as the United States, Japan, Costa Rica, Sweden, and Canada. Taylor [8] defined social oppression in this way:

An introduction to the issue of oppression and cruelty

Let's Stop Changing the Subject Up close, the tightly woven fabric of oppression may exhibit unique features from swath to swath, but a step back will reveal the thematic semblance interwoven throughout.


But recently, I have been disturbed even more by the popular rhetoric employed to speak about or around matters of oppression. From the shooting of Trayvon Martinto debates raging over LGBT rights from Alaska to North Carolinato the persistent foregrounding of economic disparity between classes in political campaigns -- all invite our sustained attention to concerns of oppression, injustice, and violence.

But sustained attention quickly turns to simplification and distortion in much popular rhetoric concerning matters of oppression. Perhaps we want to believe that oppression is an "evil" that happens to Others elsewhere. So we've developed ways of changing the subject when it seems we're getting too close to oppression, injustice, and violence where "we" live.

Perhaps we are uncomfortable with the complexities of oppression. We've become adept at tricking others and ourselves into self-induced myopia--a practiced nearsightedness that prefers the comfort of the surface of social exchanges rather than the complexities of the structures, institutions, norms, habits, and symbols that rest beneath the surface.

Whatever the reason, our popular rhetoric about issues of oppression, injustice, and violence exhibits a range of tactics, tools, and tricks we regularly employ to change the subject. While these rhetorical tactics may preserve the comfort of some, they also serve to justify and perpetuate oppression, injustice, and violence through systematic avoidance and distortion of these realities in our public discourse.

Many of these tactics, tools, and tricks of popular rhetoric are easily observable in our talk about the most current events that point toward realities of oppression, injustice, and violence.

We have become adept at getting around realities of oppression and injustice by simply appealing to the "way things are" in comparison to the ills of the "way things used to be. Those wishing to return to a bygone era of blatant prejudice "the way things used to be" are easily dismissed as "racists," "sexists," etc.

We give less thought to how "the way things are" carries with it all manner of legal, political, and institutionalized inequalities, popular prejudicial understandings of difference, and day-to-day violence against those who deviate from the dominant "norm.

The status quo is best preserved by shifting the blame for injustice and violence away from perpetrators who may be influenced by larger social realities e. It is an insidious slight of hand that lives large in recent media coverage of the shooting death of Trayvon Martin: You only thought racial bias had something to do with a young, unarmed Black man being shot to death in a gated community, but it was really his choice to wear a hoodie or the fact that he'd been suspended from school that are the key factors in his unfortunate death.

Oppression - Wikipedia

This is a very effective strategy of distraction from the interplay of social narratives about racial difference and interpersonal acts of violence. Victim-blame that works to cover over structures of racism in racially biased violence serves also to protect patriarchy from critique when women are blamed for their own rape and sexual assault.

It serves to insulate heterosexism from scrutiny when LGBT victims are blamed for their own hate crime murders with a " gay-panic defense " or when authorities chalk the murder of an LGBT person up to "risky behavior" and fail to conduct a thorough investigation.

Victim-blame is also at work when we attempt to downplay structural class inequalities by insisting that if the poor would just grab those bootstraps and begin pulling we wouldn't have a problem i.

When it becomes clear that there are actual victims who may, in fact, be innocent, larger issues of structural injustice can still be ignored if one can shift the focus to concerns of personal prejudice.In a social justice context, oppression is what happens when individuals or groups of people are discriminated against or otherwise treated unjustly, whether by the government, private organizations, individuals, or other groups.

All of the participants shared personal/political experience in struggling with concrete issues of gender oppression, abuse, and violence within a political context. All understood first-hand how complex, confusing, yet important this work is. Most reported frustrating and failed attempts to deal with the issue.

Racial and religious conflicts; conflicts between dictatorial governments and their citizens; the battle between the sexes; conflicts between management and labor; between heterosexuals and homosexuals, between liberals and conservatives, all stem, in whole or in part, to oppression or perceived oppression.

Oppression proceedings can be extremely disruptive to a business, both in negative publicity generated (if ventilated in public) and in managing day to day operations under the cloud of a dispute.

Animal rights is the idea in which some, or all, non-human animals are entitled to the possession of their own lives and that their most basic interests—such as the need to avoid suffering—should be afforded the same consideration as similar interests of human beings..

An introduction to the issue of oppression and cruelty

Its advocates oppose the assignment of moral value and fundamental . Content Warnings and Trigger Warnings Overview and Framing Material An Introduction to Content Warnings and Trigger Warnings in the Classroom. Including content or trigger warnings is an issue of accessibility, as having panic attacks in class (a common outcome when a trigger is unexpectedly encountered) can prevent a student .

Shareholder oppression: An introduction - Lexology