Are we really oppressed?
I have to say I am not entirely clear on what oppression in this day and age looks like. I hear a lot about how women are oppressed and I don’t see it. I see woman saying they are oppressed (if we were truly oppressed would we be able to talk openly about it and have rallies?). I see a lot of blaming patriarchy for the oppression of women, yet men have not always fared well in a patriarchy society. While women were property of their husbands, men were being sent off to war and treated as disposable. Now, women are no longer property but men are still disposable.
I see women as having a lot of power that we are either unaware of or are intentionally ignoring.
I wonder if we are just so accustomed to saying we are oppressed that we have stopped thinking about what oppression really is.
According to Wikipedia:
Oppression can refer to an authoritarian regime controlling its citizens via state control of politics, the monetary system, media, and the military; denying people any meaningful human or civil rights; and terrorizing the populace through harsh, unjust punishment, and a hidden network of obsequious informants reporting to a vicious secret police force.
Oppression also refers to a less overtly malicious pattern of subjugation, although in many ways this social oppression represents a particularly insidious and ruthlessly effective form of manipulation and control. In this instance, the subordination and injustices do not afflict everyone—instead it targets specific groups of people for restrictions, ridicule, and marginalization. No universally accepted term has yet emerged to describe this variety of oppression, although some scholars will parse the multiplicity of factors into a handful of categories, e.g., social (or sociocultural) oppression; institutional (or legal) oppression; and economic oppression.
I certainly don’t see the first portion of that definition as being accurate, at least not in the western world. The second part about subjugation we can perhaps have a conversation about, although I am not entirely sure.
Where else does an oppressed group get to start their own business, spend an enormous amount of money on cosmetics (the entire beauty industry is worth an astounding $382 billion globally (people magazine),vote, come and go as they please, own housing, are protected by the law and get to make decisions about their own bodies?
Where is the benefit to feeling oppressed? Chose to feel empowered and this comes from owning our self worth.