The question is: How many faces of oppression exist in America today?
Exploitation. Transferring the results of labor of one social group to benefit another. The way I see it, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. In the case of the working class, skilled, high-paying, unionizing jobs are reserved for white men while people of color work what’s left. The energies of the have-nots are continuously expended to maintain and augment the haves’ power, status, and wealth. Meaning no matter how hard you work, how many hours you put in, how long you’ve been there, you will never reap the full benefits. Some might call it the glass ceiling, but to say ceiling implies there is something to look up to. The sad reality of this system is that the exploited perform task for someone whom they are dependent. In the women’s case, it is deemed the patriarchal family. Women are expected to please, carefor, and console their husbands and children. Everything they do is for the benefit of someone else. Meanwhile, they rely on the man for financial support making them dependent and stuck.
Marginalization and the marginals. The people the system of labor can not or will not use. We see it with the Black and Brown community, we see it with single mothers, we see it with ex-convicts, we see it with veterans, and we see it with the homeless population all while driving past a “help wanted sign” that never gets filled. America capitalizes on the idea that people are to be used when they are needed, in times of war, post COVID, but never when people need them.
Powerlessness. Non professionals that lack authority, status, power, and a sense of self that professionals tend to have. They take orders and rarely have the right to give them. They have little opportunity to develop and exercise skills… they are, for lack of a better word, expendable. Even with the pandemic, we quickly learned that people were replaceable, jobs could be done through a program, not needing people at all. Those with specialities were kept and those without left on the street. There is little intergroup mobility as stated in the article and because of that, people are content and the vicious cycle continues. You do not consciously miss what you do not know.
I will openly admit that I was a little confused with the overall definition of Cultural imperialism. I assume it’s the battle of two-faces. The face people think they see, vs. the face you see when you look in the mirror and the values, judgements, and predujice associated with both right? The idea that there is one dominate culture and certain norms established with that culture. Those who do not fit into this dominate culture are subject to prejudicial bias and internal conflictions. Double consciousness then defintes these two faces: the invisibility that comes from the dominate culture when they can no longer see a persons perspectives and experiences and a person’s true experiences. As a Black woman I am constantly living by peoples predujice and persepctions of who I am and they often do not align with how I truly identify. I live in the US.
Violence. Violence is what it sounds like, some people live with the fear of random, unprovoked attacks on their persons or property. We see it with police brutality, the murder of Matthew Shepard, The KKK, and rape victims. We see it. Who is not subject to violence? To me, it seems like the only people protected are straight White men. The infuriating part of this violence is that the (US) system condones it. The idea that at any moment someone could be attack just for being themselves and the system still hasn’t been changed is ludicrous.
After reading The Five Faces of Oppression by Iris Young, you’d think the US would get better. The reason it has not, and probably never will, is because the peopele who need to read these articles don’t, because it doesnt affect them and that is their privilege.
The answer: All of them.
Congratulations America, you got an A+ based off this rubric.