Five Faces of Oppression

By: Jordan Allen

After reading, “The Five Faces of Oppression” I believe that exploitation, powerlessness, and violence do make an appearance in the United States in some shape or form. Starting with the first face, exploitation is seen in the United States because it is a capitalist society. Exploitation is presented through different races and ethnic groups. Races are oppressed in the work forced through capitalist exploitation. This leaves specific racial groups left in lower-paying job markets and allows easy access to higher-paying jobs for white people. In order for other races to receive access to these jobs they have to work twice as hard. This is all done to maintain a sense of power, status and wealth in communities. Exploitation is not only visible through labor, it can be viewed through gender too. Gender exploitation focuses on men not treating women as equal because they believe they have more power over them. In reality, gender socialization of women allows them to be more dynamic and emotional toward men and children. Men and women look upon women as nurturers and emotional support. 

The second face that I would say makes an appearance in the United States is powerlessness. Powerlessness is displayed when a position someone is in it allows little opportunity to develop and grow. In a powerless position, one must take orders and rarely have say to give them. Clear examples of powerlessness are seen in the poorer classes in the United States. Poorer classes are typically made up of the blacks and hispanic demographics. Living under the system of racism for years throughout this country many minorities do not have a say in authority due to the lack of wealth and status. On top of that many are accused of crimes that they did not commit and they are penalized because their voices will not be heard in this country. Sexism in the United States is also a form of powerlessness. Sexism is discrimation based on sex. Throughout history women have had to gain respect due to the mistreatment of equality they have received. Women make less than men in the workforce, at higher risk for sexual asssult, and spend more on healthcare and insurance. 

The last face of oppression I would say is displayed in the United states is violence. Violence is an act that many groups are oppressed from. In the United States these groups could be different races, sexualities, and religions. These can be physical or verbal violence onto a group of people. Any type of attack stems from social injustices that individuals go through daily in the United States. For each group of people, there is something for them to fear. For example in the United States, due to a history of racism white people like to keep African Americans inferior to them because that is how it was for many years. They will not outright show it, but through the policing system in America and the workforce it is evident that black people are not equal to whites. Black people always have to struggle to be successful in America and that is how it has always been. 

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