Based on what you’ve learned and experienced this semester, write a 1-sentence definition of DYSTOPIA.

A Dystopia is a place where the seemingly perfect, often comes at the cost of certain groups or the whole of the society unknowingly. I would like to use the five faces of oppression to justify my definition. Once we understand how oppression is showing up, we can better identify actions we can take to interrupt or combat it. There are many ways to define oppression, and the purpose of this framework is to serve as a lens to help determine how oppression may be happening in any given space. Most dystopias operate on the fact that the society that has been created is ideal and optimum for everyone involved. But still there is always someone there who has to suffer. Using the movie Gattaca or The Giver for example, yes these people had the option of being genetically “perfect” and having the max amount of years possible to live but obviously the people who were not afforded the luxury of having their genes hand picked were seen as other and heavily discriminated against. Dystopias also give opportunity for letting a select group of people decide what exactly perfection or the goal of the society is. In The Giver, only a few people were allowed to know, feel, and even see color. Oppression can be carried out not just by a tyrannical ruler, but through the “everyday practices of a well-intentioned liberal society.” Oppression here is structural, which means it is not caused by specific policies or individuals, but has its causes in “unquestioned norms, habits, and symbols, in the assumptions underlying institutional rules and the collective consequences of following those rules.” A dystopia is essential a well-intentioned place that always falls short of benefitting all members of its Society. In the United States, the land off the free, there are lawmakers creating policies that discriminate against trans people, putting even their general health at risk. I am sure they are doing what is right in their eyes but at what cost will they stop before they acknowledge what they are doing is killing members of their society.


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