There are Multiple Faces of Oppression

After reading the article “The Five Faces of Oppression,” if you didn’t already know all of the faces she listed exist in the United States. I will like to speak upon these faces she covered: Exploitation, and Powerlessness. It is obvious the five faces she addresses are nothing new.

The definition of powerlessness is “the lack of ability, influence, or power” (Merriam-Webster). Back then, women were seen as dainty objects that should do nothing but stay at home to cook, clean and care for children. Men chose not to give voices to women because there were looked upon as nothing but mere objects to have on their arms. It wasn’t until the 1920s that women were allowed to work. Even saying the word ‘given’ goes to show the power men had. It wasn’t even until the 1960s when the Equal Pay Act was passed so that women weren’t discriminated against in the workplace. In a way, this is showing the face of powerlessness because what could Women do back then when their voices weren’t being heard at the time? Although the times may changed for the better, there are still some people stuck in the old way of doing things whether at home or in the workforce.

The face of oppression through exploitation can be seen through gentrification. Even now, the white community goes into black communities and starts the process of gentrification. The definition of gentrification is “the process whereby the character of a poor urban area is changed by wealthier people moving in, improving housing, and attracting new businesses, typically displacing current inhabitants in the process” (Merriam-Webster). Where in cities like, Detroit white people move in and start the gentrification process. Using their power and money to “improve” neighborhoods and adding new buildings all while pushing black communities to the curb because the new and improved neighborhoods come along with new and improved prices that they can not afford. For instance, on 6-mile and Livernois in Detroit, huge renovations are occurring that are having these people buy out all of the properties to make the street look better. Although it may seem insensitive and people should be grateful, this puts people out of jobs. Putting them out of a job can lead to them being put out of their homes all because a certain group decides to do a new project. In a way, this is showing exploitation because one group is benefitting from another group.

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