Oppression is not equal

When 2018 started I set off to read about 40 books for the year. One of my main goals was not just for vanity’s sake, but it was to increase my understanding of the societal issues that have contributed to the world’s current problems. This doesn’t just extend to capitalism as my recent readings have been, but also poverty, wealth inequality, racism, and sexism (I do agree that I need to look at more heterosexism literature too). And after reading a couple of books, I’ve found that oppression is deeply rooted and unequal. There has been so much literary, historical, and -ism contributions as to the multitudes of oppression that we experience. Whether it is in the religious Bible (Adam & Eve - Eve’s mistake in eating the apple) or in the historical context of the feminist movement (horizontal oppression versus vertical oppression - racism), it’s been hard to navigate the path towards a possible solution.

After rigorously looking around for possible movements to join, one of the most prominent issues I’ve come across is the lack of diversity within a field. Whether it is in technology, grassroots, non-profits, or activist movements I’ve concluded that a majority of causes are unfortunately segregated, whether it be by race, gender, or etc. Consequently this fracturing has caused a deep rift within groups aiming towards similar goals and has pivoted issues from vertical to horizontal.

To elaborate, it’s been evident that groups target others within similar movements (Audre Lorde’s reference to Black males being sexist towards Black females, disregarding that they are both aiming towards racial equality), resulting in time wasted and the top (benefactors of the oppressed) benefitting.

These conclusions are more of a digest of what I’ve been reading lately, and are by no means a solution. Rather, it is an observation and suggestion that we are constantly fractured and will continue to be unless we become a more inclusive and loving world. After volunteering at the Suicide Hotline and reading James Baldiwn, Audre Lorde, etc. I have come to the belief that love and understanding will contribute greatly towards unity and empowering our ideals. Yes, there is still a problem in the lack of structure within grassroots movements and non-profits (I will not comment on that; I don’t believe I have enough understanding into how difficult it is to organize and maintain one), but I believe that inclusivity of all folks will lead us towards some commonality which we can accept.

To summarize, we must recognize that oppression is not equal, and that we will never progress unless we realize that.