Saturday, April 28, 2012

Victims Of ISM's...

Ok People. Just wanted to get something straight here. Let's talk about ISM's (systems of oppression): Racism, Ableism, Heterosexism, Classism, Ageism, Religism, Sexism.

Can we all agree that an ISM is a discussion of Power (social, cultural, financial)? Who has it, and who doesn't? It is the dominant group, the group in power, that is marginalizing, oppressing and discriminating against the non-dominant group.

If we look at the the list of ISM's from above, we would see where power lies (respectively): White, Able-bodied, Heterosexual, Upper-Class, Young, Christian, Men.

Of course there are multiple levels of intersectionality within each ISM, as well as horizontal marginalizing, oppressing and discriminating (internalized).

So, for example...women cannot be sexist against men, and people of color cannot be racist against white people. Women and people of color do not hold power, which means they do not have the power to change the given system of oppression. Which also makes it easy for the group in power to minimize, legitimize, and define the reality of a given situation.

This is in no way shape or form meant to minimize or ignore that even people in power suffer from discrimination, but the word you're looking for here is Prejudice.

Let's get it together people. We've come a ways, but not the WHOLE way, very recently, and in very small, SMALL increments.

No comments: