Tuesday, March 22, 2016

The Components of Oppression in White Supremacist Capitalist Patriarchy

this image, of a mural by Jim Chuchu,
inspired by the poetry of Staceyann Chin, is from here

The components of oppression in white supremacist capitalist patriarchy, or as it is known here on this blog, Corporate Racist Atrocious Patriarchy (CRAP):

Power-over/Status: The dominant group has a material interest in the system being oppressive and hegemonic. It is in the dominants' material interest to maintain the status quo. These interests include various entitlements, privileges, advantages, benefits, and forms of enfranchisement. Having power means, simply: If you want things done, they get done. If you want something to be a certain way, it is made to be that way; you have meaningful choices of action; you can choose to change political locations on one or more hierarchies. Your values are valued; your personhood is humanised; in myth and legend, in fiction and reality, your humanity is revered as great, genius, holy, or authoritative. Power-over is distinguished from power-with, such as in healthy friendship and communal action.

Subordination/Stigma: There exists a social hierarchy in which there are two main groups, one on top, one on the bottom. The bottom group is thought to exist for the top group. there is no identity for the subordinated group that is not in stigmatised relation to the statused dominant group.

Discrimination/Marginalisation/Segregation/Rejection: Sometimes, as needed, the oppressed group may be cloistered off, kept out, kicked out, removed from society, or purged. This may be done using culture, religion, and law, through uncentering or persistent decentering in theory and social experience. Examples: Jim Crow; poverty; pogroms.

Objectification: the dominant group dehumanises the subordinated one also through physical and sexual objectification. The group is turned into a thing, a commodity. Media reinforces this. Pornography makes it feel like 'sexual fulfillment'. For the oppressed group to be 'sexy', they/we must be available for the dominant group, to do what they want. (Even if they want you to be sexually dominant.)

Exploitation: The dominating group makes economic use of the subordinated group: their resources--emotional, physical, sexual--are taken/stolen or systematically used/used up, or withheld from the oppressed. The oppressed work directly for the benefit of the oppressor class in one way or more. The subordinated group is may be 'merely' used, or also impoverished, imprisoned, or enslaved.

Violence: the oppressed group, in part by being objectified, is targeted throughout their lives as appropriate to do violence to, including violation--being interpersonally abused directly or through proxy bullies and thugs. The violence and violation is coded into law; made to be natural, scientifically or socially inevitable, or God-ordained. Example: heterosexual couples must consummate their marriage--she must be penetrated at least once, by legal/cultural/religious mandate; "the rule of thumb"; lynching.

Bigotry: in addition to being stigmatised, it is common and normal to reduce the subordinated group to a negative characteristic, trait, or quality of being. (Note: bigotry against a dominant group doesn't = oppressing or dominating them.) Example: women are dirty; Black people are dangerous and criminal; gay men and lesbians are child molesters and perverts; trans women being misogynist predators.

Silence, threat, and death: The dominant group successfully silences or destroys the oppressed. Examples: femicide, genocide, systematic lack of access to medical care or refusal of the dominants to develop and distribute appropriate care (AIDS deaths), potable water, nourishing food, one's own homeland; the voices of the oppressed are not given the mic, are not allowed on the stage unless to promote the status quo. The oppressed group is seen as perpetually threatening the stability and status of the oppressor class. Humiliating the oppressor class is punishable by death. So is taking power from them. Serial murder and mass murder of the oppressed group is normal.