Intro to Women's Studies 2010

etsu: 2011-2014

Oppression Comes in Many Ways, Shapes, and Forms

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In Audre Lorde’s essay, “There Is No Hierarchy of Oppression,” you start to understand the deeper meaning to what she is actually trying to say to us. Throughout her whole essay she tells us how cruel our world can truly be and how much oppression and hurt we cause ourselves and the people around us through judgement. Personally, this message hit home because there have been many times where I compared situations of my own oppression to that of my friends and mostly felt like they had nothing to complain about. But when you really think about what oppression stands for, the intensity of it shouldn’t even matter. The sentences in the middle of the second paragraph are what made me understand what she meant by having no hierarchy when it comes to oppression. She says that in order to obtain liberation and a workable future for our kids, we must realize that any type of oppression deserves recognition and that if we keep analyzing each others heart aches, then it will never get better. By making yourself a part of a group, you are giving yourself the opportunity to surround yourself with other people who can support you since they are going through similar types of oppression. You may not be a very open person or someone who is willing to share your problems with other people, but things are always harder when you choose to go through things alone instead of with people who know exactly what it is like. It doesn’t matter who you are attracted to, or who you like or don’t, and it really doesn’t even matter what race you are because oppression is something all of us go through in our own way and that is what really counts. Audre Lorde does a very good job explaining that oppression is something that we all experience in our own ways and that a support system is something that each and every one of us should have through hard times. Nothing is going to stop the oppression in the world, but it can get easier for us to deal with if we keep in mind that oppression is oppression; no matter how small.

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