White and Male Privilege essays

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White and Male Privilege essays

Before I can begin to determine or examine whether or not their majority oppresses women or blacks, I mustfirst come to a decision on what oppression is exactly. According to Webster's Dictionary, oppression is an unjust or excessive exercise of authority or power and also a sense of being weighed down in mind and body.These two aspects of oppression appease the face validity of the question,'what is oppression', but in order to fully understand one must delve deeper into the concept.
Frye, in her article "Oppression", stated that to be oppressed one is molded, immobilized, and reduced due to the amount of pressure that is exerted upon them from whatever forces are present.Oppression can not be mistaken for how a person feels but is rather a concept that includes feelings.Just because one suffers does not make them oppressed.
When trying to decipher the concept of women being oppressed I came across an article "Wears Jumpsuit.Sensible Shoes. Uses Husbands Last Name." written by Tannen. In her article Tannen addresses the issue of being marked and unmarked. She states that women are marked and men are unmarked. She is referring to gender markers such as hairstyles that send messages that "reflect common associations with the female gender that are not quite serious and are often sexual in nature". (Tannen, p257) Markers can send intentional and unintentional messages. For example if a woman wears sexy clothes it could possibly send a message of wanting to be attractive, it could also send the unintended message of being available. (Tannen, p257) Conversely if she doesn't wear sexy clothes she is sending a message also of maybe being a lesbian. This is where concept of "double bind" comes into play. The double-bind situation can be viewed also as being stuck between a rock and a hard
place or in other words being immobilized. Women are supposed