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Analysis Of Marilyn Frye's Five Faces Of Oppression

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“The root of the word “oppression” is the element “press”… Something pressed is something caught between or among forces and barriers which are so elated to each other that jointly the restrain, restrict or prevent the thing’s motion or mobility” (Frye, 84-85). Oppression is something felt by many different social groups in societies around the world. The feminist movement is one that sets out to dismantle sexist oppression. Marilyn Frye describes an oppression that she believes is common to all women despite ethnic or racial differences. Kimberlé Crenshaw, in her Tedtalk, however, argues that there is a common experience between females of different social groups due to certain constructs in society, and Audre Lorde discusses how crucial it…show more content…
To explain this Kimberlé Crenshaw, in her TedTalk, “The Urgancy of Intersectionality,” suggests the idea of intersectionality, which is: the overlapping of social justice problems that create many degrees of social injustice (Crenshaw). Her particular studies hinge of the fact that the intersectionality of being African American and a woman leaves women of color to often “fall through the cracks” of both the feminist and anti-racism movements (Crenshaw). In her article, “Mapping the Margins: Intersectionality, identity Politics, and Violence Against Women of Color”, in the Stanford Law Review, Crenshaw describes a time she was trying to get statistics of domestic violence arrests from the LAPD but she was unable to see the data because activist, on both sides, thought the data would be used undermine their respective causes; for feminists, it could be interpreted that domestic violence is a minority issue thus not an issue to address as aggressively, and to anti-racists the data would paint men of minorities as more violent therefore reinforcing stereotypes of men of color (Crenshaw, 1252-1253). This demonstrates the underrepresentation of women of color on the feminist and anti-racist front, demonstrating Crenshaw’s theory of intersectionality. Also in contest to Frye’s…show more content…
Though Frye does attribute the “subjective experience” to the diversity of women as a social group, trying to generealize the struggle across races, identities, etc. is not a reality that is reasonable (Frye, 88). Rather than there being a commonality I believe that the commonality instead is an illusion that white feminist have convinced their selves of. This occurred to me after reading Crenshaw’s article and her explaining the underrepresentation of women of color in the media and the feminist movement. By nature, with the underrepresentation of women of color in the feminist movement it would be understandable that their movement does not understand it is under representing those women; understandable, but not acceptable. Seeing as the oppressed experience is so different by way of gender based oppression in relation to a man but also in relation to everyday needs, such as getting a job as seen in the example of Ms. DeGraffenreid, there is no way to separate the differences between women from their oppressed experience. Likewise, in light of Lorde’s argument that not acknowledging these differences is one of the main issues facing the feminist movement I would agree. Anyone who has ever been a part of a teamwork exercise know that each part of the team plays an important role in reaching a goal.