The Culture Of Silence, Bell Hooks, Bell Hooks By Gloria Jean Collins

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The Culture of Silence
While researching Gloria Jean Watkins an American Author known as bell hooks, I came to the realization that most of her work has focused on the politics of gender, race, class domination and culture. Among her publications and most notable works are: Ain't I a Woman?: Black Women and Feminism, Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center and Talking Back: Thinking Feminist,
Thinking Black. In her writing Talking Back, white and male supremacy are widely discussed as forces of oppression that generate cultural silence. To this day there are still mix feelings of the topic of cultural silence and whether it is beneficial or not. Some people think that taking too much is not always a good thing and promote the idea of more silence within the society. Even though there are people who think that silence exerts a positive influence in our culture, there are others who think that silence is being imposed and our voice is being oppress .
In most of the cases where oppression is involved, the people who are oppressed develop a condition of powerlessness to the level that they find it difficult to talk about their feelings. This is what generally creates the tradition of silence within our culture. At this stage of oppression, the mere mention of the injustices that are associated with the oppression is forbidden and the oppressed therefore do not have any voice whatsoever. Silence that is on the surface is characterized by a situation where the oppressed have the knowledge that they are being oppressed but they are not in a position to make their concerns known. Another level of oppression that involves silence is derived from indoctrination where the people who are oppressed are made to believe that they are inferior by ...

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...n of the groups that do not belong to the dominant sections of the society and they are progressively marginalized and left out of meaningful participation in important aspects of the society. Racism, like all the other forms of oppression have made the people that experience it develop the belief that the genesis of their problems lies, not in their relations within the society, but in themselves. The belief that the inadequacies that they have are the sources of their problems and this makes them suffer in silence when they are oppressed and denied equal opportunities in the society. The dominant classes on the other hand take advantage of these to continue oppressing these sections of the society. It is important to remember that the act of racial discrimination is illegal and that “All our silences in the face of racist assault are acts of complicity.”
(hooks 19)

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