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California State University, Dominguez Hills
University of Wisconsin, Parkside
Created: March 28, 2001
Latest update: March 28, 2001

On Oppression

The Imprint/Image of the Oppressor in All of Us

On Wednesday, March 28, 2001, Patricia Acone wrote:

In the 70's, when I first became acquainted with Paulo Freire, and then again in 1986 when I re-read Paulo, I was impressed with his admonition that after the revolution the workers should make certain that we do not change poles and become the oppressor. It wasn't till I read Martha Minow's Not Only for Myself that I truly understood what the implications of this admonition meant for the oppressed--that within all of us there is an imprint/image of the oppressor.

Minow is good! I am also reading Ain't I a Woman, by bell hooks. In her book she addresses the issue of how some Black males devalue females. In Not Only for Myself, page 53, Minow articulates this so succinctly:

"Research suggests that some African American males develop an exaggerated conception of male power and devalue females, apparently as a coping response to racial and economic disadvantage. Here is a place where the errors of essentialism, the insights of intersectionality, and the basic incoherence of group identities run up against the ease of adopting categories that were never designed to help those assigned to them." More later . . .

On Wednesday, March 28, jeanne responded:

Both Susan and I agree. Minow is good. That's one reason we use her books in our classes.