KINE 1000 Study Guide - Voyeurism, Ities, Magnified

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Kin 1000 notes
Tutorial 07
Patrick Keleherp
keleherp@yorku.ca
Mondays 1:30-2:30 at 306 Stong are his office hours
Power; Patricia Hill-Collins
Every minority identifies the type of oppression with which it feels the most comfortable
as being fundamental and classifies all other types as being of lesser importance. Ex. The
white woman feels oppressed due to her sex but does not see the benefit of her colour as
the African American man does
There are very few pure victims or oppressors since we’re all derived from varying
penalties and privileges
Two things are required in order to get at the oppressor deep within all of us:
1. We need to redefine oppression as a series of interlocking factors between race, gender,
and class (otherwise everyone fights for attention and tries to be the “most oppressed”
2. We must change our behaviour so that we treat and act around one another as equal
humans. This must be done by transcending through socially constructed divisors to
create more equal relationships
Audre Lorde “Change starts with self, and relationships that we have with those around
us must always be the primary site for social change.
We must end the dichotomous classification of everything being oppressed or oppressor.
As a result, everyone becomes a combination of both, making it a conceptually
impossible task to tackle
Also, though some oppressions are more drastic than others, a scale cannot be accurately
measured as to which oppression is worse than the last; doing so would be like asking an
African American woman, which is worse? Your skin colour or sex?
Different oppressions are of varying intensity depending on where in the world you are.
Social class oppression is more apparent in Latin America than in Canada.
Slavery is often thought of as a race oppressive period. However, it was white males who
had all the power. With this power, they gained social and economic benefit. White upper
class women would also benefit but the lower class white women would not. Black
women were slaves so they were the bottom standard of the female scale; keeping the
lower class white women at their position, preventing them from moving down. Blacks as
a whole were suppressed, obviously presenting the third and final piece of what was a
gender, class, and race oppressed period; not simply race oppressed.
The three categories are intertwined so it is futile to observe one alone; new thinking
should connect them all
This example can be related to modern days through a University system and how the
administrators may be largely white men and the students are oppressed. In fact, this can
be applied to ALL institutions; it is the institutional dimension of oppression
When compiling a list of characteristics that define a man or woman, one must also
consider race and class. Though men are thought to strong, a “strong” black man may be
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considered dangerous, or a lower class Hispanic man may not be considered to be
“Intellectual”
If you make a separate lists of qualities for men and women; but have each list consider a
different race, the lists will look considerably different
Viewing images of masculinity and femininity as universal gender symbols, rather than
as symbolic images that are race, gender and class specific, renders the experiences of
people of colour and of nonprivileged white women and men invisible. This is the
symbolic dimension of oppression
Your individual dimension of oppression is your oppression relative to society. This takes
into account the intertwining factors of race, class, and gender on a personal level
Transcending barriers created by our experiences with race, class, and gender oppression
in order to build proper coalitions essential for social change involve addressing:
a) Differences in power and privilege
b) Discovering how to create a coalition
c) Building empathy
Differences in power constrain our ability to connect with one another even when we
think we are engaged in dialogue across differences.
This is true because if a white man is having conversation with his black housekeeper, it
may not occur to him that she feels victimized by a racial bias because she is not in a
position to voice her issues. It would not be wise for this housekeeper to voice her
opinion when the difference in power is so great
In extreme cases, members of the privileged groups can erase the very existence of the
less privileged. When a black, middle-class woman sees a white family in poverty, the
newly acquired privileges of her social class will allow her to ignore and minimize the
poverty among Whites that she does encounter.
Phrases such as “Well at least they’re not black” may pop in her mind
In learning to grant human subjectivity to blacks in poverty, she has simultaneously
learned to demand white victims of poverty too
“Voyeurism”. From the perspective of the privileged, the lives of people of colour, of the
poor, and of women are interesting for their entertainment value.
A professor who will engage in class discussions with Whites but only call upon the
Black students to give their input on Black related topics is an example of Voyeurism at
its worst.
Members of subordinate groups often only participate mainly because they are
suppressed in this environment; they are not necessarily willing, though a Black student
will usually answer the call of the professor
Women can be victims of voyeurism if men are in relationships with them solely for sex
Sharing a common cause can bring a people together; especially if it happens to be a
common issue.
Common issues raise a sense of empathy in people; a powerful feeling that will
encourage teamwork
In order to create empathy, every individual must speak of his or her own experiences
and find commonalities with others.
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Developing empathy will always be difficult; regardless of which side of the privileged
scale you’re at. It is difficult at the privileged end because it involved grappling a sense
of how you are privileged, and yet it is difficult at the nonprivileged end because they
must abandon the mistrust that they have for the privileged; something that has kept their
survival to begin with
Experiencing Difference and Inequality in Everyday Life by Barbara Ehrenreich
50k women enter welfare every month
If you calculate it, it’s actually impossible for a single mother to live off of minimum
wage ($7/hour)
30% of the workforce toils for under $8/hour
What she misses most is competence
Gail is her role model at the place; the person who gave her training. Philip is the
manager there
She started off with $1300
Labour workers are all immigrants whereas waiters are all white women
So she was at Hearthside to start, then she went to Jerry’s
When she learned of George being accused of stealing, she felt like defending him. But
then, her lack of power set in and she realized that she cannot do this.
In theory, Barbara thought that if mothers with children could get by, it should be easy
for a single woman like herself (in this experiment). As it turns out, it was in fact much
more difficult than she thought; virtually unreasonable to expect someone to live their
entire lives in that way. She concludes at one point that life on welfare must be better
than life in low-wage work
Economic insecurities can also be health issues because as Barbara saw with Carla, the
health benefits that come with low-wage work are very, very poor. Barbara barely got by
with absolutely no health cost whatsoever, but if she needed a drug to take care of illness,
she only had $200 saved up in case of emergency. Health costs can easily surpass this,
and Barbara is not like most people in terms of her good health
Many of the more privileged have a negative attitude towards those in poverty simply
because that is the natural instinct of any privileged human; you think “If I can get here,
anyone can”. The issue with this thought process is that it rejects the reality that is faced
by the impoverished and it is essentially stereotyping about them being “Lazy”. The
privileged often do not consider that because of their economic class and age, getting an
education may be unrealistic. Without an education, escaping the depths of low-wage pay
is then also unrealistic. These are some of the systemic barriers faced by the
impoverished that society does not always consider
Physical health is extremely difficult to maintain in a position of lower class due to the
onset of illness caused by stress, lack of sleep and inadequate nutrition
This article sums up that economic class contributes to power and that even if these
individuals wanted to change the way of life, they have no power to begin with to
start a change
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