The three modalities of oppression

Alderson Warm-Fork wrote an excellent article on oppression and its modalities on his blog Directionless Bones. It’s a big complicated, but worth sticking through.

The first modality in which you can do this is by constructing pairs of identities, of which one must dominate and the other must be dominated. Three major examples are the sex-binary, in which the ‘masterful’ man is in control precisely insofar as he is male, over the irrational, emotional, and passive women; the adult-child relationship, in which the rational and wise adult justifies their control over the unthinking, stupid child (concealing both the frequent foolishness of adults and the knowledge, especially of their own feelings, that children do possess); and thirdly, the human-animal relationship, in which the rational human must ‘tame’ and ‘make productive’ the unruly dangerous animal, usually by killing by killing or enslaving it.

They key thing is that to those who accept the symbolic identities involved, the control or oppression that occurs can only appear as natural and right. If you accept the identity ‘child’ or ‘beast’ (as opposed to simply ‘person younger than…X?’ or ‘animal not human’) then you have already accepted what is written into them – that the adult and the human must be in control for the good of the controlled. Indeed, submitting to that control is liable to be glamourised and encouraged: it makes your a ‘good’ woman/child/animal, and if you have accepted that identity (as even the animal may do in its own way) you will probably enjoy it, feel ‘fulfilled’ to some extent by being dominated.

%d bloggers like this: