Axes Of Oppression Analysis

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Axes of Oppression
When discussing effective ways to organize and fight oppression, Andrea Smith (2013) challenges her readers to “take power by making power” (p. 19) by creating a world we want to live in. She presents the idea of all people in society coming together and adding their power to the collective power. When people work together for change, they often gather in “safe spaces” and there can be fear of saying the wrong thing and disrupting the feeling of safety. Smith argues we cannot change minds and hearts if we gather in this way. She posits the way to create change is to bring together all people, knowing we all have different axes of oppression and privilege, and use community to make the power (p. 19).
Two axes of oppression
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When considering two axes where I hold privilege, I can “make power” by educating myself on the issues facing people who have different abilities and people living in poverty. Education will allow me to learn and remain current on the experiences of people in these social groups. This knowledge will encourage me to use moments to educate others and interrupt oppression when I see it. I can point out to people the ways in which disability is a social construct, pulling from the writing of Susan Wendell (2013). She described disability being caused by society such as with war, crime, rape, disease, malnutrition, working conditions and lack of prenatal care (pp. 481-482). It is powerful to educate others on the idea that disabilities of our society are a reflection on how our society cares for and protects it’s citizens. Andrea Smith (2013) spoke about creating spaces where we can hold each other accountable with love versus “punitive accountability” (p. 23) and I can use this idea to create change on a small scale that will add to the overall power toward …show more content…
I will structure the conversation differently to encourage self-reflection and humility. To build empathy and create possible alliances, I will discuss how all people experience oppression. I expect people to challenge my allyship to determine whether I can be trusted and if I betray them, I will own that betrayal and work to rebuild trust (Anzaldúa, 2013, p. 628).
Most importantly, in my social work practice I will examine the way I engage with my clients and challenge my white privilege lense. I endeavour to maintain awareness of how I participate and contribute to the systems of oppression by engaging in supervision meetings to examine how my privilege affects my work. Humans internalize their perceived imperfections and inability to conform to the social constructs of “normal”. My responsibility as a social worker is to point out that the issues my clients face have less to do with their inability, but are a result of systemic issues plaguing our

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