whibwhub said: Do you have any recomendations of authors/books/articles to read that actually interrogate and describe the effects of oppression and discrimination on the pysche?
I do, actually! From a philosophical, psychological, or sociological perspective (and sometimes a mix of them), generally. Most of them are specific to racism (and many of those, to Black people), though I do have some more generalized recommendations. Some of these attack the issue head-on, while others are more tangentially related. I’ve quoted a lot of these on my blog and have noted it when I remembered to do so (but I tag most of my posts, so you could look for others in my tags).
- People of Color and Mental Health Post - I last updated it in May of 2012, so some of the sources are no longer available
- The Many Costs of Racism by Joe Feagin and Karyn D. McKinney (I have some quotes I posted here) - it focuses on the effects of racism on Black Americans
- Frantz Fanon and the Psychology of Oppression by Hussein Abdilahi Bulhan - it’s really expensive but an interesting read if you can find it at a library - and I of course recommend Fanon’s The Wretched of the Earth and Black Skin, White Masks to anyone
- Same with Paulo Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed.
- Color Matters: Skin Tone Bias and the Myth of a Postracial America by Kimberly Jade Norwood, a collection of essays on colorism
- Lewis R. Gordon’s Existentia Africana: Understanding Africana Existential Thought (focus on Black people)
- Blackness Visible: Essays on Philosophy and Race by Charles W. Mills in which Mills excoriates the field of philosophy for its purported race neutrality and discusses a form of alienation that differs from a Marxian alienation (this is also done in Yancy’s Black Bodies, White Gazes) and is closer to that conceptualized by Fanon
- Black Bodies, White Gazes by George Yancy (focus on Black people)
- A book of essays edited by George Yancy, What White Looks Like
- Everything but the Burden: What White People Are Taking from Black Culture edited by Greg Tate, particularly for the intro and Carl Hancock Rux’s “Eminem: the New White Negro” (quoted here)
- Shiftling: The Double Lives of Black Women in America by Charisse Jones and Kumea Shorter-Gooden (quoted here)
- Patricia Hill Collins’ Black Sexual Politics
More general or not just racism:
- Handbook of Prejudice, Stereotyping, and Discrimination edited by Todd D. Nelson - it’s a massive book with over 500 pages and a psychology focus, and is very expensive as a result, but with this book again there is the library, and there is the option of renting (or seeking it out elsewhere, hint hint)
- Whistling Vivaldi: How Stereotypes Affect Us And What We Can Do by Claude M. Steele - on stereotype threat
- The Post-Colonial Studies Reader edited by Bill Ashcroft (also available in an older edition for cheap)
- Pierre Bourdieu’s Masculine Domination and Pascalian Meditations
- Erving Goffman’s Stigma
- Kathi Weeks’s The Problem with Work: Feminism, Marxism, Antiwork Politics, and Postwork Imaginaries
- Colonize This! Young Women of Color on Today’s Feminism - a collection of essays edited by Daisy Hernandez and Bushra Rehman - which I have quotes from here
- Pornography Embodied: From Speech to Sexual Practice by Joan Mason-Grant
- Andrea Dworkin’s Intercourse, which, while I am aware of its inherent cissexism and criticisms of Dworkin, I must recommend for its discussion of the subordination of women
- Derald Wing Sue’s Microaggressions and Marginality: Manifestation, Dynamics, and Impact andhis Microaggressions in Everyday Life: Race, Gender, and Sexual Orientation - which I have quotes of here and here, respectively
- Internalized Oppression: The Psychology of Marginalized Groups edited by E.J.R. David - it does have a focus on racism (6/10 chapters) and ethnic groups in the US, but it’s different than my other recommendations in that it looks at Indigenous, Asian American, Pacific Islander, and Latin@ people as well- the chapters are:
Wonderful list, love!
For whatever reason, feminism has been coming up a lot in my life lately. Perhaps not so much feminism, as, well, privilege. Specifically, male privilege, and how it can make people feel unsafe and uncomfortable, and how it’s often hard to call out. And this is usually pictures and audio and other bits of my life, but I decided that this was important, too. It’ll be edited over the next few days to be a bit less of a rant and more coherent, but for now, here you go.
Why are you a feminist?
Because I believe in equal rights for all. Men and women and neither and both.
Why aren’t you a “humanist”?
But, in seriousness, being a feminist means saying that yeah, there’s a problem with the patriarchy. It also means acknowledging that women—and trans* people, too!—are oppressed. It means that there’s a thing called “male privilege” and it exists and it’s very real to a lot of us. It also means speaking back against people who say that bad things happen to women because they should “lean in,” or try harder, or have kids earlier, or have kids later, or not have kids at all. It means saying that it’s tough to be perceived as female. And it’s not easy to say that.
But I don’t hate men. Feminists hate men.
I don’t hate men. I mean, some men, sure, but #notallmen. (See what I did there?) Acknowledging that privilege exists does not mean you hate everyone with that privilege. For me, it matters hugely what people do with the privilege(s) they have. Men—and even people who accidentally pass as male—have a privilege. Whether they want it or not. It’s just the way our society works. Does it meant that they don’t get oppressed in other ways? No. It just means that they have privileges that those who pass as female/not male just don’t have.
Some women don’t want to have sex with men, true, but those are lesbians. (Some of whom are feminists.)
But feminists hate women who have kids!
But feminists are scary and do things like ____
I’m not with 100% of feminists. I’m probably not with 60%, to be honest. There’s a lot that feminism needs to work out. Like intersectional feminism. (And how white feminists need to make sure that we are very aware of all the other systems of oppression that we benefit from that hurt POC. Because we’ve been not good on that front. Not at all.) Or using Muslim women’s bodies as an excuse to colonize and go to war. Or serious issues with trans* inclusivity. But saying that all feminism is terrible, without thinking critically, is actually what feminists are angry about. Being a feminist means fighting back against a system that hates you. That system will, predictably, spit back at you, make you out to be the crazy one. There are feminists who do crazy things, bad things, terrible things—but dropping the movement completely should not be taken lightly. “Feminism” is a fluid label that anyone can claim, which comes with the territory in social movements. It’s both a problem and a great thing.
Feminists should do more to break the stereotypes that exist! If they didn’t actually hate men, why do I think they do?
Because you’re an uncritical asshat. Or, alternatively, you’re buying into a system that hates women. But sure, okay, let’s have that conversation. I’m not sure how anyone can honestly believe that all feminists hate men. And I’m also having trouble with telling feminists that, if they wanted more people on their side, they should really do more to address the SCUM stereotype. Expecting someone from an oppressed group to break a stereotype, constructed by an oppressing group, so you like them better is BS. (I mean, let’s take a second and think about your history classes. Women’s history get’s a month. It has to be worked in. Do you really think women’s rights movements/feminism is something that gets talked about as often as it ought?) So many things are feminist issues. Labor rights. Health care. Class. It’s all tied up, and feminists try and take it all on. That is, again, not to say that feminism is great all the time. It’s not. But think critically about how you hear about feminism, and who you hear it from. If it’s only FEMEN, you’re probably doing it wrong.
On a personal level, I find this argument—the “be less like what I envision you to be”one—insulting. I’ve been to feminist marches, campaigned for things like maternal care, protested those who sought to restrict access to sexual health services. I talk about feminism all the time. I try and live good politics, because that’s what I think good politics looks like. But in the end, it’s not my responsibility to sit with you while you decide if I’ve convinced you the stereotype is wrong or not. You’ve admitted it’s a stereotype, you have access to the internet, do some reading—some of the burden does fall on you.
But we live in an equal society!
No. We don’t. If this was real life, I’d walk away. Anyways. Wage gap? Street harassment? "Stop telling women to smile?" Ok, so what about, if a gun is in a woman’s home, her likelihood of dying a violent death increases by 270%. Any woman’s risk of intimate partner violence is 1 in 3. Or, because this is what happens when a woman tries to get another woman on the 10 pound note. Because a column about how tampons are taxed, and access to menstrual health products is a serious issue globally, ended with threats and vile comments.
My point is this: I am a feminist because male privilege is real. Patriarchy is real. Sometimes, there’s a helplessness about stuff that you cannot control. There is frustration in, when trying to explain to a male friend or relative, how you know exactly how your keys feel in your hand when you are walking home, or how terrible it is to be called “sweetheart” all the time, or how a good day is when no one makes any comments about you, or follows you too closely when you’re on your bike. I could list forever, but you either get the idea, or you won’t. I’m a feminist because there is strength in admitting that systems of oppression exist. Kidding yourself because the system of oppression wants you to is part of the problem.
I’ll end with this with a story. A year ago, I went running at night. I didn’t think anything of it—it was dinnertime, lots of people out, well-lit neighborhood. Someone followed me a bit, into a well-lit parking lot. Keep in mind, there are a fair number of people around; it’s early, and it’s near several bus stops. He laughed and said he was going to grab me. When I shouted back—because that was all I could do at that point—his response was, “I can do what I want. No one is going to stop me. Look.”
I’m a feminist because, after I went into the grocery store and cried, I realized: he was right.
A Palestinian commenting on conditions inside Gaza.
(Via +972 Mag)