The above website is a brief summary of the everyday aggressions people face on a daily basis. I suggest you read some of these posts as you may learn a little something here and there on how to appropriately interact with your fellow humans.
I’ve experienced quite a few of these aggressions myself, and actually had a bit of it today morning while on my way to university.
I took a cab there and while making small talk with the cabbie, he commented on how good it was that my third-world self was getting an education, being a girl in general and that too one from a country that devalues my gender. Then he proceeded to ask if Christians were oppressed in India, if we had electricity and if there was a war going on in Dubai. And then he commented on exotic beauty, as if that would flatter me.
I tried correcting him but then he laughed it off and said he didn’t mean it exactly like that.
Yeah I’m sure you didn’t bud..
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I think I was a magnet for stupid comments today. I was doing a program evaluation for a course and the man I was speaking to said the most ridiculous thing. He was talking about culture and cultural differences and in particular, Saudi Arabian students and the culture shock they experience here in regards to how men and women behave compared to ‘how it is’ back in Saudi Arabia. He goes on to say how pleased he is to see Saudi women acclimating to the Canadian way of life, and in particular, seeing them slowly start to express themselves, eventually becoming chador-less and hijab-less (no doubt he finds that it is oppressive in nature).
I was not expecting that last part.
Then he looks at me and says "You must know what I’m talking about."
I started at him blankly. I don’t know why he assumed I was a Muslim. I’m guessing it may be because I was the only dark-skinned person who also didn’t wear a hijab in the room and I suppose the possibility of a Canadian Muslim in the room didn’t cross his mind but even then… what?! HOW did you process your thoughts to arrive at that statement?
Before I could answer, he moved on to another topic.
I’m still reeling from the shock of that statement. It’s funny because he was talking about how satisfied he is with himself and his staff on how culturally sensitive they all are.
The point is choice. If it is chosen freely, no one should judge it. If it isn’t, then yes that is oppression. What people believe is that these women are always forced into it. Some are, but there are others that aren’t.
Moral of the Story: NEVER assume or generalize.