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  #21  
Old 12-04-2009, 04:58 PM
GroundedSpirit GroundedSpirit is offline
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I'm afraid I don't feel I have much to contribute to this discussion without a lot of thought & study.
Except this and I think I saw at least some references to it in several places including the definitions offered themselves.

My first (and only at the moment) thought regarding oppression is that it's a side effect of unacceptable use of "power".

I recall putting out a common quote somewhere here in the past about "power corrupting".
In fact, a substantial part of my life has been involved in working against and educating people in general about the dangers of "power" - period. That's my personal "soapbox" which I don't feel belongs here although the ramifications in this lifestyle are considerable. Probably far more so than "oppression". A lot of it is very philosophical and heady stuff which I - for myself- just feel would be a bit overwhelming for here.

But I'll toss this out..............in a nutshell.
We ALL have power available to us in some form. We have to be extremely careful in the exercise of that power, and strive to understand what are often the far reaching effects of our power. Living with the awareness OF that power needs to be a daily affair. It's a lifelong challenge.

GS
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  #22  
Old 12-04-2009, 10:24 PM
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Bingo!! That is what I feel as well. Add that to a long history of being deeply entrenched in the "norm" and you end up with someone who points fingers at himself more than others do.
I'm starting to think the "norm" is a huge pile of shit. Nobody is truly "normal"; they just have a way of showing one side. Therefore you end up with a lot of one dimensional people on the surface. I still miss it though.

But is this a form of oppression?
I don't know if it is or not honestly.

I do know what you mean though about one-dimensional people. A friend of mine jsut mentioned that friends of theirs are divorcing after nearly 20 year of marriage over one of them being poly. The friend of mine had no clue it was an issue in the other couples life.
Well-that would be because we learn to live "normal" for society and be whoever you really are deep inside yourself somewhere I guess.

Our family (the whole extended family not just our poly family) has always joked about "did you find normal yet" when we talk. My parents work in the medical and psychological fields and so often encounter the reality that "normal" isn't something that can fit over a larger number of people well. What is "normal temperature" for me it may be completely different than for you.

Normal is supposed to be "common" but that doesn't mean RIGHT. Yet our society seems to be of the opinion that normal is "right" and abnormal is "wrong". We aren't cancers! Normal isn't necessarily right, it's just common and often it's actually WRONG.

Normal WAS being a slaveholder at one time in the US. Now it's not..
Normal for women WAS being owned by a man (father or husband) even in the US now it's not..

Normal isn't always a good thing to be...

Rambling now. sorry!
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  #23  
Old 12-04-2009, 10:50 PM
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This whole topic really weighs me down. Do I ever get to feel that I am not oppressive? So what if I am privileged in some areas of my life? I am in that I can buy clothes from Bangledesh at Old Navy for instance. That makes me an oppressor by supporting their store and therefore those that oppress them. If clothing stores such as that only offer clothes from oppressed countries then how and when do I get to not feel like shit for buying them when that is all that is offered. Sure there is so much we can do and I do as much as I can but the burden can be SOooo heavy and it piles guilt and shame onto me that is also oppressive. Much of the way our culture is set up is around oppression in one way or another. What do we do, add everything up and see who comes out as the most oppressed and then sit with that.... what is the point in that? What do we do next?

Is this making sense?

I'm sorry, I don't feel it relates to poly, but I feel as if it needs to just be for me at the moment before I can find the way that it does relate... as I know it does.
Let me see, you are poly, I'm poly, Mono is living a poly life even if he's not poly and we are discussing issues we encounter in our lives and struggle with in different ways. How can it not relate to poly honey?

I find it frustrating that we (general) say we want to stop/end/reduce oppression and yet our whole systems for our life are (as you were noting) based on oppression, which in turn oppresses us, because we're stuck living in it... I'm not sure how one gets out of that.
One of our issues is Walmart. Everyone complains about purchasing anything from Walmart as it's supporting economies that are big on oppression issues-but it's also the only place with anything REMOTELY affordable to purchase where we live.

I would love to grow our own food to some degree, but we only have a growing season of about 4 months in a year. It's too cold the rest of the time(and the ground is under feet of snow). I've started doing that through the entire summer (we grow all of our veggies and eat A LOT of salads) and I managed to keep tomatoe plants alive year round inside-but with 9 people (soon to be more) in our house... there isn't room for a whole garden to feed that many IN the house!

Same with clothing. I can sew-but it's actually cheaper to buy clothing then fabric! Even if both are purchased at Walmart! UGH.
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  #24  
Old 12-04-2009, 10:54 PM
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Yup! And I think the key is to find one way to alleviate the feeling of oppression as you see it and then move on to the next. Otherwise it will likely more than weigh you down; it might crush you. Focus and take action
Any ideas on a one? I'd love to hear some basic-one or two sentence ideas for "step one" things to do.

I know ADD has a bad habit of allowing ones brain to run so rampant that you find yourself overwhelmed before you even start. I have that issue with my ADD and also with my 3 ADD kids and other ADD friends. I was tweaked and feeling stupid about it in myself before I talked to the psychiatrist.

So anyway-great idea for starting with one Mono-and if you have some suggestions on starting places that a person could try to put in place for step one I'd love to work on a list like that!!
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Old 12-04-2009, 11:26 PM
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But I'll toss this out..............in a nutshell.
We ALL have power available to us in some form. We have to be extremely careful in the exercise of that power, and strive to understand what are often the far reaching effects of our power. Living with the awareness OF that power needs to be a daily affair. It's a lifelong challenge.

GS
God ain't that the truth! I was JUST trying to explain that to someone recently. Not so eloquently-but alas I was trying.
Its something I see with children. We complain about how kids and teens behave "these days" but then we (as parents) control every detail of their childhood to the point of making it "perfect" for them and not allowing them to suffer the natural consequences of their choices when they are young and the consequences seem huge to them, but aren't as life-long damaging.

I get a lot of flack, because of things like when my stepson screamed and threw a fit over not wanting to put his boots on before we left, I just proceeded in silence to put the boots (and his clothes he was also refusing) into the car, seatbelted his sister in (he as 2 and she was 6). Went back in he was still flipping out. Told him quietly-I'm leaving now you need to get in the car so you aren't left alone. He screamed his bloody head off running naked and barefoot through the snow (yes it was freezing cold outside too) to the car (already warmed up and unnecessary to wear a coat in it) where I seatbelted his diaper only self into his seat after asking once more "are you goign to put your clothes and boots on?" quietly and calmly. He replied "NO!!!" followed by some uncharacteristic of that age group expletives (learned from his already abusive life prior to me).
I got in my seat-put on my seatbelt and drove to my daughters school and his preschool. Asked him again. By this time he'd screamed and cussed at me for 20 miles. He'd finally calmed down and was just crying. Faced with the knowledge that if he said no I would just walk him through the snow barefoot and naked to the school, he agreeably put his clothes and boots on.

ALL the flack I got resulting in his teacher and mother calling children's services. I agreed that yes I did do EXACTLY that. They concluded it was an appropriate use of natural consequences and that any other option would have led to high potential of physical abuse... The key being that at each step he was offered the OPPORTUNITY to correct his behavior and put on appropriate clothing. AND steps were taken to insure no permanent injury (I did NOT make him walk 20 miles in the snow for example, only from door to car).
Amazingly that kid-even with all his other issues due to being a drug baby-does NOT scream and throw fits when I tell him he needs to do something, he does it and if he is confused to why I want him to-he ASKS. Which allows him to learn consequences even if he doesn't have to live them.

If we use our power incorrectly even for a SEEMINGLY good cause-we can REALLY fuck things up for the future.

Recently I've been REALLY harping on the family here that each person MUST consider the LONG term POTENTIAL consequences (good or bad) of their actions because they are responsible for them even if they were unintended.

Ok-sorry-that was long.
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  #26  
Old 12-05-2009, 02:04 AM
Ceoli Ceoli is offline
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I find it frustrating that we (general) say we want to stop/end/reduce oppression and yet our whole systems for our life are (as you were noting) based on oppression, which in turn oppresses us, because we're stuck living in it... I'm not sure how one gets out of that.
One of our issues is Walmart. Everyone complains about purchasing anything from Walmart as it's supporting economies that are big on oppression issues-but it's also the only place with anything REMOTELY affordable to purchase where we live.
This is SOOO true. It's not really fair to expect people to immediately stop doing the things they need to survive for the sake of the hardships they create. We're just as trapped in many ways and your description of it was eloquent and spot on. A lot of the major change that needs to happen can't really happen unless there is political will in a society to create that change.

The main reason I do anti-oppression work is that when people become more aware, that political will does slowly build. I think about how the idea of Fair Trade is far more accepted and generally used than it used to be. People are doing more to consider their carbon footprint (which also ties to a lot of oppression issues) and it's slowly becoming a more fundamental part of our society. And the increased viral nature of the media makes it very difficult to ignore the parts of the world that we're connected to under the surface. Slowly that will is shifting.

As far as ideas for practical things to do, I'm a huge fan of awareness campaigns. Gathering together people who have similar concerns can do wonders to create action. It's a really great way to connect with other people and build a sense of community and justice, as long as you don't mind the metaphorical tomatoes that get thrown at you quite a bit.

But Martin Luther King said it best: The arc of the universe bends towards justice.
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Old 12-05-2009, 02:26 AM
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This is SOOO true. It's not really fair to expect people to immediately stop doing the things they need to survive for the sake of the hardships they create. We're just as trapped in many ways and your description of it was eloquent and spot on. A lot of the major change that needs to happen can't really happen unless there is political will in a society to create that change.

The main reason I do anti-oppression work is that when people become more aware, that political will does slowly build. I think about how the idea of Fair Trade is far more accepted and generally used than it used to be. People are doing more to consider their carbon footprint (which also ties to a lot of oppression issues) and it's slowly becoming a more fundamental part of our society. And the increased viral nature of the media makes it very difficult to ignore the parts of the world that we're connected to under the surface. Slowly that will is shifting.

As far as ideas for practical things to do, I'm a huge fan of awareness campaigns. Gathering together people who have similar concerns can do wonders to create action. It's a really great way to connect with other people and build a sense of community and justice, as long as you don't mind the metaphorical tomatoes that get thrown at you quite a bit.

But Martin Luther King said it best: The arc of the universe bends towards justice.
I'm all for gathering together like-minded support as well. Not up in that right now as I'm temporarily bed-ridden But I think it's a good step. The hardest part for me is that where we live is a fairly well-known (haha) small town (wasilla alaska) and demonstrations of any kind here tend to be VERY VERY small, shortlived and unsuccessful. The amount of SPACE that the small number of people here cover is HUGE.. Wasilla is a tiny part of the Matsu-Borough which is 25,000 square miles. The population in 2003 (most current I could EASILY find at the moment) was 65,241... all spread out over that space. Some of those are fly-in only remote homes of one family (yes seriously).

So anyway-even if I were physically up to doing a rally or other type of gathering-I don't live in a great place for it.


Anyway-I DO think it's a great idea and HOPEFULLY when we move I'll be at least driving distance from places where making a big "scene" like that is more likely and more "seen".
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Old 12-05-2009, 02:34 AM
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Yeah, the bedridden part sucks. How long is that going on?

But gatherings don't necessarily have to be demonstrations. It can start with something as simple as a book group where the books all address oppression issues (I've got a great list of books for such things, though the focus of most of them are around race issues).

An awareness campaign can start with something as simple as bringing in a public speaker who speaks on such topics to a church or bringing in a trainer for a group of people who are interested in learning more about anti-oppressive practices.

Not that demonstrations don't have their place, because they're needed too, they're just one branch of a vast tree. But yeah, I'd think all bets are off in Wasilla for a while longer :P
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Old 12-05-2009, 02:54 AM
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Yeah, the bedridden part sucks. How long is that going on?
Well Tuesday I go in for a cortisone shot to the neck (yuck). That should alleviate a signficant amount of the pain temporarily within 2-3 days. Then I'll be up again until they get a breast reduction scheduled. But that will put me down to some degree or another for another few weeks.
HOPEFULLY that will be enough to resolve the major issues-if not then I'm looking at major surgery to replace the center of the disk and I haven't even LOOKED into the downtime on that yet. HOPING to avoid going that far.

Quote:
But gatherings don't necessarily have to be demonstrations. It can start with something as simple as a book group where the books all address oppression issues (I've got a great list of books for such things, though the focus of most of them are around race issues).
Out of bedrest I tend to be very involved in group activities that are more along that line. In Alaska we have a HUGE number of students who are homeschooled through state and district run programs (due to how many kids don't live where they can access other people much less schools). But there remains a great deal of "oppression" on that topic across the country and much of it negatively impacts us here, inspite of us having a great deal of standing evidence that we not only do it successfully-but very successfully. Anyway-that is one topic that I am HIGHLY involved in up here.
Race not so much-it's really not been a huge deal in my life. When I visited my grandparents in Missouri-WHEW that was a WHOLE other story! I was STUNNED by the racist b.s. that was "normal" in Kansas City. Not to mention disgusted!
Up here things are so racial mixed up, heck we're also mixed up nationalities, that it gets ridiculously silly when someone pops off with rasicst b.s. No one really puts up with it and it tends to result in being ostracized.

HOWEVER-sexism certainly runs rampant!

Quote:
An awareness campaign can start with something as simple as bringing in a public speaker who speaks on such topics to a church or bringing in a trainer for a group of people who are interested in learning more about anti-oppressive practices.

Not that demonstrations don't have their place, because they're needed too, they're just one branch of a vast tree.
I think it would be interesting to hear some of the different oppression issues people on here are experiencing. Because I think it's very different from place to place. I've lived here pretty much my entire life and it's a whole different very sheltered world in many ways then the rest of the US. We just don't encounter the same things as it's so isolated here.

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But yeah, I'd think all bets are off in Wasilla for a while longer :P
UH... YEAH!
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  #30  
Old 12-05-2009, 04:05 AM
NeonKaos NeonKaos is offline
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So anyway-even if I were physically up to doing a rally or other type of gathering-I don't live in a great place for it.
But at least you can SEE Russia from your back porch!

right?
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