September 29, 2014
Diversity in Society
In “The Pedagogy of the Oppressed” by Paulo Freire, Freire focuses on the causes of oppression, why it is difficult to stop it, and what one can do to help prevent it. Oppression takes away the humanity from those being oppressed and also those who oppress –it is the biggest problem of humanity. It is humanity’s biggest problem because many do not treat others as their own kind – instead they treat them like objects that do not have feelings or emotions. We all need to accept the diversity around the world and see it as a chance to grow and fully develop as humans. By not accepting diversity it can stunt our growth and does not help us with our relationships around the world.
Freire spends a great deal of time describing the oppressors themselves and why they do what they do. It is not hard to realize that oppressors cannot stop oppressing because they truly enjoy the power they obtain from it. Whether it is exploiting or raping, they feel very powerful oppressing others and do not want this feeling to fade. The oppressors cannot end oppression because they fear the loss of the “freedom to oppress,” but Freire states that this is not the only reason. The other reason that I do not really agree with is that this power is not strong enough to liberate themselves and those they oppress. How do they not have enough power to end it? Just because they enjoy it so much, that means that they cannot end it? Freire also states that they cannot end oppression because they are also dehumanized while dehumanizing other people, so they have no clue how to get back to humanity. That is something I agree with and understand.
Freire conveys a new term into the reader’s mind, the idea of sub-oppressors. Sub-oppressors are people who are oppressed that may be promoted by their oppressors and become even worse than their masters. I do not understand why someone that was exposed to malnutrition and horrible situations would continue to do it to other people. It does not make sense in my mind, would you not want to improve the situation? Freire also states that most of the time they tend to be more cruel and vicious than their leaders were. An example of a sub-oppressor could be a peasant that was promoted as an overseer by his master. It is not that I disagree with Freire’ statement; I just don’t understand why it would happen. If I had been subjected to become a sex slave and was offered a job to help their business, I would definitely not take the offer. It is interconnected with the old belief that if your parents did something you did not like during your childhood, you would most likely grow up to develop that same trait even if you despised growing up with it.
Freire explains why the oppressed don’t rise up. He states that the oppressed do not have the power to liberate themselves and their oppressors as well. The oppressed could have adapted to the situation and have begun to think what is happening is okay or normal, and think they “understand” why their oppressors oppress them. It is like young girls with their pimps. They think that their pimp loves them and does what is good for them – but forcing them to have sexual relations with strange men for money is not love. However, these girls can’t see that. That is a main reason why Freire says the oppressed do not rise up, because they fail to see the reality in the situation. Another reason he states why they don’t rise up is because they fear freedom since they are not used to it; however, I do not really understand this belief. I am sure slaves who were whipped back in the 1800s did not fear freedom, they desperately desired it, so why is it different nowadays? This fear of freedom is interconnected with the reason why the oppressed become oppressors themselves. The first step towards liberation is making sure the oppressed realize the situation they are in is not just and they deserve much better in life.