Summary Of Iris Young's Five Faces Of Oppression

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Women face two key forms of oppression in this world, powerlessness and exploitation. These two forms fall into Iris M. Young’s ideas of oppression in her article “Five Faces of Oppression”. The definition of cultural imperialism and exploitation used in this essay are taken from Young’s essay. Cultural imperialism is where the dominant customs and morals of a society are rendered as the norm and those who are not in the norm are considered others. Exploitation is a form of oppression where a class structure is present and this class structure includes a dominant group of people who are in power of a subordinate group. Two authors, John Stuart Mill and Simone de Beauvoir, talk about how the oppression of women is not due to nature. It is rather, in Mill’s view, due to a premodern law of force which divides men and women between the strong and the weak. Beauvoir sees this oppression of women as a result from socialization, which conformed women to become immanent. Both these authors have reasonable arguments and have a similar understanding that the inferiority of women is not from the simple nature of being women. Other factors come into play when understanding why women are oppressed, and both authors recognize the fact that society and old habits must change for the equality of women and men to become a reality. The past history of subjection towards women by accounts of nature is one of the reasons that women are still oppressed today. John Stuart Mill in his writing

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