The Interpretation Of Oppression By Marilyn Frye

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Nikky Xiong Feminist Philosophy Nancy Bauer Oct 12th, 2015 The Interpretation of Oppression Women and men are born equal. However, females are receiving unequal judgement and unfair treatment in the society, and thus Marilyn Frye brings up the notion of “oppression”, claiming that women are oppressed. Throughout the essay, I will first give the definition of Frye’s oppression and then list 5 critical qualifications to be considered oppressed. After that, I will explain my appreciation on Frye’s perspective on elaborating oppression using the “bird cage” analogy. I will support Frye’s “double-bind” argument for sexism followed by flaws in the argument. Furthermore, I will point out some social group are mistakenly placed inside or outside the parameters of oppression, once the theory of oppression extends over other marginal groups. Given the definition of oppression as a system of interrelated barriers and forces which “mold”, “immobilize”, and “reduce” a certain group of people, and affect their subordination to another group (Frye 4), Frye lists out five premises in order to be considered oppressed. First of all, the group of people must be restricted. In other words, there must be limitations or barriers on them. For example, women make 78 cents for every dollar earned by men (Kessler 1). Second, “those restrictions surely cause harm, which must outweigh any potential benefits oppressed groups experience as a result of those same restrictions” (Gillingham 1). For
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