Definitions

As we navigate through this blog, the definitions of these several words will be pertinent to the context of the matters we analyze and discuss.

  • Oppression: prolonged cruel or unjust treatment or control
  • Genocide: the deliberate killing of people who belong to a particular racial, political, or cultural group
  • Privilege: a special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to a particular person or group of people
  • Racism: a belief that one race is superior to the other or the practice of treating a person or group of people differently on the basis of their race – exercised through a basis of power. Racism often presents itself through microaggressions.  Racism manifests through institutions, hidden and apparent, (political systems, education, housing) and does not appear only in microinteractions.
  • Microaggression: brief and commonplace daily verbal, behavioral, or environmental indignities, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative racial slights and insults toward people of color. (Coined by Dr. Chester Pierce)
  • Sexism: “both discrimination based on gender and the attitudes, stereotypes, and the cultural elements that promote this discrimination.” – source
  • Patriarchy: a system of society or government in which men hold the power and women are largely excluded from it.
  • Feminism: the advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men
  • Intersectionality: a concept often used in critical theories to describe the ways in which oppressive institutions (racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, xenophobia, classism, etc.) are interconnected and cannot be examined separately from one another – source
  • Consent: source 1source 2
    • Consent to sexual activity can be communicated in a variety of ways, but one should presume that consent has not been given in the absence of clear, positive agreement
    • Consent must be clear and unambiguous for each participant at every stage of a sexual encounter. The absence of “no” should not be understood to mean there is consent.
    • A prior relationship does not indicate consent to future activity.
    • Consent can only be given if participants are of age, which varies from state to state.
    • A person who is asleep or mentally or physically incapacitated, either through the effect of drugs or alcohol or for any other reason, is not capable of giving valid consent.
  • Rape: unlawful sexual intercourse or any other sexual penetration of the vagina, anus, or mouth of another person, with or without force, by sex organ, other body part, or foreign object, without the consent of the victim
  • Cultural appropriation: Taking intellectual property, traditional knowledge, cultural expressions, or artifacts from someone else’s culture without permission. This can include unauthorized use of another culture’s dance, dress, music, language, folklore, cuisine, traditional medicine, religious symbols, etc. It’s most likely to be harmful when the source community is a minority group that has been oppressed or exploited in other ways or when the object of appropriation is particularly sensitive, e.g. sacred objects. – source
  • Male Privilege: a term for social, economic, and political advantages or rights that are made available to men solely on the basis of their sex. A man’s access to these benefits may also depend on other characteristics such as race, sexual orientation and social class.  Incomplete lists of these privileges can be found here and here.
  • White Privilege: a transparent preference for whiteness that saturates our society. White skin privilege serves several functions. First, it provides white people with “perks” that we do not earn and that people of color do not enjoy. Second, it creates real advantages for us. White people are immune to a lot of challenges. Finally, white privilege shapes the world in which we live — the way that we navigate and interact with one another and with the world.  Incomplete lists of these privileges can be found here and here.
  • Transgender: denoting or relating to a person whose self-identity does not conform unambiguously to conventional notions of male or female gender
  • Agender: described as genderless, non-gender, gender neutral, or neutrois. Agender is an identity under the nonbinary and transgender umbrellas. Agender individuals have a neutral gender identity and/or gender expression or none at all – source
  • Genderfluid: Genderfluid individuals have multiple gender identities at different times or in different situations. A genderfluid individual’s gender identity could be multiple genders at once, and then switch to none at all, or move between single gender identities – source
  • Genderqueer: an umbrella term covering non-normative gender identity and gender expression. The label may also be used by individuals wishing to identify as holding queer or non-normative gender without being any more specific about the nature of their gender – source
  • Intersex: Intersex people have some aspect of their sex that is inconsistent with conventional ideas of male and female sex, in their primary or secondary sexual characteristics, hormones, or chromosomes.  An intersex person may have any gender identity. They may agree with their assigned gender (cisgender), or they may think of themselves as transgender, or it may be more complicated. They may or may not think of themselves as being part of the LGBTIQAP spectrum – source
  • Police State: a political unit characterized by repressive governmental control of political, economic, and social life usually by an arbitrary exercise of power by police and especially secret police in place of regular operation of administrative and judicial organs of the government according to publicly known legal procedures – source
  • Racial Profiling: refers to the targeting of particular individuals by law enforcement authorities based not on their behavior, but rather their personal characteristics. It is generally used to encompass more than simply an individual’s race. As used in this report, it encompasses race, ethnicity, national origin, and religion—and means the impermissible use by law enforcement authorities of these personal characteristics, to any degree, in determining which individuals to stop, detain, question, or subject to other law enforcement activities – source

We will update this incomplete list as time goes on.

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