A lot of social justice conversations focus on power. Who has power in society and who doesn’t?
We highlight how systems inequitably distribute power to some while withholding it from others — based on who we are.
We refer to people who are granted disproportionate power as “privileged,” “majoritized,” “centered,” etc. And those from whom power is withheld as “oppressed,” “minoritized,” “marginalized,” etc.
Now, nobody is only one of those two. We’re both, depending on which situation we’re in, and what dimensions of ourselves are brought to the forefront.
Our goal in talking about this is dismantling inequitable power structures.
The needle on our compass points toward equity. Removing barriers, promoting access, and shrinking the gap between the “haves” and “have nots” — or, in a perfect world, making that dichotomy irrelevant.
One of the things we don’t talk about is how power structures manifest in social justice spaces, or the micro-society that is the community of social justice people.
Here, we preserve the idea of the power structure, but swap out who sits where.Keep reading…