Oppression: Roots & Impact – LAS required Course
This course I took online during the Fall 2017 Semester. It focused on different aspects of oppression, including the roots of it, and the overall impact. Throughout the class we explored various groups that have been oppressed throughout history, including African Americans, Native Americans, and people who have disabilities. We discussed how each group experienced oppression through different types of power such as economic power or political power and what the outcome of that oppression was or even still is.
What I learned: In general, I actually learned a lot from this class. I have always known about oppression and how different groups have been and continue to be oppressed, but I never really dove into it as much as I did in this class. We discussed people who have disabilities and person first language, which puts the person before the disability, reminding us that people are people and disabilities are medical diagnosis. Within both ADA and IDEA, both laws that outline the rights that people with disabilities should have in education and public places. Also, this class has section on gender and sexuality. WE discussed the difference between sex and gender and how it applies to everyday life. That section also went over how gender discrimination relates to homosexuality and sexism. I found it most interesting and disheartening that homophobia and sexism stem from the traditional gender roles and how men and women “should” act. Next, we learned about poverty and how oppression plays a role in that. Finally, a majority of the class was learning about oppression through religion, race, ethnicity, and culture. We talked about how all of those ideas can be interconnected and how each has many stereotypes attached.
Challenges: The biggest challenge for me in this class was that it was online. It had great topics and was fun to learn about but having an in class lecture would have been helpful to discuss more deeply into each section. However, on the other hand, having the online class also freed up a little bit of my time which was a very nice aspect of the class.
What this class have to do with Leadership: This class in a leadership aspect focused on how oppression and leadership can go hand in hand. If you use your leadership and power in the wrong ways, even without knowing it, you could create oppression. Learning about different types of power and how people can misuse them can help teach people to not use power for the wrong reasons. Also, as Leaders it is our duty to help vanquish oppression and advocate for people who are discriminated against.
Overall, I really enjoyed this class. I learned so much about oppression and how it pertains to leadership. It was helpful knowledge for now and in the future.