Social Justice Resources List
This is a compilation of links and discussion about some of the terms and concepts that we might reference in the show. We are well-versed in a lot of these ideas and for people who are new to feminist critical lens or social justice communities in general, this might be helpful as we will not always explain some terms or ideas.
oppression – this is societal or even individual action towards a person or a group as a whole that disenfranchises them. This relies on societal structures that consistently harm groups along such lines as race, gender expression, sexuality, and health status.
privilege – this is a term that describes some of the benefits a social group may have due to their position in our culture. It is something granted to you without any effort and may make it harder to recognize oppressive behaviour towards others.
- Brown_Betty – What Privilege Is and Isn’t
- Transformative Justice Law Project of Illinois – Checking Your Privilege 101
“sex” vs. “gender” – this is a fundamental recognition of the difference between the biological sex of a person and gender, which is a socially constructed and expressed identity. What a person identifies as is important.
gender identity – a person’s experience and understanding of their gender.
gender expression – this is how a person chooses to show their gender identity. Note: there is no “right” or “wrong” way to express your gender (or lack thereof.)
gender binary – this is a term to represent the outdated idea that there are only two genders, based on the idea of biological sex.
gender essentialism – term representing socially constructed idea that there are specific traits that a gender always “has” versus a gender encapsulating anything that an individual expresses.
“cis” and “trans” – these are two prefixes (that can be used alone) that indicate if a person’s perceived gender identity matches their assigned birth sex. Cis people have a gender identity that coincides, whereas trans people have a gender identity that differs.
cissexism – this is a form of oppression towards trans individuals that normalizes certain ideas about gender identity and expression that revolves around cis individuals.
internalized oppression – this is a phenomenon wherein a member of an oppressed group internalizes oppressive attitudes towards their group.
social construct – expression of a trait of a social group versus an innate quality of a group itself. These constructions are often enforced to create inequalities in society.
- Example: gender, race
lived experience – this term is used to describe a particular individual’s reality and knowledge through everyday life versus interaction via second-hand accounts or academic studies.
intersectionality – social justice concept of recognizing and deconstructing varying levels of privilege and overlapping social constructions in oppressed groups.
Othering – the practice of rhetorically setting an individual or group as different from the speaker, often in a way that falls along existing oppressive behavior.
“reverse *-ism” – this is a term used erroneously when a member of a privileged group feels criticized or otherwise “oppressed” by a member of an oppressed group without reflecting that oppression relies on both societal power and discrimination, one or more things a member of an oppressed group does not have access to over a member of a privilege group.
- Example: A woman being called “reverse sexist” by pointing out that men can be rapists.
Men’s Rights Activists/MRAs – contemporary social group that believes that societal oppression against men exists and is caused by feminist practices. Often mistakes things such as toxic masculinity or rape culture as the fault of women instead of patriarchal concepts enforced by other men.
rape culture – theory that links cultural ideas to perceptions and rates of sexual violence and assault. Also covers normalization of certain ideas about rapists, rape victims, and casual use of rape in video gaming culture, specifically.
agency – term in social theory referring to a person’s ability to act freely or make their own choices.
ableism – this is a form of oppression towards individuals with disabilities.