|“||While everyone's experience of oppression is different and complicated and often overlapping, I really believe that if you have privilege, you need to learn as much as you can about the world beyond yourself.||”|
Oppression is the state of being subjected to unjust and/or cruel treatment, persecution, pressure, distress and/or control. Oppression can take the form of large-scale, deplorable acts, such as seen in the racist reaction to the Civil Rights Movement or the genocidal actions of despotic governments, but it need be neither obvious, large, nor even deliberate on the part of the oppressor. Oppression also takes the form of microaggressions, behaviors that cause small distress at any given moment, but which add up over time to a large, caustic, and hostile environment. Microaggressions can be subconscious behaviors, such as interrupting, ignoring or appropriating the work of an oppressed individual. They can also be more deliberate, although still small, behaviors that attempt to discredit and gaslight an oppressed individual.