Janet Chafetz and Patricia Hill Collins are on the poles of a balance since the first thinks people unwilling conform to social arrangements. The former believes living oppression has made black women especially aware. Chafetz feels attitudes exist that tend to perpetuate gender disparity, “Gender inequality usually functions without coercion. This implies that women cooperate in their own oppression… ‘People of both genders tend to make choices that conform to the dictates of the gender system status quo’” (Allan 2008). Chafetz’s affirmation makes the oppressed responsible for the oppressor’s actions. Collins recognizes there are intersecting oppressions making it difficult for people to think about the alternatives. She considers once people become aware of inequalities they develop a skeptical view about the status quo.
Is experiencing oppression a way to conform to social norms or a way to become aware of them?