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What happened to words like "women" and "poor people"?
This is a sincere question about language.
I was reading an article today, and lingered over this sentence:
" Prostitution, as well as the sex industry as a whole, must be considered in the light of the reality of gender and class oppression and inequality under capitalism as it exists."
I have no issue with the point this sentence raises, but i was struck by the language.
And wondered why do such important matters now get discussed without talking about women's oppression and women's liberation"
What do we gain by inserting that strangely technical term "gender oppression" into this -- without talking about the people who are being oppressed..
And do those who are oppressed here, those living in the sex industry understand that their lives and agony are being opposed when we use terms like "gender and class oppression" -- or do they feel like bugs under an academic microscope?
Similarly doesn't the distant, emotionally-flat term "class oppression" get in the way of discussing the lives and suffering of poor and working people?
Of course, I understand that the issue (sex industry) doesn't just affect women. There is a current within the sex industry that exploits young men and trans people. My point is not that this oppression is just about women.
But: when and why did language like this "gender and class oppression" replace the talk about the people themselves?
Shouldn't we actually talk about women, women's oppression, women's liberation? About the sale of human beings like objects? Isn't the discussion also about the lives and desperation of poor and working people, not some disembodied "class oppression"? (And, in the interest of fairness, that particular article does later discuss women's oppression as such... my point is not about that article, but about the problems of a certain language, and what we should use instead.)
Why is the reality of the subject so often now grayed over by neutral and non-specific terms drawn from blackboard grid diagrams of academic lectures and sociology?