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  • Writer's pictureDé Bryant, Ph.D.

Part II: Story and Science

All of this was possible because objective science had been invoked as justification. Until very recently, one basic question could not be seriously raised: "Whose values shaped the science?" This had not occurred because the theories had become sacralized; they were inviolate, self-evident, universal truths. Few dared ask about the origins of the science; the professional and personal consequences were the same as those meted out to any heretic: Expulsion.

Therefore, the major schools of thought did not question the objectification of minorities and women. Objectification is the process of reducing something to the status of "other." The person (or a people) becomes an object to be manipulated and controlled. In its severest form this dehumanization renders the "other" invisible. This enhances the process further because that which cannot be seen has no voice.

Thus, objectification is the ideology on which oppression is based. Once reduced to mere objects, people can readily be contained and exploited. Women were isolated into gender roles which forbad their working outside the home. Minorities were segregated through housing and education to limit their participation in the workforce. The notion of expendability and the message that one can easily be replaced keeps everyone remembering their place. Life becomes compartmentalized into Us-Them, Public-Private, Enemy-Sister.


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