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HAT Forum - "The Isms"

  • The 519, Rm 304 (check lobby screen) 519 Church Street Toronto, ON, M4Y 2C9 Canada (map)

The ISMS 

In a social justice context, oppression is what happens when individuals or groups of people are discriminated against or assumptions are made about them based on isms.   

Heterosexism A subcategory of sexism, heterosexism describes the pattern in which people with clearly defined genders are assumed to want to have sexual relationships exclusively with members of the opposite gender. Since not everybody does, the outliers can be punished with ridicule, restriction of partnership rights, discrimination, arrest, and even possibly death.

Cisgender refers to people whose gender identity matches the sex they were born with. Cisgenderism is a form of oppression that assumes, or forces, everyone that is born male identifies as male and everyone that is born female identifies as female. Cisgenderism does not take into account the people who do not identify with their assigned gender roles or who do not have clearly-assigned gender roles.

Classism is a social pattern in which wealthy or influential people congregate with each other and oppress those who are less wealthy or less influential. Classism also establishes rules about whether or not and under what circumstances members of one class may cross over into another class, say via marriage or work.

Racism Whereas bigotry means having an intolerance for people of other races, religions, etc., racism assumes that those from other races are actually genetically inferior human beings. Racism has prevailed throughout human history as a justification for a host of oppressive actions.

Colorism is a social pattern in which people are treated differently based on the amount of visible melanin in the skin. Colorism is not the same thing as racism, but the two tend to go together.

Ableism is a social pattern in which people who are disabled are treated differently, to an unnecessary degree, than those who are not. This could take the form of either not accommodating those with physical or mental disabilities or treating them as if they are unable to live without assistance.

Lookism/Sizeism: is a social pattern in which people whose faces and/or bodies fit social ideals are treated differently from people whose faces and/or bodies do not. Standards of beauty vary from culture to culture, but just about every human society has them.

Ageism is a social pattern in which people of a certain chronological age are treated differently, to an unnecessary degree, than those who are not. 

Nativism is a social pattern in which people who are born in a given country are treated differently from those who immigrate to it, to the benefit of natives.

Colonialism is a social pattern in which people who are born in a given country are treated differently from those who immigrate to it.
Discuss:

Have you experienced discrimination based on one more of the isms?
Have you ever categorised someone based on the way they look, their gender or any other "identifier"?

from: www.thought.com Modified for HAT Forum 2019

NOTE: The HAT Forum adheres strictly to the City of Toronto Policy on Non-Discrimination (http://www.the519.org/public/content/policy-files/The519SpaceUsePolicy.pdf)