From what I’ve understood of women’s oppression across ages, I would support a new feminist humanism in which would be based on ‘democratic reconstruction’. This way, we can avert ethnocentric mistakes about what it means to be human. In order to mitigate women’s oppression, one has to recognize how it is tied to other forms of oppression. For all women gender is at all times interlocked with other systems of oppression “depending on their race, class, sexuality, physical and mental abilities, religion, nationality, age, relation to children and so on.” (Grant, 1995, p. 56) It is futile to solve women’s subordination at the exclusion of various other forms of oppression. Hence a sound motto for social change would be ‘liberation of the self’ – a liberation that applies across various axis of oppression.
In my professional practice I would take a sceptical approach to dominant ideologies of culture in order to prevent oppression. Take say the ideology of multiculturalism in the postcolonial Canadian context. Today Canadian politicians use catchwords such as ‘inclusive politics’. But a closer scrutiny reveals how such posturing deflects attention from “the colonization of peoples within Canada and other forms of racial oppression.” (Sullivan, Eyre, & Roman, 1998, p. 233) In this respect one has reason to be suspicious of how far the ideology of multiculturalism can be regarded liberatory. In Canada of today, we see how immigrants’ participation and integration into society is hampered by policies of multiculturalism, leading to unequal treatment meted out to different ethno-demographic groups. This understanding of the oppressive outcomes of multiculturalism will inform the decisions I would take in my professional practice. Since the ideology of multiculturalism is equally applicable to institutions as they are to nation-states, they hold relevance to my professional practice.
Professionals would benefit greatly through their cognisance of Du Bois’ discourse on race and racism, as it brings to focus the often-neglected fact that
“it is possible to reject biology-based concepts of race and any and all forms of racism without denying the socio-historic and politico-economic reality of race and racism. The so-called “anti-race” theorists who argue that race and race-consciousness are the cause of racism and racial oppression are quite simply thinking wrong about race and have not done their homework on the origins and evolution(s), and the historic socio-political uses and abuses of race.” (Robinson & Diaz, 1999, p. 33)
These days all the professions are increasingly getting corporatized. This is a dangerous tendency for it undermines independence and critical engagement with pressing issues facing the profession. It constrains fair-minded professional by making them vulnerable to “the sweeping moves toward corporate restructuring, privatization, down-sizing and amalgamation”. (Sullivan, Eyre, & Roman, 1998, p. 233) The cumulative effects of these effects are slowly converting professional practice into “systems of award restructuring, productivity agreements, standardization, and a re-emphasis on professionalism — all of which thwart the development of a praxis oriented, site-specific, politically engaged practice”. (Sullivan, Eyre, & Roman, 1998, p. 233) In the case of professionals in the field of education, we are already witnessing how