Free Liberation Theology essay:
There are many steps in the liberation process, but before action can be taken to enact change one has to have a consciousness-raising experience. Other ways to say consciousness-raising experience are having a personal awakening or becoming aware of the ways one is oppressed or oppresses others. Having a realization is essential to the liberation process because it is this initial awareness of injustice that drive people to commit their lives to exposing and correcting societal wrongs.
If a person is not oppressed by injustice there is a slim chance of them speaking out against it, and no chance of them acting to correct it. For example, if I would have never attended Notre Dame College, I would not know how beneficial to women a single sex environment could be. I grew up in co-educational public school and was never a person who had a hard time talking in class. It seemed simple enough to speak out when I had something to contribute to the class, and it never occurred to me that girls would not want to talk in class because there were boys or because they felt the teacher did not value their opinion as much as a male student. The thought of my idea being put second to a man’s was something I never considered because I was, or so it seemed to me, assertive enough to be heard. When I saw girls that were quiet in school, who did not want to be called on, and did not want to express their opinion in class I thought they were shy or had weak support for their opinion. When I started to receive mail from Notre Dame, I read that boys are more likely to be called on in class than girls, and girls in a single sex environment speak out easily and have more confidence in their work and themselves.
When I arrived at Notre Dame I saw these facts come alive in class. I had more open discussion with other women, and found a sisterhood among ‘the girls’ that I never had with classmates in high school. It was wonderful to have female interaction in a class where other women felt equal to their classmates and contributed several times a class. Now I have an awareness that I can take, as a teacher, into my own classroom that will help my students feel comfortable contributing in class no matter what their gender.
Unfortunately, as the college went co-ed I also saw how money seems to be put ahead of the students as the most important thing. This seemed to be the first consciousness raising event I had and has made me the cynical person I am today. Now I am always looking into the ulterior motives as to why people do the things they do. I feel that money and power are the reasons people make the decisions they do. The show on El Salvador was further proof that things are not always what press releases say they are. In the past, I considered myself a person who trusted first and asked questions later, but now I find I am trusting with expectations of the worst. I have had a consciousness-raising experience that has isolated me from the society that has confidence in the way our country is run and our involvement with other countries.
I can bring my skepticism into the present day news by saying I feel our government is hiding behind their ’war on terrorism’ and using it as a faзade for forcing eastern people to live a western way of life. The United States could seize one-third of world’s oil by winning a war in the Middle East. Even though I seem to be a negative thinking person, I do not consider myself pessimistic. I feel there is hope for humanity. I believe that the Catholic Church is on the right track in helping the oppressed, but the reasons there are oppressed people go far beyond them just being down on their luck, and it takes brave people to stand against, not only the direct oppressor, but the higher ups who seem to found their society on degrading the lower class.
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