After reading Ayvazian’s “Interrupting the Cycle of Oppression,” I learned a lot about how to be a good ally, reduce violence, and be a positive role model. She defines an ally as a member of a dominant group in our society who works to dismantle any form of oppression from which he or she receives the benefit. Allied behavior means taking personal responsibility for the changes we know are needed in our society. After the exercise we did in class that prompted us to write about a situation where we had an ally, bystander, and oppressor I realized how lucky I was and how important it is to have a good ally in a sticky situation.
Upon my reading there was a particular sentence that stuck out to me more than anything else. “Even a white, able-bodied, heterosexual, Christian male will literally grow out of his total dominance if he reaches old age.” This description is exactly what I am in society today. Could I really be considered as losing dominance the older and older I get? The thought alone was pretty scary to think about I’m not going to lie. If this does indeed happen how will I react? I will finally know what it is like I guess to no longer be part of a dominant group and I hope that I will have allies that will stick up for me.
I guess what I’m trying to say that now is the time to for me to start being a good ally and positive role model for others who are not as fortunate as me because one day I might not be so fortunate and be forced to be dependent on others. I think the main lesson from reading Ayvazian will sound very cliché, but is to treat others how you want to be treated. Pay it forward. If I do the right thing for those who need people to stick up for them maybe others will follow in my path. If I show my younger brother and cousins that I am a good role model I feel as if that’s a great service I can do for them.
My comment for the class if for all us to reflect on Ayvazian’s writing. No matter what race, class, or gender we can all be positive role models. Just because I am a white male it doesn’t mean that I can’t learn an important lesson on how to be a better person from an African American woman. I think if society as a whole develops a similar mentality I believe there will be great progress