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This Glossary provides a central place to find the meaning of key terms in Gender-Based Violence (GBV) work and to access resources for further learning. It will grow and change as the GBV field does. If you find a term should be added or revised, please contact us at vawln@uwo.ca

You can view the terms associated with a letter by selecting the letter below. Crossed out letters do not have any terms. You can also click here for a PDF of all the included terms.

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Objectification

“If one objectifies something (or someone), one views it and treats it as an object for the satisfaction of one’s desire; but this is not all, for objectification is assumed to be a relation of domination where one also has the power to enforce one’s view. Objectification is not just ‘in the head’; it is actualized, embodied, imposed upon the objects of one’s desire. So if one objectifies something, one not only views it as something which would satisfy one’s desire, but one also has the power to make it have the properties one desires it to have.” [1] 

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Footnotes:

[1] Haslanger, S. (2012). Resisting reality: Social construction and social critique. Oxford University Press, pp.64–5. Quoted in Stock, K. (2015). Sexual objectification. Analysis. Oxford Academic. Oxford University Press, pp. 191–195. Retrieved from https://academic.oup.com/analysis/article/75/2/191/165327.

Oppression

“The unilateral subjugation of one individual or group by a more powerful individual or group, using physical, psychological, social or economic threats or force, and frequently using an explicit ideology to sanction the oppression. Refers also to the injustices suffered by marginalized groups in their everyday interactions with members of the dominant group, or with the social systems that reinforce the dominant group’s social position. The marginalized groups usually lack avenues to express reaction to disrespect, inequality, injustice and lack of response to their situation by individuals and institutions that can make improvements.” [1]

Systems of oppression are discriminatory institutions, structures, norms, to name a few, that are embedded in the fabric of our society… In the context of social justice, oppression is discrimination against a social group that is backed by institutional power. That is to say, the various societal institutions such as culture, government, education, etc. are all complicit in the oppression of marginalized social groups while elevating dominant social groups.” [2] 

Footnotes:

[1] LGBTQ2S Toolkit. (2016, November 07). Anti-Oppression Framework Refresher. Retrieved from http://lgbtq2stoolkit.learningcommunity.ca/training/anti-oppression-framework-refresher/

[2] Simon Fraser Public Interest Research Group (2020). Systems of oppression. SFPIRG Info Hub. Retrieved from https://sfpirg.ca/infohub/systems-of-oppression/#:~:text=Systems%20of%20oppression%20are%20discriminatory,is%20backed%20by%20institutional%20power