Blog 4: Mishell and Adam; Vulnerability in Resistance

We see vulnerability in different ways.

In the context of social activity, when referring to vulnerability we think of openness, willingness to bare our souls and ideologies with others that may or may not harm us. For us, seeing a man crying is a sign of vulnerability. Sharing a secret with someone, is putting your trust in their hands and hoping they do not betray you. In regards to the vulnerability spoken about in the article, it depicts a different image than one normally perceived. The article talks about physical, emotional, and psychological vulnerability expressed through the act of resistance through the means of protest. Vulnerability is often enhanced by assembly of the masses in a form of protest in which they placed their entities in front of threatening bodies of violence, such as officers, lawmakers, and the public’s backlash.

One thing we feel important to touch upon is the level and standards of vulnerability. Vulnerability is measured in many ways, both physical and spiritual. Without shelter, one is vulnerable to the elements, which would leave space for assault, hunger and violence. Additionally, vulnerability can be assumed by analyzing the level of marginalization a group has in their society, what about that group makes them lesser, as well as who is the dominant force controlling that culture. Different societies have different definitions of vulnerability for different subjugated groups. Looking at a specific society is imperative to acurately assess and formulate a cohesive action plan to combat these issues.

The article explains how vulnerability is enhanced by assembling. While we agree this is true, it is necessary to explore this more in regards to various aspects. Here are some questions we posed: Does assembling, and exposing vulnerability more than before, enhance the level at which a group would be oppressed? How does a movement find a balance between utilizing vulnerability and assembling so that their goal is accomplished in a timely matter. Does the discourse of a marginalized group who proclaim vulnerability subject them to lesser status? Does this then discount their own agency because then their presence is even more known, restricted, and subjugated by those who hold power?

If a group of people are being subjected, and a group rallies and attempts to break free, often we will see the ones who hold power tighten their grasp, silence and manipulate their words, and worsen the livelihood of those who spoke up. Without proper action, things may only get worse.

That past statement is a powerful albeit controversial one, and in part written though the lens of a devil’s advocate because we believe mobilizing and assembling is essential to any successful platform reaching for new ground, even if at first it is bumpy. Resistance in any regard will spark conversation, and eventually bring the issues to a larger light.

Something interesting from the article that stuck out to us is the discussion of how white people in California were losing their population status as a majority, and claimed they were “vulnerable”. This sparked the question of vulnerability in the dominant group. Are white people vulnerable? What dictates vulnerability in a group? As explained in the first paragraph, we think of vulnerability as putting yourself out there and taking a risk in a situation that is otherwise the non-dominant norm. When white people cry vulnerability, are they under the same definition of vulnerability that a subjugated group carries because they carry the dominant ideologies and agendas?

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