” In order for the oppressed to be able to wage the struggle for their liberation, they must perceive the reality of oppression not as a closed world from which there is no exit, but as a limiting situation which they can transform. This perception is a necessary but not a sufficient condition for liberation; it must become the motivating force for liberating action. Nor does the discovery by the oppressed that they exist in dialectical relationship to the oppressor, as his antithesis–that without them the oppressor could not exist– in itself constitute liberation. The oppressed can overcome the contradiction in which they are caught only when this perception enlists them in the struggle to free themselves”
~~Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of The Oppressed
I have a friend, who is a wife and a mother of 3 in an oppressive marriage, which is forbidden in the faith of Islam. And although Islam gives her the liberation to walk out of the marriage, she won’t, thinking that she couldn’t. She knows she is being oppressed, but she has been conditioned/conditioned herself to think that she will not be able to survive without her oppressor, in this case her husband. Based on what Paulo said above, I think she has not yet perceived that the world is an open place for her, without any limitations as each and every one of us has been equipped with, by the one above.
But I am confident that one day, she will realise it. It took Egypt 30 years to overthrow Mubarak, creating a surreal domino effect in the Arab world that is not only exciting but alarming as well (the events unfolding uncannily match whatever prophecies I have been reading about the coming of Mahdi). But just like the Arab world, I pray that one day she empowers herself and walk out of her bad marriage, just like the Egyptians….