The predominating media sentiment according to Ransby was that of blaming the victim, or blaming the impoverished residents for being insufficiently prepared for the disaster. Ransby suggests that the fortitude shown by residents, even in the absence of aid, was often considerable, considering their meager resources. Residents were blamed for their poverty, rather than sympathized with.
Ransbys essay made me think critically about the coverage of the event I witnessed: while it was true that many people were praised for going to the afflicted area and helping the victims, I remember far fewer stories praising the resilience of residents. While the blame the victim mentality may have been less in evidence in the coverage I saw than that which was cited by Ransby, I do think that there was a kind of objectification of the victims as a general, faceless representation of extreme poverty that many Americans denied existed within the U.S.
“Oppression,” according to Marilyn French, is ideological, political, and economic.
Women are demonized if they are too sexual — but also their status as true women is questioned if they are not sexual enough. The laws of the land have enacted specific restrictions upon women (such as denying them the right to vote and full access to employment and educational opportunities) which has resulted in women having lesser economic status then men, overall, although this is often hidden under the guise of male chivalry protecting the weaker sex from the workplace. The fact that black women have always had to work, economically, are denied economic and social opportunities, and are demonized if they do not maintain conventional family structures in the wake of a historical legacy that has bifurcated the black family is highlighted in Ransbys essay. Ransbys essay is useful to read in counterpoint to Frenchs essay, although French is addressing the subject of general female oppression..