When it comes to talking about crises against humanity, people might tense up, flat out deny the events that occurred, vehemently persuade you that something needs to change, or quickly change the subject for the sake of keeping the peace. Unfortunately, when it comes to Women’s Studies and Holocaust and Genocide Studies, common reactions are to shut down or immediately hop to throwing out stereotypes. The connections between both fields of study are plentiful though. In Women’s Studies, a conglomeration of perspectives is used for the sake of egalitarianism of all genders, races, social classes and identities. By way of demystification, issues harming humanity are analyzed to come up with viable solutions. In Holocaust and Genocide Studies, crimes against humanity, terrorism, and solutions to stop these horrendous acts are analyzed. Feminists and Holocaust/Genocide Scholars run into intersections of subordinate identities regularly. Intersectional invisibility construes that having multiple subordinate identities renders a person “invisible” in comparison to those with just one subordinate identity; males who are white and gay are significantly advantaged in comparison to black/gay identifying males (Purdie-Vaughns and Eibach 2008). Similar to Women’s Studies refuters claiming that we don’t need feminism or that it simply doesn’t exist, there are Holocaust deniers and individuals that find genocide studies to be pointless.
To put it succinctly, facts cannot be denied toward the maltreatment of groups of people. A rough estimate of approximately 170,000,000 people has been murdered in cold blood by governments (Rummel 2002). Considering that this is an estimate and casualties in wars are easily hidden, those numbers are extremely high. In a similar fashion, at least 28 transgender people were killed in 2017 (Human Rights Campaign 2018). Feminists and Genocide scholars alike aim to stop these horrific crimes from occurring by taking a deeper look at the events leading to these atrocities. Psychology is my minor, so there’s also a direct link between the psychology of death and dying to war crimes like mass murder. Extensive books have been written about Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, Saddham Hussein and other individuals that wreaked havoc on entire nations based upon what identified people. Whether it be narcissism or a psychopathic necessity to destroy other lives for an adrenaline rush, events like The Holocaust have occurred by way of sick individuals. Multidisciplinary studies break down how these people came to power and offer solutions for change. Without advocacy, no productive agency can exist. Women’s Studies, Holocaust and Genocide Studies and Psychology are all tied together with understanding for betterment. Workplaces have Diversity Training, Human Resources and Equal Employment Opportunities as a result of analyzing how crimes against humanity have shaped us. A general consensus about diversity is that it improves workplace conditions and productivity, so embracing the differences that people have in identity can be the perfect source of advocacy. The industrialized world as we know it has deeply benefitted from taking atrocities and flipping them around. Perhaps Holocaust and Genocide Studies are the place to start.
On Intersectional Feminism – https://denison.edu/academics/womens-gender-studies/feature/67969
How to deal with Holocaust deniers – https://wizzley.com/advice-holocaust-deniers/
Ways to raise awareness for the betterment of humanity – https://www.nonprofitmarketingguide.com/blog/2014/02/19/top-ten-ideas-for-raising-awareness/
Human Rights Campaign. “Violence Against the Transgender Community in 2017.” Human Rights Campaign, www.hrc.org/resources/violence-against-the-transgender-community-in-2017.
Purdie-Vaughns, Valerie, and Richard P. Eibach. “Intersectional Invisibility: The Distinctive Advantages and Disadvantages of Multiple Subordinate-Group Identities.” Sex Roles, vol. 59, no. 5-6, July 2008, pp. 377–391., doi:10.1007/s11199-008-9424-4.
Rummel, R. J. “POWER, GENOCIDE, AND MASS MURDER.” Hawai`i Creole English, 27 Nov. 2002, www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/POWER.ART.HTM.
Mikalah Lake is a senior in the Women’s Studies department, minoring in Psychology. She is drawn to Women’s Studies because of the critical thinking and awareness the assignments require. Based off the female genealogy in her family, she hopes to break the cycle of oppression through the opportunities her education has afforded her. Areas of intrigue include global studies, intersectionality, public health, body modification and sexuality. She has an Instagram page called @bodyloristsofhr that aims to enlighten through personal stories.