A Hard Analysis of Annihilation

Helena Klassen


In this paper, I use the concept of oppression as defined by feminist philosophers to define the concept of "annihilation." Oppressive systems are difficult to dismantle because they are built to rely on the very identities we use to define ourselves. In attempting to dismantle the structures of oppression, we also may have to dismantle our selves, a concept I call "annihilation." This annihilation is hard to come to terms with, as it can be extremely threatening, even more so that the oppression that also threatens to undo us. Yet, I argue that annihilation is necessary to the undoing of oppressive systems, and therefore can be a positive tool for undoing oppressive identities without leaving us self-less.

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