Fighting Oppression

Why is fighting imposter syndrome so important? Oppression is a form of abuse. "Othering" marginalized people -- treating them as less valuable, less worthy, as "less-than" -- is a key part of oppression. And seeing yourself as less-than -- i.e., having imposter syndrome -- is one of the most consistent effects of any kind of abuse.

Why is fighting imposter syndrome so important? Oppression is a form of abuse. "Othering" marginalized people -- treating them as less valuable, less worthy, as "less-than" -- is a key part of oppression. And seeing yourself as less-than -- i.e., having imposter syndrome -- is one of the most consistent effects of any kind of abuse.

When we fight imposter syndrome, we fight the people, systems, and situations that oppress us.

We drain their power to harm us, and to make us harm ourselves and each other.

Oppressive systems are sly. They make it seem like they’re just the stuff that’s blatant and visible. Laws against us, vocal public defamation of our communities, public attacks, et cetera.

But they replicate themselves inside our heads. They teach us that we will never be valuable as human beings. They teach us that our experiences, our voices, our lives don’t matter.

They teach us that it’s possible for someone to be less valuable as a human being, or to be worthless. Which is a lie.

They teach us that it’s reasonable to judge others, to look at them with contempt. Which is a lie.

But a tempting one. Because we’re actively being judged… and if the system can get us to believe that it’s possible for one person to be worth less than another… then it’s natural for us to try to heal that “less-than” feeling by believing that we’re better, more valid people, than our oppressors. Or another oppressed group. Or people within our own community who are a little different than us.

Oppression creates imposter syndrome: the feeling that we aren’t good enough. The feeling of being less-than. And it teaches us to perpetuate that with other marginalized people.

If we can stop buying into these beliefs, stop operating this way in the world, then the system begins to wither.

The more people do that, the less power it has to draw upon.

Eventually, we can become the majority, the dominant perspective on the world, and take down oppression entirely.