Power is distributed in different ways throughout society, especially in the binary relationships of ethnicity, race, religion, sex and particularly age. The duality involving the conflicting vantage points of childhood and adulthood are vast and biased towards the higher power. This power struggle is evident in every day situations all around the world whether it be in a family dynamic with a parent and child or school systems via teacher and student or more violent as in war ridden cultures. Children become second class citizens and their ideas and opinions become repressed in their own society. The concept of power distributed in society is always slanted towards the majority ruler which consequently displaces and alleviates the role and voice of the Child in said society.
Paolo Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed is dedicated to the oppressed and distressed people of the world. He speaks of both the “Oppressed” and the “Oppressors” and the struggle each party battle with. “The oppressors, who oppress, exploit, and rape by virtue of their power, cannot find in this power the strength to liberate either the oppressed or themselves” (Freire 44). This being said, only the “Oppressed” can truly free themselves from repression as, “only power that springs from the weakness of the
oppressed will be sufficiently strong to free both. Any attempt to ‘soften’ the power of the oppressor in deference to the weakness of the oppressed almost always manifests itself in the form of false generosity” (Freire 44). This false generosity reveals itself to be the very basis of the repression. Freire also mentions an education system that is not based on true dialogue, but rather a veiled system of oppression which encourages the Oppressor but silences the mass. The teacher’s “task is to ‘fill’ the students with the contents of his narration – totality that endangered them and could give them significance. Words are emptied of the concreteness and become a hollow, alienated, and alienating verbosity” (Freire 71). The student’s role is to memorize the information fed to them regardless of the content while ignoring the context it may have on their own culture. They become robotic, submitting to orders rather than carving their own path, thus, creating a society where abnormal opinions and ideas are shunned and rejected.
Yeny and The Children for Peace by Michelle Mulder, is a story about a group of children who organize a peace carnival, attracting children from all across Columbia, and managing to cease the violence in their country for a day with a Vote for Peace. However, this victory was not obtained easily as resistance was shown from many aspects of the children’s lives. Yeny’s plea to attend the meetings for the Carnival was initially rejected by her father due to fear: “I believe in...