In this manuscript I explore an example of an over‐privileged white woman who encounters two young Black men in a parking garage stairwell. Two related axioms are central to the oppressive script that lies before these subjects: the hetero‐patriarchal axiom that women are not safe alone at night and the racist axiom that Black men, especially young ones, are dangerous. These axioms are intended to ensure a practical conclusion—white women and Black men are supposed to avoid each other—thereby conferring legitimacy on the white male, hetero‐patriarchal order. If this is a performance of oppression, we must ask, what is the performance of freedom?
Freedom, I argue, is the practice of allowing and encouraging a subject's multiple selves to interact so that one may devise and pursue courses of action that have been strategically hidden by systems of domination designed to cultivate pliant agency. My project augments accounts of multiplicitous subjectivity wherein our multiple social worlds socially constitute persons as both oppressor and oppressed, empowered and pliant. The practice of freedom conceived here acknowledges multiplicity while positioning us to seek feminist and antiracist futures that are not configured by oppression.