One huge difference between the oppression Western and American women and ethnic minorities in America experience, to mind at least, is that while both have been denied (throughout time) suffrage, property, volition, independence, [unlimited] educational opportunities, and the power of unrestricted earnings, Western and American women have held certain areas of power and dignity [up until the 1700s to 1900s, at any rate] that were undenied. If we can accept insights from literature as well as life, we have but to look at Wealtheow of Beowulf, Elizabeth Boyle of Spenser's Amoretti, Queen Elizabeth I, Jane Austen's Lady de Bourgh, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Jacqueline Kennedy to see that within the real oppression--escalated since the 1700s--Western women have and do experience, there is an underlying consciousness of value and power that is not experienced by oppressed ethnic minorities who lived and who are living in America. As Langston Hughes so eloquently expressed in his poetry, for ethnic minorities in America, and especially for those of Hughes's ethnicity, there is no such underlying consciousness. The struggles of ethnic peoples begins with insisting that they do have innate value and power and--at times in America's history--humanity and humanity's dignity. To my mind, the oppression of Western women and that of ethnic minorities in the West is a comparison that is unjust to the ethnic peoples.