“Idealizing” the “Other”

Pinder 119-156

Elizabeth Stuart, Hope College 2018

Reading through both essays in Pinder, The Hottentot and the Prostitute by Sander Gilman and Going Native by Abigail Solomon-Godeau these essays share a common theme. This is the theme of sex and sexuality, especially in the manner that white culture has historically ascribed predetermined aspects of sexuality to the other.

Personally I believe that this came about from the idea that historically culture did not allow the same freedom of interpersonal relationships that is seen in the world today. People had this desire for sexual encounters, but did not feel as if the personal sex drive they possessed was morally ok. To combat the guilty feelings that this desire for sex caused in them, they would create this sexual “ideal” in the form of those who where different or “other”. Men could then feel justified for their desires because there was and appropriate “outlet” for there desires, and women could feel justified because as long as they were not as bad as the “other” how morally incorrect could they be. People look for and foster this sense of fault in the world, as long as they themselves are better then than the worst.

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