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Women's and Gender Studies
Jin Park

2012-09-26 IEEC31/WSTC21: Gender, Health, Science in Transnational Perspective Lecture 3 • The social construction of human sexuality and the construction of normal and abnormal Film: Life and Times of Sarah Bartman: Hottentot Venus • The Hottentot Venus • Khoi Khoi= hunter-gatherers and lived in caves as well as recorded their history • 1790= arrival of Europeans; civil war erupted b/w the KhoiKhoi and the Dutch • KhoiKhoi also known as Bushmen/Bushwomen o The notion that the Bushmen were not entirely human but rather “sub- human”; a subgroup of humans but not entirely • The southern Africans were more exotic and interesting to adventurers/naturalists because of their genital anatomy particularly the KhoiKhoi women o Mindset= are these people (KhoiKhoi) really human? • 20 March 1810: boarded ship for England and the trip lasted for 3 months from South Africa • June 1810: slave trade was abolished in England 3 years prior o Most blacks in England walked the middle line of slavery and servitude or even beggary o The ,main goal was to make a profit of Sarah Baartman  Sold to the man Henrik Cezar o Baartman thought to be a freak b/c of her large buttocks and varied in figure from Englishwomen and also from women in neighboring isles of England o Piccadily= popular entertainment arena and freak shows were the biggest attractions  225 Piccadily Street= Sarah Baartman is “exhibited” o Court case forwarded on grounds of abuse against Baartman undertaken by abolishment movement Lecture: • Purpose of the film is to locate the location and life of Sarah Baartman • Critiques of the time (contemporary moment) about how race and sexuality were understood • How Baartman was singled out and exploited because of her body o Exotic and considered animal-like; trace the representations of body in the European’s mind o How she became a spectacle in London and Paris • How feminist scholars would approach this issue? o Approach the moment and the representations of Baartman o The film requires are expert information, journalist reports, and evidence; seek
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