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Contemporary “Othering”

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  1. Introduction
  2. The view of women as the 'second sex'
  3. The theme of pollution
  4. Homophobia and discrimination against homosexuals
  5. The second rally: Buchignani's speech about the breakdown of Black and Latino families
    1. Mentioning only the disintegration of minority families,
  6. Conclusion
  7. Works cited

A few weeks ago, I joined a protest on the quad against the ?Conservative Coming Out Day?, which was organized by the Orange and Blue Observer and a conservative student group on campus. The conservative group held a ?coming out day? because the members say they feel oppressed on such a liberal campus; they said professors and textbooks all have a liberal bias, and therefore, their views are underrepresented. By using the phrase ?coming out? this group trivialized the incredibly personal and painful experience a homosexual faces when saying aloud, ?I'm gay?. What really upset me was the fact that this group looks down on homosexuals; the members believe that homosexuality is wrong. Thus by co-opting the symbol of the closet, the conservatives made the closet a joke, something to be mocked. Furthermore, this group wanted to auction off derringers, and they encouraged females and homosexuals to enter the raffle because they wanted these supposedly defenseless groups to have equal access to guns. The fliers they handed out said, ?anything that carries a purse can win?. Anything? Are women and homosexuals no longer human? The rhetoric of the speaker appalled me, not only was he dehumanizing women and homosexuals, but he implied (not so subtly) that women need to realize that they need men to protect them. His entire speech was blatantly sexist and homophobic, and it made me feel angry because I wanted to believe that most people had moved past the traditional image of women and marriage.

[...] However, de Beauvoir goes on to say that women are powerful, and they represent a connection with nature that men cannot share. She says that once women are seen as humans, they are no longer objects, and cannot be conquered (de Beauvor, pp. 172) De Beauvoir asserts that women are not passive, despite the fact that they are regarded as the ?second women are active participants in relationships and in life. However, the speaker at this rally seemed to have reverted back to a time when women were still seen as objects to be conquered, instead of people. [...]

[...] This so-called modern man does not want an equal, he wants someone easily controllable but superficially independent-minded. This desire reflects an ancient discourse between men and women that is primarily based on men's desire for power. While the theme of pollution was not overtly discussed in reference to women at the rally, de Beauvoir does discuss the idea that women were seen as dirty or polluted because of their reproductive functions. She asserts that childbirth was seen as dirty, and this dirtiness ?reflects upon the mother? (de Beauvoir, pp. [...]

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