March 19th, 2006

Totes Me!

Response: "Other"

Here's another quote from my calendar:

"The 'otherising' of women is the oldest oppression known to our species, and it's the model, the template, for all other oppressions." ~ Robin Morgan, Sisterhood is Powerful scribe

While I hesitate to call the otherising of women the oldest, seeing as I don't want to presume on human history, I could say, yes, 'otherising' is definitely the model for oppressing others.

To make someone the Other is to make them different - since difference frightens the normal human, the proper reaction is to attempt to make this Other inferior, so that there is an excuse for oppression and imposition of one's own ideals. Making someone else the Other, and hence inferior, also gives one a sense of control - "I am the True One, they are the Other and must be made True, or close to it."

As a child from a colonized country and having studied my own history (Yes, you little Malaysian runts, I liked Malaysian history), I understand being an "Other". The British made Others of the Malays, Chinese and Indians, even to each other. Even today we see each other as Others, even though we don't care to admit it (that's why affirmative action is in place).

When I came here to Canada, I was the Other as well, and hung out with other Others until it became quite apparent due to my language skills and thought-patterns that I was not quite so Other.

It is the idea of Otherising that makes so many people forget that we are all, in the end, human.

But what do we do? The idea of the "us" and "them" makes people so comfortable, they sit in their comfort zones and forget to acknowledge one another until their neglect of understanding turns into fear which breeds hatred.

It takes so much effort to care about the world, because there's so much to care about. It's just easier to dismiss the rest of the world - it's someone else's problem, it doesn't concern me. That's a kind of oppression too - failure to take action against oppression breeds even more oppression.

If we recognize we are all someone else's Other deep down inside, what then? Do we feel adrift from the rest of the world? The rest of humanity? Do we not have one common shard deep inside, that even though we are all Others, perhaps - perhaps it's the Otherness we each and all individually own that we have in common?

Are we such an Other then?
Totes Me!

Proposal: Victorian P&P: Oscar Wilde (hates me)

For this proposal, I didn't really have to do a lot of last minute reading, but I still needed a topic and a working bibliography. Dr. Perkin will go through the paper and its ideas and decide for us whether or not we need such and such a book or not.

I still don't really have a clear idea on what I want to write, and considering this is the third research paper due in two weeks... well... my mind is kinda tightening up.

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On the bright side, I got an A for my 17th century proposal.