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Some of the consequences of colonial thinking about Aboriginal women’s sexuality for Aboriginal women themselves Report (Assessment)


Hannah Roberts writes that the white man’s colonization of Australia did not only involve taking away the native’s land, it also included the colonization of the Aboriginal woman’s body.

The white man often used the Aboriginal woman’s body for sexual satisfaction, yet tried to maintain pretence of separation between the colonizers and the colonized because of his obsession with racial purity and pride (Roberts, 2001, pp.188). The Aboriginal woman was considered to be inherently sexual and immoral, and in some cases, was characterized as ‘bond slaves of Satan’.

The colonizers used this line of thinking to justify their colonization of the Aboriginal woman’s body. These women were referred to using derogatory names such as ‘gin’, ‘stud’, ‘breeder’, and so on, to distinguish them from other women, mainly white.

Due to their labeling as sexual objects, aboriginal women’s consent was rarely sought whenever the white man desired to have sex with them. Consequently, the native women were supposed to submit themselves to the colonizers, failure of which would lead to violent acts, as Roberts points out, instances of frequent shootings, torture, capture and rape against such were common.

Roberts further points out that because of the colonizer’s labeling of the Aboriginal women as sexual materials, cases of white men raping these women were rarely brought to court and were likely to fail. Violence against the Aboriginal woman seemed natural and normal and rarely elicited the traumatic effect on her or her husband as it would on a white woman, or so the white colonizers thought. Indeed, the women’s resistance to the colonizers controlling mechanism was further taken as proof of their immorality and only worsened their situation.

Week 9

How does Marie Bonaparte represent the clitoris in relation to female sexuality? What is ‘Freudian’ about this?

Marie Bonaparte writes that the clitoris gives women their distinctive female sexuality, and knowingly or unknowingly, endears them to the males. Consequently, the males have become unconscious worshippers of the woman due to the clitoris.

The importance of the clitoris to the woman’s sexuality cannot be underestimated, as Bonaparte explains, the importance of this miniature object before or during sex may even outweigh the pleasures or benefits of the sex itself in some women (Bonaparte, 1958, pp. 148). She further explains that in the West, many women find more sexual satisfaction from activities that involve the clitoris rather than from the penetration (sex) itself.

As such, Bonaparte explains that clitoridial women find more appreciation of their sexuality from men who understand the importance of the clitoris to them. Such men share their pleasure and loving identification with the woman while paying attention to her wishes, and this only takes place when a man loves a woman enough to care about her. While the clitoris may lead to a gratification of sexuality among women, it may also lead to a tragedy in a similar fashion, particularly from men who are too masculine to adapt to their clitoridal desires.

Whenever a woman recognizes that the male she entrusts to fulfill her clitoridal wishes does not live up to the task, which could be due to the male being too fierce to adapt to the woman’s wishes, she eventually has to adapt to the new environment either auto or alloplastically, a concept that is consistent with the Freudian writings on human sexuality.

Week 11

How did Dennis Altman define the ‘gay liberation’ of the 1970s?

In this article, Altman writes that society has denied the natural bi-sexuality of all humans in two ways, and that it is time homosexuals came out (Altman, 1979, pp. 18). He writes on the persecution of homosexuals in a number of ways, including the labeling of homosexuality as a perversion, and discrimination.

The author defines two main forms of discrimination against homosexuals: denial and tolerance. The former is exemplified in the various media such as in newspaper columns where homosexuals are not allowed to report on their social activities openly.

Altman writes that gay liberation doest not merely entail the liberation of the homosexuals from the above-mentioned discriminatory and repressive acts, but is in fact a liberation of all of us. While many people have tended to ignore this fact, a few people have recognized the potential of a homosexual as a revolutionary in the American society.

He also describes how hard it is for homosexuals to lead outward, respectable lives. This is made difficult by society’s poor labeling of homosexuality that has left homosexuals out of the basic unit of the society, the nuclear family. They challenge the idea of homosexuality that sexuality can only be justified by procreation, and this has further led to the stigmatization of gays.

Liberation is a concept far much wider than even sexuality, and any vision of liberation is one that sees gays breaking out of the quite needless limits on the human potential that exists in the society, and society recognizing the significance and the rights of man to diversity. Besides, society should not be imprisoned by old-fashioned ideas of what is natural and what is normal.

Week 12

On what basis did Campbell argue, in 1980, that it is heterosexual women who feel the biggest outcasts within feminism?

While Campbell admits that lesbians, celibates, and heterosexual feminists have suffered as a result of the feminist movements, she contends that it is heterosexuals who have suffered more. This suffering began soon after the sexual revolution, which led to the divorce between sex and reproduction.

However, the reality of pregnancy could not be ignored and even as heterosexual relations soared. During this revolution, women were acknowledged to be sexual and men’s duty was to satisfy them, so it was all disappointment among some women who did not experience satisfaction, although this could have been caused by female conditions.

Some scholars attributed this problem to the divergence between the curve of sensual pleasure in the male and female, which caused the man to “reach the peak point of sexual excitement while the woman is still getting there” (Campbell, 1980, pp. 5).

Another problem arising from the revolution was the risk of pregnancy, as mentioned earlier. Although birth control was advocated alongside the positive declaration of women’s sexuality, there was no critique of the conventional heterosexual sex and its essentially (for women) procreative mode.

Consequently, it put women at risk of pregnancy, and led to the labeling of women as the source of problems in heterosexual sexual relations. Besides, sexually independent heterosexual women were criticized for thwarting parenthood and it was argued that sexual liberation could not be achieved at the expense of maternity and parenthood.

Week 7

How has Kinsey’s work been influential in regards the topic of male homosexuality?

In the Kinsey Report of 1948, the author made unbeknown findings about American’s sexual behaviors, particularly among homosexuals. Among these findings was that homosexuality was more common in the United States than anyone had realized, this encouraged more and more homosexuals to come out of their closets and demand for their rights.

He reported that 37 percent of his respondents had had at least one homosexual incident (Kinsey, 1953, pp. 56). He also wrote that 10 percent of American males had been practiced homosexuality for at least three years at the ages of between 16 and 55.

However, Kinsey cautioned his readers and indicated that these figures reported were not absolute, and he even evaded using terms such as homosexual or heterosexual in his report, avowing that sexuality is likely to change over time. He also wrote that sexual behavior can occur both physically and psychologically through desire, sexual attraction, or fantasy.

As a result of Kinsey’s work, many people, mainly homosexuals, slowly started coming out and openly declared their sexual orientation. Indeed, the report was significant in the sexual revolution of the 1960s, and helped in the normalization of homosexuality in the American and other Western societies.

Homosexuals were now increasingly treated in a humane manner, a contrast from the previous harsh treatments where gays were persecuted and discriminated against and banned from other social places. However, the Kinsey Report cannot be single-handedly said to have brought about these changes, a number of factors were also at play.

References

Altman, D. (1979). ‘Forum on Sexual Liberation’, in Coming out in the Seventies. Sydney: Wild and Woolle.

Bonaparte, M. (1958). Female Sexuality. London: Imago Publishing

Campbell, B. (1980). A Feminist Sexual Politics: Now you see it, Now you don’t. Feminist Review, No. 5, 1980, 1-18

Kinsey, F. (1953). Sexual Behavior in the Human Male. Indiana: Indiana University

Roberts, H. (2001). Disciplining the female aboriginal body: inter racial sex and the pretence of separation. Australian Feminist Studies, Vol 16(34), pp. 186-195

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IvyPanda. (2019, May 13). Some of the consequences of colonial thinking about Aboriginal women’s sexuality for Aboriginal women themselves. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/some-of-the-consequences-of-colonial-thinking-about-aboriginal-womens-sexuality-for-aboriginal-women-themselves/

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"Some of the consequences of colonial thinking about Aboriginal women’s sexuality for Aboriginal women themselves." IvyPanda, 13 May 2019, ivypanda.com/essays/some-of-the-consequences-of-colonial-thinking-about-aboriginal-womens-sexuality-for-aboriginal-women-themselves/.

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IvyPanda. "Some of the consequences of colonial thinking about Aboriginal women’s sexuality for Aboriginal women themselves." May 13, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/some-of-the-consequences-of-colonial-thinking-about-aboriginal-womens-sexuality-for-aboriginal-women-themselves/.

References

IvyPanda. 2019. "Some of the consequences of colonial thinking about Aboriginal women’s sexuality for Aboriginal women themselves." May 13, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/some-of-the-consequences-of-colonial-thinking-about-aboriginal-womens-sexuality-for-aboriginal-women-themselves/.

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IvyPanda. (2019) 'Some of the consequences of colonial thinking about Aboriginal women’s sexuality for Aboriginal women themselves'. 13 May.

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