Monday, April 13 – notes to Gender and Orientalism discussion

Group 1:

  • there’s a single image of the exotic Orient, reduced to one group.
  • the female east and the male west. The east is female, needs protection and civilized by western men.
  • justifies male civilizing female; women need to be unveiled by the west. The veil is eastern culture, the west wants to understand the east by removing their culture. Making them more like the west.

Group 2: – western people think the Arab world is undeveloped, because it has a strong patriarchy.

  • divided into two groups: colonial, colonized. Barbarian, evil vs. weak, women, natural, wild. Have to be tame
  • Hollywood doesn’t depict all arabs as bad; westerners accept what they see in the movies as real.
  • Voyeur: someone who likes to peek/watch. Stalkers. Sexual pleasure from watching.

Group 3:

  • depict the concept of discovery. Westerners discover countries. Locals don’t know how important ancient objects are.
  • the westerner rescues local people. Only westerners can be heroes. People living there are submissive, relying on western knowledge. Oriental people are background.

Group 4:

puritanical morals. White woman. Radiers and Sahara – American women are stronger than Arab women. Sheik:white women are pure and cold

nudity. Non-white woman. Controlled by sexual desire.

Hollywood pursues these stereotypes.

Western women are passive objects of male desire.

Male gaze: objectification. To make into an object. Objectified.

Group 5:

Harum Scarum as orientalism: Arabs as Id, animal instinct.

Westerners as Superego, control primitive instinct.

Becomes westerner, rescues white woman.

Arabs want to rape white women. Arabs sexualize women.

How westerners think of oriental/Arabs: westerners are superior.

Group 6:

male rescue fantasy in the Sheik movies. Women are the subject of rescue and sexual desire. The main character is subordinated.


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