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Otherness

The concept of otherness derives from the pioneering work of the second-wave feminist Simone de Beauvoir. Otherness seeks to examine how majority and minority identities are constructed. It claims that the representation of different social groups is controlled by those who hold a greater level of political power. Whilst identities are often thought to be natural and innate, de Beauvoir claims that this is not true. Instead, the identity of females is constructed by men to serve their own interests. Women are thereby presented as the other sex. This sense of otherness is a highly effective form of patriarchal rule and a major obstacle towards female emancipation. In her succinct words, “he is the subject, he is the absolute – she is the other.”

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