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The Relationship of The Cultural and Historical Specificity of Gender Inequality in Mitchell's not Enough of The Past

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Cultural and Historical Specificity of Gender Inequality

Over the past years, anthropologists have had a difficult task to separate sex and gender from other culturally constructed identities such as race, class, and nationality. Notably, the project of understanding human experience with a focus on the institution of slavery casts doubt on what men or women share. In Mitchell’s reading, a 1993 film confronts the legacies of slavery. Mitchell elaborates the relationship between the cultural and historical specificity of gender inequality. For instance, Mitchell notes the ways in which the past that is symbolized by human bondage constructs the present. Moreover, in Mitchell’s reading, the primary themes are the need to recover history concerning gender inequality with the focus on slavery. The need to understand the powerful connections between the past, present, and future is also highlighted by Mitchell as a critical objective of the 1993 film (Mitchell, 2013, p 51). The society influences the identity and social practices, paving a way to gender inequality. The culture in a society also affects our understanding and perception of masculinity and femininity. Critically, the concept of freedom in the society is provided based on the gender of the people. For instance, in Michelle’s reading, black women are the vulnerable lot who are in the bondage of the nineteenth-century chattel slavery (Mitchell, 2013, p54).

During the 20th century, other communities were oppressed by the white as slaves. The black people were discriminated due to their strange accent in the foreign land, their mode of dressing and self-knowledge. In Kindred Sarah Wood reading, Dana’s autonomy, self-knowledge, accent, and her dress code creates tension to her, the slave community, and the white owners. Being a Voyeur of history, her ability to read and write poses a challenge to the whites; the slave owners. Her role as a spy also leads to the tension among the slave community and Dana herself. She is noted to be different from the rest of the slave community due to her different posture and general knowledge of events; thus exposing her to the risk of being harmed. For instance, Dana is openly rebuked by racists who remarked that she is not white despite her ability to read and write. The slave community is threatened by Dana’s unique abilities. The slaves are supposedly exposed to more bondage due to the fear of being overpowered and exposed by the blacks (Wood, 2007, p 89).

Dana’s knowledge she acquired in the 20th century help her survive the harsh environment of the whites who are alleged to be racists as at that time. Dana, being a black, is required to be a member of the slave community hence she is asked several questions. Her self-control is just commendable as she indicates her prosperity of answering back. Her self control also enables her survive the tough myth of animalism that is associated with the blacks. Anyone would get extremely annoyed by such cruel remarks as “You think you are white! “ Dana manages to put everything under control to survive the tough racists’ myths (Wood, 2007, p 89).

In Kindred Sarah Wood reading, Butler confronts her readers with questions of the difference due to the racial stereotypes. She raises questions on issues of fair treatment among the slave communities and the whites. The whites are treated differently as the powerful people who know how to speak and write English. Besides, they consider themselves as the only people who know dresses accordingly and have a unique posture.

Apparently, Butler challenges readers to consider the boundaries of black and white, master and slave, or husband and wife as Dana went through the challenges with self-control that enabled her to prove that everybody can hold any significant position in the society. Moreover, readers are challenged to ignore the boundaries that encourage gender inequality, with the focus being on slavery.

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The Relationship of the Cultural and Historical Specificity of Gender Inequality in Mitchell’s not Enough of the Past. (2019, January 03). GradesFixer. Retrieved September 25, 2021, from
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