“Boys will be Boys” and “The Work of Gender in the Discourse of Discovery”
Autumn Elizabeth Clark --- April 3rd, 2014
“…The Justice Department spoke to a woman whose daughter was sexually assaulted, at the age of five, by an adolescent boy, who was sentenced to two years of community service for the crime. A prosecutor handling the case allegedly told the mother that ‘boys will be boys.’” (Mother Jones) I have been struggling with this double-sided coin; this shooting of one’s self in the foot, this violence towards women, and this promotion of violent behavior. Just as much as this hurts women, this also hurts men because of showing that not only is this behavior not a big deal, it also to some extent is acceptable behavior to rape and violate women. It is a questioning of the normalities, it is a wonder if we are born with something evil inside, or does evil just happen, or are the structures of normality set up in a way that we are unaware of our evils until someone sheds some light. This is my struggle in reading “The Work of Gender in the Discourse of Discovery” along with other feminist theory and writings, and then of course we are given frequent news reports of the sexual violation and rape of women that still permeates our society daily.
With Ralegh writing “Discoverie” it was a normality to write in a manner where one would talk about the land as if it was a woman. It was the sex dripping advertisement for young men to want to conquer land as much as they desired the flesh of a woman. It gets the (men) people excited at the prospect of dominating another land for them, an unquenchable thirst to have more and more. In some ways it almost reads like soft-core pornography for those who also may enjoy a little adventure to an unknown land (woman’s body). As well as the America engraving by Theodor Galle is soaking with sexual conduct, and the need to dominate these people (women) because they certainly do not know how to live correctly without the gentlemen European showing them. Just as much as women can be taken so can land be taken, and just as land can be dominated so can women be dominated. But it is shamed to take in a violent way of the Spaniards, who cannot control themselves. The land/the women should be taken in a more deceitful way, in a way that seems like we care about them, manipulation.
The use of words such as savagery and savages, along with the feminine words to describe land, has this way of allowing the European patriarchy to have domination as their right. Even using the words like savagery and savage have the ability to make a people appear to be seen as less than human. And when someone is seen as less than being human then one isn’t treated as a human, allowing the power to dominate and making it “acceptable” to treat a people in inhumane ways, which can be taking their land and their women to abuse and not placing value on their lives. Justifying the English conqueror to take this land, this maidenhead from a...