Gender And Imperialism Essay

955 Words 4 Pages
Starting in the 1900’s Europe descended of Africa, and set out to colonize it in the hopes of spreading out with the eventual intent of conquering the entire continent. This initial interactions with the African natives set up standards of treatment that would continue to prevail even through World War 2. Looking into some of the early ideas and practices of the first colonizers, readers will gain a better understanding of how certain ideas and stereotypes came about, and how these moved and evolved to effect the women in minority races in the current day and age. When European men first got to Africa, they took a hyper sexual approach to the land itself. In the French and Poska article Gender and Imperialism, with “the unexplored land described …show more content…
One of the most evident symbols of the war they had faced and the “consequences” they were now forced to deal with were the children that resulted from relations between the French woman and African Soldiers who had been station there during the war. Most often these African soldiers were from Germany’s own colonies, a fact that made their looming force ever the more shameful towards some of the German people. Often known as “occupation babies,” these children to some represented just how far Germany had fallen. As seen in Helga Emde 's memoir An “Occupation Baby” in Post-War Germany, she explains the reaction that people heard towards her as a child, by marveling over “my kinky hair, and my black skin”, questioning her place of origin, caused to have issues identifying herself as a German citizen (Emde 102). As she states, “I was not supposed to stand out, and yet I was noticed by everyone” (Emde 102). Even though she had been born and raised in Germany, Emde expresses the struggle she felt with for years of feeling as she had never fit in. Interestingly enough, she retreated into the nursing field, a field seen in Sandra Gilbert’s Soldiers Heart to be widely hated and scorned by the soldier due to the fact it seemed that “their sisters were the triumphant survivors and destined inheritors” (Gilbert 434). Emde found this position desirable, despite it being scorned and resentment by the men, just to have a place of belonging and identity. At this intersection of race and gender, these “occupation babies” were faced with not one, but two different different disadvantages that they have to even now, continue to fight

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