Otherness is a lesser known concept; it is not taught in schools, or used often in every day language, but it is a concept that shapes nearly all aspects of everyday life. To fully explain what I mean, otherness is a concept of definition, just as black cannot exist with out white, humanity has used societal binaries to define the nature of being in all aspects. Woman is the other of man, animal the other of human, abnormality the other of norm, and as the cogitation dictates, the other, is coded the inferior category.

The power of definition that the concept of otherness provides, is one that allows individuals to identify themselves. People define themselves against an opposition; self identity has a hard time existing without the opposite to facilitate the realization of that identity. This paradigm leads to identity power struggles, because one can not define both the other and themselves, this establishes a notion of superior and inferior.

That said, what I would like to be the emphasis of this article, is hate culture. Due to these power struggles set up by the current method of social construction, these power struggles establish a culture that is defined by the majority/minority complex, where the latter is coded as inferior and the former feels justified in committing unjust actions towards the socially constructed inferior group. This is where feminism comes in; think of feminism as the other to sexism. I say this because in many societies across the globe, sexist societal organization is the dominant source of social construction, coding nearly all norms in many societies. Patriarchy, has been deemed natural and uncontested for centuries, feminism poses the opposition, suggesting an egalitarian form of social construction where the gender binary (as well as all other genders) cease to exist within a power struggle. This is a hard concept to truly understand the gravity of, but it is a concept that would be in the best interest of the global populace to enlighten itself on.

Hate culture is a direct consequence of the use of otherness to facilitate social construction. Rationally, a system based on the establishment of superior and inferior would create social tension and stigma, what is important to keep in mind is it is just that, a construction. Otherness is a choice.  Society has chosen to use the white, upper to middle class, often times christian or catholic, man as the default for judging everyone else against. This otherness is what established other ethnicity, other genders, other religions (or lack of), other economic classes, as the inferior demographic. They are the other to the white business man. This comes with a consequence for the those that fit within the default demographic however. As I pointed out in my previous article, feminist theory has the best interest of everyone in mind, because when using the concept of otherness as your tool for definition, a world full of social problems is created, and social problems are intrinsically intertwining, they effect everyone-yourself and the other.  woman-as-other-the-second-sex

References:

http://othersociologist.com/otherness-resources/#gender -citation for photo

http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007%2F978-3-531-91737-5_2

http://www.academia.edu/1442182/European_Identity_and_Otherness._Theoretical_Perspectives

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