2 Matching Annotations
  1. Jun 2020
    1. On November 19, 1814, P arisians s trolled i nto t he Vaudeville Theater a cross from the Palais-Royal to view the opening of La Venus Hottentote, ou Haine aux Fran-cais (or the Hatred of French Women). I n the opera’s plot, a young Frenchman does not find his s uitor s ufficiently exotic. When she appears disguised as t he “Hottentot Venus,” he falls i n love. Secure i n his attraction, s he drops t he disguise. The Frenchman drops t he ridiculous attraction to the Hottentot Venus, comes t o his s enses, and the couple marries. The opera revealed Europeans’ i deas about Black women. After all, when Frenchmen are seduced by the Hottentot Venus, t hey are acting like animals. When Frenchmen are attracted to Frenchwomen, t hey are acting rationally. While hypersexual Black women are worthy of s ex-ual a ttraction, a sexual F renchwomen are worthy of l ove and marriage.
    2. Londoners were captivated by Sarah Baartman, or r ather, her enormous buttocks and genitalia.Baartman’s Khoi people of s outhern Africa had been classified as the lowest Africans, t he closest t o animals, f or more than a century. Baartman’s buttocks and genitals were i rregularly large among her f el-low Khoi women, n ot t o mention African women across t he continent, or across the Atlantic on Jefferson’s plantation. And yet Baartman’s enormous buttocks and genitals were presented as r egular and authen-tically African.