In today’s society and in the world, “othering” is widespread and can be seen everywhere.
“Otherness’ is central to sociological analyses of how majority and minority identities are constructed” – Zuleyka Zevallos
We primarily live in a culture of consumerism where dangerous, grimy, and underpaid work is the standard on a world scale [just like in Cry, The Beloved Country]. Everyone’s focus has been changed over the years to the possession of money and unfortunately, this is no longer supported by traditional values. Overall, we as humans live isolated from nature and end up alienated.
I, myself, am a culprit of “othering”. Growing up, my surroundings were always either male or females — I learnt that only two genders existed in this world. However, there was a moment in my life where I encountered a homosexual for the first time. I was extremely confused why a male looked and spoke like a female, this made me feel extremely uncomfortable and from that incident onwards, I started alienating “gays”.
How did I start alienating them? (keep in mind this is years back, it’s different now)
Well, whenever I encounter or see a homosexual, the first thing I’d do is to avoid eye contact. If they started talking to me, I would try my best to not reply them or answer them with a word or two. I made sure they were invisible to me.
Connecting this to the book: I (males/ females) can be a representation of the white people, the majority. Whilst the homosexuals can be a representation of the black people, the minority. Homosexuals in our current society lack a voice and still is not widely accepted in multiple countries and religions.
As time passed, I realised that there’s nothing wrong with being gay and I applaud/ look up to those who aren’t scared to express themselves freely.
“Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.”