Black Public Scholars

December 11, 2011

Sara Bartman: The Original Video Vixen – How We Learned to Objectify Black Women

Filed under: Uncategorized — Staff @ 2:16 am

sara bartman is the original video vixen

You ever wonder where the concept of the video vixen comes from?  This video about Sara Bartman, the original video vixen, reminds us of the tradition of objectifying black women and their bodies.

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  1. While I appreciate this person’s attempt to use the scholarship of others to tell a very important story that many black women need to hear, my stomach churns in disdain about the myriad pieces of misinformation in this video. As examples, her name was Saartjie Bartmann, she was SOLD into prostitution after her novelty in England and France dissipated, and she was not “fooled” by any desire for fame and fortune in a foreign land, but was manipulated and coerced into traveling to Europe thinking she would save her family from the ongoing appropriation and colonization of her homeland and more specifically, her village. In addition, Saartjie was not the only one exploited or to have her vagina removed; she was one of many, but the only one displayed. She was also not a “video vixen,” as such a thing did not exist then, but rather, Saartjie was used by medical facilities and doctors in Europe after her death from syphilis to document that black women were whores from birth and had animal like bodies and licentious appetites in order to justify the “benevolence” of enslaving them and/or using them as breeders to circumvent the prohibition of the Transatlantic slave trade. It is important that when we disseminate information that we not focus on sensationalizing the subject of that discourse, but instead focus on accurately relaying the details of history. Black women, our history, sexual lives, and daily realities have been distorted and used as commodities for the material betterment of others. We had enough, don’t you think?

    Comment by TheBlaqueProfessor — December 11, 2011 @ 3:25 am

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