as much as the hottentot venus is relevant,
i truly hate when folks try to attribute the hypersexualization of black women to her.
i find that conclusion to be u.s. centric (and short sighted) as fuck coz what say you of the hypersexualized black women where no one ever heard of the hottentot?
i think a lot of this connects to not being told about saartjie baartman and not getting the whole story when some folks do hear about her story (not “discover” her b/c she was her long before everyone reading this!). i mean i don’t think people even realize that her dead body was JUST returned to South Africa from a *museum* in France in 2002 (yes not even 10 years ago). folks don’t realize even AFTER DEATH her brain and genitals were removed and put on display! she was returned to south africa in PIECES.
I teach saartjie baartmant in my gender courses and students are so shocked and hurt. they are MAD. I had one north african student this past summer in my gender class when we read this article and watched this film by south african filmmaker zola maseko, who was *so* mad. this student told their ENTIRE family about saartjie baartman’s life and experiences. the student was determined to not only share their shock at the lack of information but also the legacy of saartjie baartman in hopes of changing that in their family and community.
and i write her first and last name on PURPOSE for readers who do not know and need more info/personal research. she was a HUMAN with a name, family, identity and i really want to honor her by using her full name.