Othello Act II is all about honor culture and male reputation. Once on the wild island of Cyprus, then men lose all reason and resort to blatant sexism and morbid jealousy against women. If Venice was racist, then Cyprus is certainly sexist.
Iago, who played the racism card in Venice in Act I and lost, now resorts to the reputation card in Act II to gain victory. His first victim is Cassio; soon, it will be Othello.
He gets Cassio drunk and into a fight. After Cassio is stripped of his rank as Lieutenant, he says:
Reputation, reputation, reputation! O, I have lost
my reputation! I have lost the immortal part of
myself, and what remains is bestial. My reputation,
Iago, my reputation!
Here, we see how men view themselves. It's all about status. Reputation is the immortal part. It is their soul. They think their name is the only thing that lives on. They think their gender is a kind of god. That which is left is only bestial. Without gender, they are damned. Without their male reputations, they might as well be women.
This scene foreshadows what will happen to Othello. When he thinks Desdemona has lost his love (the handkerchief), he will lose his reputation. She is a status symbol for him, a trophy wife. After he loses her, he will turn bestial and reify her. He will lose all reason and language. And then he will murder her.
After reputation is gone, it's downfall at break-kneck speed.