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Encyclopedia > Postcolonial feminism
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Postcolonial feminism often criticizes Western forms of feminism, notably radical feminism and its universalization of female experience. Jump to: navigation, search The term Western world or the West can have multiple meanings depending on its context. ... Jump to: navigation, search Feminism is a diverse collection of social theories, political movements, and moral philosophies, largely motivated by or concerning the experiences of women, especially in terms of their social, political, and economic situation. ... Radical feminism is a branch of feminism that views womens oppression as a fundamental element in human society and seeks to challenge that standard by broadly rejecting standard gender roles. ...

Many postcolonial feminists argue that oppressions relating to the colonial experience, particularly racial, class, and ethnic oppressions, have marginalized women in postcolonial societies. They challenge the assumption that gender oppression is the primary force of patriarchy. Also, they argue that oppressions cannot be ranked at all, as to do so would be to misrepresent their lived experiences. While challenging gender oppression within their own culture, postcolonial feminists also fight charges of being Western as some within their cultures would contend. This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ...

The field of postcolonial feminism arose from the gendered history of colonialism. Colonial powers often imposed Westernized norms on colonized regions. In the 1940s and 1950s, after the formation of the United Nations, former colonies were monitored for what was deemed "social progress" by Western standards. The advancement of women, among other variables, has been monitored by arguably Western organizations such as the United Nations. As a result, traditional practices and roles taken up by women--seen as distateful by Western standards--can be considered a form of rebellion against colonial oppression. Postcolonial feminists today struggle to fight gender oppression within their own cultural models of society rather than through those imposed by the Western colonizers. World map of colonialism circa 1945. ... Jump to: navigation, search The United Nations, or UN, is an international organization established in 1945. ...

An underlying theoretical premise of postcolonial feminism is that concepts of freedom, equality, and rights stem from the Enlightenment and privilege Western and European norms, rather than representing a universal values system. The Age of Enlightenment refers to the 18th century in European philosophy, and is often thought of as part of a larger period which includes the Age of Reason. ...

Much postcolonial feminist writing overlaps with transnational feminism and Third-world feminism. Postcolonial feminism is also closely related to postcolonialism. Third-World Feminism is also known and understood as Postcolonial Feminism. Third-World feminists would argue that as a result of capitalisation, women in the Third World would be oppressed by some other factors than patriarchy. ... Post-colonialism refers to the intellectual field opened up by Edward Saids book Orientalism. ...

Some postcolonial feminist authors include:

  • Gayatri Spivak, with her important "Can the Subaltern Speak?" (1988)
  • Trinh T. Minh-ha, with her essay "Infinite Layers/Third World?" (1989)
  • Chandra Talpade Mohanty, with her influential essay "Under Western Eyes" (1991)
  • Uma Narayan, with her book Dislocating Cultures (1997) and her essay "Contesting Cultures" (1997)

  Results from FactBites:
Postmodern/Postcolonial Feminism (1867 words)
There are strong parallels between postcolonialism and feminism as both are fundamentally concerned with the politics of "othering," marginalization and the construction of a "subaltern" or subordinated subjectivity colonialism and/or patriarchy.
Broadly speaking, postcolonial critics have attempted to dismantle naturalized assumptions about language and textuality using two main strategies: a denial of the centrality of imperialist culture (abrogation), and a seizure and reconstitution of imperial discourse (apropriation).
Language is a central concern of both postcolonial and femnist theory and the theoretical trajectories of both have examined issues of "silencing" and enclosure due to the way in which the female/colonized subject has been forced to articulate selfhood in the terms of the oppressor.
genderealisations 1(2002) (4090 words)
Postcolonial feminism in the new millennium now accepts a crucial point, long self-evident to Third World women, that racism, colonialism and its legacies are not just the province of non-white, non-Western women.
A key question for postcolonial feminism is how to go beyond the limitations that come from one's location in a particular place at a particular moment in history and the experience derived from this.
The tendency of Western feminism to see itself as feminism per se, and not to give due regard to indigenous movements is not unrelated to the tendency of those hostile to feminist movements in the Third World to characterize feminism as by definition Western.
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