Colonialist deployment of "feminist criteria"
Explain what Gandhi means by the "area of controversy" having to do with "the colonialist deployment of 'feminist criteria'"
Gandhi's depiction of "the area of controversy" is best exemplified by her discussion of Pat Barr's book The Memsahibs. Barr, in an attempt to "valorise" [sic] domestic duties, also valorizes the relegation of the colonized to domestic labor. This is further expounded upon as there is a link drawn between the "unveiling" of women in the places like Algeria as a way to further colonial intrusion into native life. Katerine Mayo's attack Mother India claimed that India was unworthy of national self-determination due to "the brutishness of Indian men, the horrors of child-marriage, the abjection of widowhood and, of course, the atavistic slavishness, illiteracy and unsanitary habits of Indian wives". This attack even created a false dichotomy as nationalist authors of books such as Sister India decried western feminism as an attack on the Indian family when that's certainly not the case. While some feminist criticisms (such as the insistence that the veil should be ended) are ultimately an ethnocentric colonialist deployment of feminist criteria, many reforms to better the lives of women will better the lives of the new nation, particularly in the family. Educated women make better mothers as they are better able to educate and care for their children and have daughters who are more liberated. This is not a destruction of the family or of the country, this is a strengthening of both.