Main | Third World Women »

feminist-as-imperialist scism

Examples of women benefiting through heir husband's colonial endeavors are present in all colonized nations. Any time manors, ranches or plantations were established in newly colonized nations, women were brought in to run them. Ghandi gives an example of Memsahibs in India, but there were also Spanish or American Haciendas in Mexico, Sugar Plantations in the Carribean and African cotton plantations to name a few other locations. In all these cases women were placed in positions of superiority to subaltern women. If we now go back years later to any of these locations, the mere representation of white women as sisters to "Third World Women" mimics the same type of oppressive dominating force despite the fact that we have identified ourselves as subjects of our own male-dominated oppression. If we address women from formerly colonized countries simply as sisters without acknowledging their conflicting relationships with white women, economically privileged women, academically located women, then we reduce their identities to something that shares our simpler relationship with dominating discourses. The political situations in all colonial locations were different and grouping them together as colonial nations limits the various issues we can specifically address. Ghandi's idea of "feminist-as-imperialist" takes part in splitting feminism from postcolonialism because one of the main thrusts of feminism in the West has been an recognition and respect of sisterhood between diverse groups of women. This ignores a differentiation between necessary for adequate postcolonial theorizing.