July 18, 2005
"Family Feuds: Gender, nationalism and the family" was a great article to read especially after watching the video on race today. Towards the end of the video a woman psychologist mentioned that we must not be colorblind and that we basically shouldn't ignore race. It was another way of saying that we should all face the issues of racism instead of acting like we are all the same when in reality we really aren't.
This point was brought up in the article by McClintock. She states that "if nationalism is not transformed by an analysis of gender power, the nation-state will remain a repository of male hopes, male aspirations, and male privilege." (p.77) Her argument was that many times women are/were denied formal representation and never given the same rights as men. In 1918 the African National Congress (ANC) was started and it gave women a more political voice and voting rights although not granted until 1943. On page 67 McClinton makes an interesting statement. "Different genders, classes, ethnicities and generations do not identify with or experience the myriad national formations in the same way; nationalisms are invented, performed and consumed in ways that do not follow a universal blueprint." This meant that people in power would always be in power and people that weren't white would never have a voice. Nationalisms dicriminated people who weren't part of the majority.
We as humans can't wait to see if there are people who will listen to us because we are like peons of the world. Change happens when people are willing to take chances.
Posted by herx0065 at July 18, 2005 7:17 PM
McClintock's assertion that the sense of nationalism comes from masculinity is an interesting one. I really agree with her statement that women were seen as part of the nation, not members. This is an important distinction, especially for women traveling without men outside the U.S., and to women that would like to join the armed forces. Also, this idea that the nation is seen as a family (fatherland, motherland) and it's other citizens as siblings is something that I had never stopped to think about before. Especially the social hierarchy that is justified by family (both racial and gender) is very interesting and a complex thesis. The assertion that the social and political realms were tied into each other for women because of the man she married is bold, but interesting. The story of the Afrikaner history involving the barring of women from institutions is incredibly disgusting, not to mention the Tweede Trek. What is this about feminism and patriotism being compared, but both in a negative light?
"It is difficult to start a revolution, more difficult to sustain it. But it's later, when we've won, that the real difficulties will begin."
O.K> here's my question. Now that I am armed with all these theories that gender, race and class are all social constructs. And any knowledge that I have acquired thus far in understanding these abstact issues has been a product of the dominant discourse and my position within my culture according to race, gender and class, (and any privilidges that might or might not go along with this placement) is a product of my being, if not an underwriter of the racial contact then certainly a beneficiary of this. And my understanding that everything I have come to understand about race, gender, class, has been based on an underlying myth created to keep those in power, in power and those with no power out of any sort of dialogue or shaping of any policy that would allow them to have a share in this power. Taking this then to another level of a international view of ourselves in our place in the global economy is also shaped by these myths, and the perpetuation of these myths is again, solely to benefit those in power, therefore shapes all interactions with these other cultures. It then also perpetuates these myths as natural, for example Said writes about in "Oreintalism" that the orient is a European construct. Just as any race or culture of people is a construct of one pervailing dominant discourse over another.. Is there than any validity, anything good or positive that can come out of studying any other country or culture or race or gender other than our own. Because we cannot escape our distoration and inaccrucy in viewing any other peoples, cultures and races because the lens we are looking through is already distorted. Should we then even bother studying other cultures and people at all, or should we allow them to do all the studying and acquiring of knowledge about themselves to themselves without any input or voice from out siders what so ever. And then what of those who have vested vasts amount of time and passion and themselves into studying other peoples, or as Said writes on pg. 77 "....the whole series of interests which by such means as scholarly discovery, philological reconstruction, psychological analysis, landscape and socological description..." Do we then throw away all this knowledge, this body of work and those who benefit from it. Does Said ever adrress this or acknowledge this in his writings