colonial feminist

Feminism is necessary because of what has not ended: sexism, sexual exploitation, and sexual oppression. And for [bell] hooks, “sexism, sexual exploitation, and sexual oppression” cannot be separated from racism, from how the present is shaped by colonial histories including slavery, as central to the exploitation of labor under capitalism. Intersectionality is a starting point, the point from which we much proceed if we are to offer an account of how power works. Feminism will be intersectional “or it will be bullshit,” to borrow from the eloquence of Flavia Dzodan.
—  Sara Ahmed, “Living A Feminist Life”

the Left is male-dominated just like how the Right is. The whole damn political spectrum is male-dominated. Radical feminism is the only political alignment that reframes all politics as a matter of addressing female interests (including in relation to race and white patriarchy, socioeconomic class and capitalist patriarchy, male militarism/ imperialism/colonialism, violence, etc). Radical feminists ask “How does this materially improve or harm the conditions of women’s and girls’ lives?”, “How can we reshape power structures around female materiality in positive ways?”.


I’ve seen more hollow think pieces about what Gal Gadot means to representation in a “feminist” lens with this role of Wonder Woman than anti colonial feminist critiques and commentary of Israeli apparatus and Palestinian women under IDF surveillance (precisely the work the likes of Gal Gadot pride themselves upon).

Mainstream feminism is a morally bankrupt institution. Nothing more than an agent and normalizer of neoliberal violence.

Moral of my rant: do not ever expect a white feminist to accept the racial flaws of her fave white racist female character. Do not ever expect her to acknowledge that her white female fave has white privilege over the non-white characters. Do not ever expect her to acknowledge that her white female fave is guilty of racism, colonialism, OR ANYTHING.

White feminist will worship white female character, no matter how racist, abusive, oppressive, etc., they can be. This is just a fact.

If you try to point out a white female character’s racist flaws to a white feminist—she will call you sexist and get her white feminist friends to do the same.

White feminism IS racism.

REBLOG IF YOU SUPPORT FEMINISM AND OPPOSE ISLAMOPHOBIA!!

What the feminist community needs to understands is that Islam is the true religion of peace, equality, and women’s liberation. Islam has always supported women, minorities, POC, and the LGBTQIAC+ community since its inception.

White Western feminists (and non-feminists), always thinking that they must “save” other parts of the world, claim that Western society is better that Islamic society. This kind of neo-colonialism and racist, imperialist rhetoric is hurtful and marginalizes all Muslims. Their Islamophobia must stop now. As people who have never lived in an Islamic country, white Westerners need to CHECK THEIR PRIVILEGE and realize that THEY are the true racists and misogynists.

@feminismwecandoit @feminismandhappiness @feministlikeme @islamic-art-and-quotes @islamophobia-encounters-blog @islamophobia-blog @islamophobia101-blog @intersectionalfeminism101 @intersectionalwoman

You say you want a revolution...

There was this one day I was trying to explain to a friend my thoughts about gender inequalities, racial injustices, capitalism…aka stuff I get hella worked up about. While hearing my rant, he asked me rather abruptly what I was going to do about it. Like all these unjust things suck, right? But like what was my game plan to challenge shit like patriarchy? At first I was a little pissed. Like who was this Indian, economically-privileged, educated high caste Hindu heterosexual cis-gender male to tell me I was all talk and no action? Okay, maybe he didn’t mean it quite like that and maybe I reacted too negatively too quickly. Regardless, it caught me off guard.

So, I told him we need a straight-up revolution to end this nonsense. But as soon as that came out of my mouth I realized the magnitude of my words. What does that even mean? What would a revolution look like and what would my role in it be? I’ve been thinking about this for the past few days. I even spent time on Tumblr and Google trying to find how-to guides for wannabe activists and social justice warriors. Haven’t found stuff yet, but if y’all know of any bibles, send them my way.

But after some self-reflection I realized I do participate in little revolutions everyday. My revolution is in the way I live my life. Like I have enough agency and privilege to make certain decisions that upset the status quo and create ripples, no matter how small. My veganism is a revolution because I choose to reject the violence of the meat and dairy industries and make an impact by consuming ethical goods and sharing my vegan love with others. (Disclaimer: I have recently been thinking deeply about the use of vegetarianism/veganism as an oppressive tool so I don’t mean to sound like I think I’m better than non-veggies just cuz I’m vegan and can financially and physically afford that lifestyle).

My hair is a revolution (which I shall explain in a longer, upcoming post) because I strive to unpack the external and internal pressures I feel to remove hair from my body in the way I was socialized to. I struggled with self-esteem, mental health and body image issues growing up so practicing self-love is a revolutionary act for me. Self-love can be a form of resistance in a world where we’re told we’re not enough, in a world where we’re told we need to alter ourselves however minutely or drastically to be acceptable.

I guess I don’t have a complete answer for my friend who asked me how I intend to dismantle oppressive political, economic and social structures. I’ll probably never have an answer. But I promise to keep trying, in whatever ways I can, to challenge the injustices I see and work to undo them. I promise to challenge myself and think critically about what I see around me. I know whatever I do won’t be grand or monumental but I’ll at least try. 

There’s this post about how if your feminism doesn’t include destroying racism it’s white supremacy.

This is why it’s white supremacy. Like yeah Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is a man, but he’s also a man of color. Gloating about how Lucy, a film where a white woman who’s shown to be shooting men of color for not speaking English in a country where English isn’t widely spoken… isn’t intersectional feminism. Instead it’s the essence of white feminism because it’s glorifying the white hero in a non white country, when we are less than a century away from white Europe having colonized the majority of what is now referred as “third world countries” make no mistake colonialism is not dead. So basically if you see Lucy in the theater unfollow me rn.

Boycott Lucy, watch Hercules.

What’s really getting to me about this election - as someone who doesn’t actually live in the USA - is that a lot of Trump supporters both inside and outside the US were viewing it as a culmination of the political climate of the last three years. A referendum on whether or not Social Justice has pushed “too far”, “too fast”. And a lot of people now think that the answer was “yes”. And a disquieting portion of the mainstream media is (in a soft, cowardly, watered-down manner) agreeing, with all their think pieces about how ~liberals~ ~alienated~ ~poor white voters~ with all their smug and scary talk about “privilege”, “slavery” and “genocide”. 

“We weren’t nice enough,” they’re saying. “That’s why fascism won so many huge victories this year. Because we weren’t nice enough.”

It’s bullshit, and it’s fucking irresponsible to draw false-equivalencies between the racist rage that followed Trump and the online-Left’s newly articulated aggressive vigor. It’s not “reasonable” for people to lose their fucking minds and start supporting isolationist white nationalism just because they learned the truth about colonialism or heard a feminist say a video game was sexist. 

Clothing played an active role in the construction of families, castes, classes, regions, and the nation in colonial India (C. Bayly 1986; Cohn 1989, 106–62, 312–13; Tarlo 1996, 23–127). Cloth was inscribed with new meanings by nationalists, particularly Gandhi, and became a key visual symbol of the freedom struggle against the British rule (Bean 1989; Ramagundam 2008; Trivedi 2007). However, as Tarlo (1996) argues, there were no singular and stable meanings to clothing choices in colonial India. Feminist historians posit that attempts at re-dressing women had a distinct relationship to the idealized upper-caste, middle-class wife and mother, to a sartorial morality, and to a denigration of sexuality (Bannerji 2001, 99–134; Gupta 2001; Sangari 2001, 344–49).

Clothing hierarchically distinguished women from one another. Dalit women had to endure humiliating dress restrictions, which were also ways to mark their bodies as inferior and sexually promiscuous. Her sexuality was there to be seen and consumed, as her private being was made public through her dress. For example, as elsewhere, among the sweepers of Lucknow, women could not wear a bodice, gold ornaments, or a nose ring (Crooke [1896] 1974, 290). Conversion to Christianity was a declaration of an altered relationship with the world through a transformed disposition of castemarked bodies. Christian missions in South India encouraged low-caste Shanar women converts in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries to cover their breasts in public places, which was associated with only upper-caste women (Gladstone 1984; Hardgrave 1968; Kent 2004). Such cross-dressing not only was an appropriation of upper-caste dress signifiers that were forbidden to low-caste bodies, but also represented as re-signifying the gendered habitus, and improved the social standing of lower castes.

Clothing became an indicator to distinguish Dalit Christian women from their unconverted counterparts, and a way to garner dignity. Notions of care and presentation of the body were key components informing the conversion mission. Sewing thus was particularly important, as missionaries were keen to see the “seminude” outcaste women clad in “decent” clothes, fit for clean Christian souls. Pictures appeared in popular literature portraying on the one hand a naked, “dirty,” and unkempt outcaste woman and on the other a fully clothed, sari-clad, “clean,” and smiling Christian Dalit woman (see figure 3). John Munro, acting as Dewan to Rani Lakshmibai, issued a proclamation way back in 1812, guaranteeing Indian Christian women the right to cover their breasts (Kooiman 1989, 149). Changes in clothing through conversions became for a section of Dalits a symbolic act and a material marker to transcend systems of inequality, signal upward mobility, write themselves into colonial modernity,  acquire respect in the public sphere, fabricate their identities, and put the ignominy of their past status behind them.

—  CHARU GUPTA “Intimate Desires: Dalit Women and Religious
Conversions in Colonial India”

the other day (today maybe?) i read a post which went something like “why do you talk about terfs and radfems as though they’re the same thing?” and some other such and something involving the person taking offense and maybe alluding to terf being a slur or asking why we don’t just say “radfem” - I don’t remember too clearly

and i just felt the need to say that there’s a reason for the bizarrely inconsistent distinction between radfems and terfs - a few, actually

first it’s because there’s no one who self-defines as a radfem who i’ve ever encountered who doesn’t subscribe to the same tired model of gender theory and try her (or occasionally his) very hardest to shout trans women out of the room

second it’s because there’s a need to specifically outline radfems’ particular sort of ass behaviour; forgetting the harassment of the “gender brigade” (community justice is a whole other tin of fish with loads of issues but suffice to say it can’t actually shut you up, regrettably, and is much weaker than the legislative anti-trans measures taken by radfems), there’s small recourse to a given attack, so clearly codifying it, strengthening criticism, is the best actual counter, but since as above radical feminists have become so deeply associated with this particular line of rhetoric, there’s often little need to separate them as a group from it

third, it’s because the people criticizing radical feminists are often themselves radical feminists. there’s huge common ground in fundamental feminist theory, in mutual origin - hell gender abolitionism and gender nihilism are basically the same idea - but those critics, knowing the associations between the name radical feminist and the exclusion, often explicit persecution of trans people, sex workers, women of colour, and any number of other groups, usually don’t like to go by radical feminist; they’ll be the anarcha-feminists, the intersectional feminists, the transfeminists, the anti-colonial feminists, or as @cute-peridot i think coined, the revolutionary feminists. these are radical feminists in the sense that radfems are radical feminists - conceptualizing the social institution of gender as a means of asserting male dominance, manifesting in an overbearing social patriarchy, which must absolutely be overturned; structural coercion must be eradicated entirely through the liberation of women - but eschew the particular label for its toxic culture and theoretic elements. they still though, often and understandably, cringe at the thought of legitimizing the radicalism of radical feminists, shunning the use of the word radical when referring to them (going so far now as to even strip it from the acronym) on the basis that the radical feminists are not radical enough, that they are too devoted to exclusion and persecution to really deserve the name they gave themselves
google.co.uk
Decolonizing Feminism: Challenging Connections between Settler Colonialism and Heteropatriarchy by Maile Arvin, Eve Tuck, and Angie Morrill

The article explores two intertwined ideas: that the United States is a settler colonial nation-state and that settler colonialism has been and continues to be a gendered process. The article engages Native feminist theories to excavate the deep connections between settler colonialism and heteropatriarchy, highlighting five central challenges that Native feminist theories pose to gender and women’s studies.

From problematizing settler colonialism and its intersections to questioning academic participation in Indigenous dispossession, responding to these challenges requires a significant departure from how gender and women’s studies is regularly understood and taught.
Too often, the consideration of Indigenous peoples remains rooted in understanding colonialism as an historical point in time away from which our society has progressed.

Centering settler colonialism within gender and women’s studies instead exposes the still-existing structure of settler colonialism and its powerful effects on Indigenous peoples and settlers. Taking as its audience practitioners of both “whitestream” and other feminisms and writing in conversation with a long history of Native feminist theorizing, the article offers critical suggestions for the meaningful engagement of Native feminisms. Overall, it aims to persuade readers that attending to the links between heteropatriarchy and settler colonialism is intellectually and politically imperative for all peoples living within settler colonial contexts.

How can one expect the state to solve the problem of violence against women, when it constantly recapitulates its own history of colonialism, racism, and war? How can we ask the state to intervene when, in fact, its armed forces have always practiced sexual and intimate violence against women as a central military tactic of war and domination?
—  Angela Davis, The Color of Violence Against Women
GamerGate and “colonialism”

Deep breaths here. I haven’t really written about GG in awhile, but here we are. We all know this is a wrong usage of “colonialism,” but let’s break it down a bit to show that this is (yet again) a defensive posture from GamerGate. 

GG often feels “invaded” which means they’re under the assumption that gaming itself is somehow a natural population that arose from evolution, geography, and migration patterns. This means they also have to ignore the history of how games were developed, and, more importantly, marketed by and for white males. 

We live in a white male dominated society mostly because of European colonialism, which means we’re still feeling the affects of insanely rich and powerful people from hundreds of years ago. So when you fight to make something less inclusive like how GamerGate does, you’re also fighting to keep that colonialism alive.

Now, feminists and allies can also uphold colonialist ideals as well (google “White feminism”). I don’t want that to be swept under the rug because I personally have a lot of work to do in recognizing how my whiteness contributes to silencing people of color. However, we are talking about GamerGate here, so let’s get back to that.

“Colonialism” itself is a charged word that social justice activists and social work professionals use often to describe how white people appropriate culture while leaving that culture’s people in the dust, even going so far as to remove the culture’s people from the equation altogether. One example is the history of rock & roll.

It’s typical of GamerGate to take words like this, turn them around, and use them as foils. It’s actually a fairly popular strategy among conservatives and supremacists that I’ve personally seen time and time again. It’s a very superficial understanding of a concept and then applying that understanding to your own ideology and identity. It’s like how someone uses a dictionary definition of an extremely complex topic instead of getting an education in it. 

In this particular case, GamerGate feels like the current state of gaming should be protected. So, when someone comes in and says, “Hey, I’d like this to be more inclusive,” they feel like they’re being invaded. After all, they are already included, so if other people want to partake in gaming by making characters more inclusive, they feel like they’ll be pushed out. So, they get defensive and start using terms their enemies have used, like “colonialism.” I can’t wait until GG decides to use the word “gentrification.”

It’s particularly offensive to use a term like “colonialism,” because it’s quite an insult to actual victims of colonialism. One person up in that image refers to SJWs as committing “cultural genocide.” Jesus.

It’s easy for GG to do this kind of thing because they are always in a total defensive stance. They are always viewing themselves as victims, and feel like the world is out to get them and their video games. It’s completely fear based, and we know that fear leads to things like GamerGate. What’s unfortunate is GamerGate feels comfortable in that fear. I wouldn’t say they like it, but when something is comfortable for a person, it’s hard to talk to them.