Gendering colonialism or colonising gender? Recent women's studies approaches to white women and the history of British colonialism

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Abstract

Two recent feminist books dealing with white women in colonial societies (Fiji and Nigeria) identify ways in which women's experiences are neglected in mainstream accounts of colonialism. They utilise a women-centered approach to examine the complexities of colonialism, particularly its gendered aspects. The paper is a detailed critique of problems and issues in this basic approach: it fails to locate class divisions between both colonial and colonised groups of women; more importantly, by centering white women this approach actually serves to ungender the colonised people and contribute to silencing colonised women. The implications for a women's studies analysis of colonialism are considered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-115
Number of pages11
JournalWomen's Studies International Forum
Volume13
Issue number1-2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1990
Externally publishedYes

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