Postcolonialism And Feminism Are Powerful Bulwarks Against Oppression

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Postcolonialism and feminism provide a formidable bulwark against the oppression, subordination, and subversion of the underprivileged strata of society. Feminists and postcolonialists have a tendency to shed oppression. Postcolonialism’s ultimate purpose is to account for and resist the cultural impacts of colonialism. It is not only about rescuing old worlds; it is also about figuring out how the globe may go together toward a mutually respectful destination.

In this regard, both feminism and postcolonialism represent a challenge to different forms of oppression. The former is concerned with liberating the globe from patriarchy’s legacy, while the latter seeks to combat the colonial legacy. Similarly, feminism is concerned with liberating women from the internal colonisation of males who wield power and influence over them. It strives to make the world a place where men and women may coexist as equals. Both are attempts to give voice to the silenced via resistance.

How postcolonialism challenges oppression?

Postcolonialism is an intellectual movement that considers the political, economic, and cultural consequences of the colonial control of Western Empires worldwide. As an academic movement, postcolonial theory comprises responses to and analyses of the cultural residue of colonialism. It is a literary discourse on the direct consequences of colonialism. It asserts that it is difficult to comprehend the world as it is without taking colonial history into account. It also implies that colonisation and cultural oppression continue to exist and persist beyond the formal decolonization process.

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Neocolonialism or imperialism are the new kinds of economic and cultural subjugation that have emerged since the collapse of the formal empire. Modernization is synonymous with Westernization and is considered the Westerners’ desire to transmit their culture and ideals to the formerly colonised nations.

Postcolonial theorists’ primary objective is to provide room for different voices, particularly those who have been historically silenced. In his book, Edward Said describes how colonial masters refused to listen to the words of people they claimed to be civilising, instead relying on their intellect to form conclusions about them. They were aware of the literary and cultural activities in the colonies, but they were ignored.

Postcolonialism does not just analyse the history of European colonialism; it also envisions a future devoid of colonial vestiges. It envisions a society that is not only liberated from Western restraints but also one in which all individuals of all nationalities, races, and genders have equal representation. It is an optimistic subject.

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Postcolonialism and postcolonial feminism oppose the western academic discourse’s homogeneity of formerly colonised nations. Postcolonialism stresses the disparate effects of Western colonialism on different populations and their culture. It also recognises that resistance to Western colonialism and neo-colonisation existed and continues to exist. Thus, postcolonialism fights oppressive structures, including cultural subordination, economic dominance, and political subversion. It envisions a society free of European shackles, where diversity is cherished, and East-West interactions are founded on mutual understanding and respect.


How feminism challenges oppression?

Similarl to how postcolonialism is a battle against oppression, feminism is a political, cultural, and economic struggle against patriarchy and male dominance. It seeks equal rights and legal protection for women in male-dominated societies. Feminism is a ‘catch-all’ phrase encompassing political and sociological theories dealing with issues of gender difference, gender equality, and movements for women’s rights and interests. Various feminist movements sometimes called “waves of feminism,” gave rise to feminist philosophy.

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Since the 19th century, feminism has advocated for women’s rights, including contract rights, voting rights, the ability to acquire property, the right to abortion, and the right to excellent parental care. In addition, they have fought against men’s accesses, such as sexual harassment, domestic violence, rape, equitable pay, and other forms of gender-based discrimination. Feminism as a movement originated in Europe, was spread to the United States and is currently prevalent around the globe. However, after the European decolonization of Africa and Asia, a new kind of feminism known as “postcolonial feminism” evolved in the former colonies.

Postcolonial feminism, sometimes known as “third world feminism,” arose in response to mainstream Western feminism. It critiques Western feminism on the basis that it is eurocentric. As Western feminism failed to account for financial, racial, and social disparities among women in the former colonies, third-world feminism evolved to address these issues. Third-world feminism is the initiative of academics and intellectuals from former colonies who, unlike mainstream western feminists, have a greater awareness of the ground realities of the former colonies.

Postcolonial feminists highlight how women continue to be oppressed, subjugated, stereotyped, and marginalised by people in former colonies. For postcolonial feminists, western feminism is not a battle to free women in the global south since their conventional speech bolsters patriarchy in the third world. Postcolonial feminists criticise prior feminist theories that equate women’s experiences in the global south with oppression and male dominance in the global north. The concept of “universal sisterhood” is a fallacy in their eyes.

Western mainstream feminism promotes the notion that equality is fixed and uniform worldwide. Postcolonial feminism teaches us that the topics that are of utmost importance to Western women may not be of equal significance to women who were formerly colonised. The problem of equal pay may be essential to white women, but domestic abuse is of more concern to women in the developing world.

Western feminism has established a standard for attaining gender equality, and a white middle-class woman is seen as the ideal. If a woman is unable to perform as their ideal woman would, she is considered oppressed. Western feminists praised American intervention in Afghanistan because they believed women were now emancipated since they could listen to music and attend school. Postcolonial feminists despise the use of such terminology to legitimise injustice.

For feminists of the third world, the concept of shared experience with oppression is founded on flawed reasons and is a ridiculous error. In Asia and Africa, women were subjugated by both society and their colonial overlords. Women in the former colonies have been subjected to colonialism and patriarchy simultaneously. The process of double colonialism had a significantly more significant impact on women in the third world than patriarchy alone had on women in the industrialised world.

It should be highlighted that the objective of both Western feminism and postcolonial feminism is to combat oppression and challenge the long-established patriarchal social norms. The lengthy history of prejudices, biases, discrimination, and oppression against women in many nations and cultures led to the formation of the feminist movement in the West in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Since that time, feminists have waged a holy war against their oppressors. They are reevaluating their responsibilities in the economy, politics, and society. They are also attempting to neutralize language as far as gender is concerned.

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Feminists worldwide are no longer content with the subordinate condition of women and have launched a Jihad against male dominance and patriarchy. It demands equal opportunities and justice for women.

In contrast to postcolonialism, which is a battle against the legacy of colonialism, feminism has shown to be an effective movement against patriarchal oppression. Both postcolonialism and feminism attempt to offer individuals who were previously unheard a voice.

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