Authors

W D. Ashcroft

Abstract

Although feminist and post-colonial discourses share much in common, the amount of genuine cross-fertilisation between the two is scant. Studies of post-colonial women writers tend to concentrate heavily on the social and political oppression of women, with little attention to the question of woman's language or to the possibilities of a specifically post-colonial feminist theory. On the other hand feminist theorists in general tend to be deeply eurocentric in their assumptions. The very ways in which feminist theory is dichotomised - French and Anglo American - excludes post-colonial feminists, as though they are merely appendages to one or other imperial camp. Post-colonial feminists suffer not just a double colonisation, as Petersen and Rutherford (1985) put it, but a triple. What this distinction of French vs. Anglo American overlooks is precisely what post-colonialism can highlight; that the argument is between the French and English speaking feminisms, and the persistence of critics in dichotomising feminism in this way completely overlooks the danger lying in a label which relies directly on the binary structuration of patriarchal discourse.

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