Is feminism post-modern?
Stoler’s article discusses how European colonizers sought to position themselves in their colonies as superior to the colonized natives, how they used gender to construct social morality, political and economic stability and proper conduct in order to do so. The article suggests the globalization and sexuality literature highlights dominant paradigms, but they do not exist alone. They serve in advancing activism and culture. Globalization has resulted to the spread of western culture, which mainly consists of racial discrimination and capitalism. Some have argued that globalization should be viewed as a phenomenon driven by migrant labor, instead of a flow of ideas. However, globalization encompasses both perspectives because it involves both the flow of ideas and movement of labor to different parts of the world.
In her article, Stoler contends that the colonialists imposed their sexual ideology on the colonized areas. The idea of instructing the colonized people to perform the division of sexes was especially difficult for the colonizing women. White women were placed in a compromising situation with their power derived from being the colonizers, yet being women denied them equal power because of the sexual division imposed by male colonists. Through this compromising position in the hierarchies, white women were the oppressed and the oppressors simultaneously as they employed the system that oppressed them onto other women. The article shows the imposition of western association of power with masculinity and the weakness or lack of power with femininity. This imposition of values onto other cultures also relates to the imposition of power structures from the more superior or “manly” nation onto the less powerful or “womanly” countries.
This imposition has played a significant role in contemporary times, such as the “Americanization” of gay culture. The emergence of this “Americanized gay culture” raises the question of whether gay culture exist, what it entails, and whether it is local, international, or global and just a something being imposed globally. If, just like numerous other western ideas like masculine power, America’s gay culture is finding its way to other nations, does it show that gay culture is masculine, limited and dominant when its aim is to bring new openness? In addition, how can gay culture be powerful and dominant like masculinity if in some place, it is seen as wrong and gay males are perceived as being weak and feminine?
In conclusion, the article points out that, colonies were imaginary communities in which racism was used in creating a common sense of being and purpose. When the colonial groups felt threatened by colonial collectivism and internal division, they evoked racism as a means of seeking unity from within, as well as to present a united front to the colonized. Similarly, the colonists imposed their views and interpretations on the culture of natives. In conclusion, this article in to understand and gauge the extent to which local formation of identity are important to native cultures. Societies should respect the rights of minority groups including gays and women.
Stoler, Ann L. Making Empire Respectable: the Politics of Race and Sexuality Morality in 20th Century Cultures. , n.d.. Print.