THE CIRCUIT OF CULTURE IN GENDER AND FEMINISM
Due to cultural differences, what is accepted in Luhya (Kenya) may be totally ineffective in the United states or even further offensive in South America In this sense we are trying to bring out the meaning of culture as the practices, traditions and norms of a particular society. It is the process by which meaning is produced, consumed or circulated within a society. Most events and inventions make little sense in themselves so we provide meaning by defining them, socially constructing and reconstructing meaning. Consequently, as meanings become widely dispersed they continue to change time after time through our consistent use.
Competing systems and meanings come up within different social groups and with disputing connotations. Largely, culture is transmitted through material objects, language and art consistently from one generation to the next, to prompt it from fading. As a consequence of interactions between people from other distinctive cultural groups, the spread of a culture is is enhanced and adopted. A clear example of cultural diffusion is the fact that some groups of people have been eating many different types of food from other cultures. Introduced to India by the Portuguese, potatoes and chili have already become a very important part of Indian meals.
GENDER AND FEMINISM
Gender refers to a social construction where sex is primarily biological as one is categorized as either male or female, while masculinity and feminism are the socially predetermined qualities. Feminism is either a social or political approach that argues that gender assignation has a tendency to be associated with distribution of power and privilege. In our current systems and culture masculinity always tends to assure higher access to quality education, advancements in career, financial wellbeing and political positions, more than being feminine in systems that are patriarchal in nature. However, we may find cultures that are matriarchal in nature but these are relatively fewer compared to the other.
Feminists argue that matriarchal cultures are distinguished by sets of relations that are more co-operative, sensitive, collaborative and less violent or aggressive. Feminism takes a look at various social arrangements in terms of whether they enhance discrimination of women, and hence looks forward to bring up new mechanisms that counter the consequent inequalities. Feminism was developed in phases and the first wave in the United States started with Seneka Falk Convention, on July 19 and 20, 1848.Feminism further became popular in the early 1980s.It focused on various legal issues including allowing women to participate in the voting process and contesting for leadership positions. There have been many feminism ideologies and movements such as liberal feminism, Islamic, colonial among others, but we will take a look at Postcolonial feminism as a cultural movement.
Postcolonial feminism was invented as response to imperialism, colonialism and Euro-American feminists’ focus on sisterhood. It was an invention into problematic thought in Euro-American feminism. It acts to resist the tendency of Euro-American feminists to make various forms of expressions they face, to occur worldwide. Postcolonial feminists were majorly interested in analyzing the failure of the postcolonial theory to properly address the issues on gender. The movement also seeks to understand the tendency of many Western feminists to apply its claims to women worldwide since the scope of the theory is very limited. In one article”Third world women and Inadequacies of Western Feminism”, sociologist takes of how western feminism may be lacking if they were to be applied to non-western societies. She goes further to accuse western feminists of theoretical reductionism when it goes on to include women in the third world countries.
Relationships to western cultures
Postcolonial feminism began as a way to criticize the western feminism for failing to cope with emerging issues of the postcolonial feminists as we can see in the other feminism movements occurring in the third world. The postcolonial feminists fail to agree that women are universally grouped, and does not accept or tolerate the idea of global sisterhood. Therefore the examination of what actually joins the women is important when getting to find out the goals of the feminist movements.
Relationship to postcolonial theory
The postcolonial feminist movements tried to focus on the history of gendered colonialism. In the 1940s and 1950s just after the United Nations agency had been formed, the former colonies were still monitored by their masters with the intentions of building up social progress. The idea of social progress was very significantly attached to the adherence to the cultures and social organization as per the western norms. Women in the third world nations have been monitored by many institutions, most importantly, the United Nations.
Race and religion
Post colonialism has bonds and ties with black feminism since both movements agreed that the Western cultures could not account for racial differences. Postcolonial feminism attempts to speak of women as a heterogeneous population with lots of differences especially in race, class and age.
Vera C Mackie shows how women in japan have been questioning their status in the social class system. The book brings out clear details of very great Japanese women who could not tolerate gender oppression, including more articles from other Japanese feminists.
This was a term that referred to the status of women after the colonization. This theory shows how women are oppressed by both the patriarchal and colonial powers. This concept is very important, especially when talking of women’s writing both during the colonial and postcolonial times
THE CIRCUIT OF CULTURE
This is a system that entails several moments such as regulation, production, consumption, representation and identity, which work together in a cultural space to provide meaning which is created, modified or even recreated. There can be neither beginning nor ending as the circuits work together to provide essential meaning. Each and every moment contributes an essential part of the circuit for its consistent flow.
This entails controls on cultural activity starting from the legal notations, controls, institutionalized authorities to the expectations that bring out a culture that is mainly used in the sense of the term. It may also refer to the moment that is formed to govern and dictate what is considered acceptable and what is not. It helps in forming the context through which culture and its relations take place. Let us have a look at an example.
According to Darien Smith and Fitzpatrick Peter, postcolonial legal theory was a test by scholars of the side-tracked theme of laws consanguinity to the postcolonial. The major objection to the use of the moniker has been the claim that the alleged former colonies are still colonies. Such assumptions and assertions can be very compelling as they confirm the already existent neo-colonialism. The current view is that former colonies are no longer really colonies are no longer really colonies since they have already incorporated their own governments. The already formed governments may result in improved living standards; however, they may still face terrible disappointments such as diseases, corruption and violence among others.
The historical background of post-colonialism and other current experience have made feminists and their legal scholar’s over-conscious of power relations and on its administration. The elimination of women’s violence by the General assembly of the United Nations in December 1993 stated that the rights of girls and women were an inalienable part of the universally recognized human rights. The fourth world conference on women was more specific on transitional justice. The resolution prompted campaigns for gender in transitional contexts through other platforms. The UN required the attention to be given to gender balance and also suggest the actions that should be taken. These may include resolution of conflict and those female children and women should be protected from gender-related violence. Dianne Otto however noted that United Nations Security Council may be selectively engaging with feminist ideas and that the legal protection of women may in fact, reinforce patriarchy. She also says that it may be very dangerous to try changing dominant power-forms or set ways of doing things. Nonetheless, the international law and its institution has integrated post-colonial thinking as well.
This moment outlines the basic processes by which the creators of cultural products and materials provide them with relevant meaning through a process famously known as encoding. In post-colonial feminism, we can take this as the technical process of strategizing and further implementing a campaign. Technology is a major factor in this process since the building of the product is partially dependent on the existing technology. One of the factors that controlled and enhanced the making of the idea behind postcolonial feminisms was women residing in third world nations. However, the use of the term ‘Third World Women’ by feminists from the western regions has been criticized widely. Cheryl Johnson argues that what constitutes ‘women of color’ or the so called ‘Third world women’ is a common sense of struggle rather than radical identities. Furthermore, feminists from the West promote a discussion of colonization through producing the “Third World Difference”.
Self-proclaimed Third World Women residing in First world Feminist academia or also subject related to this critique. Diane Brydon writes that it may even be tempting to accept the imperial definition of the colonized as marginal. Similarly, Suleri claims that “personal narrative is the only salve to the abrasions than feminists from the Western theory has inflicted on ethnicity.” He also advocates how “realism locates its language within the after-colonial condition. As all the above arguments indicate the terms “Third World” and “Third World Women” are not stable categories, rather they are a locus of contention not only among first World Feminists and women from the Third world but also within other fields of post-colonial studies.
This refers to the forms a particular object takes and the meanings encoded into it. This is a critical concept in both academic and postcolonial studies. Representations can be clear images, reproduction of materials, simulations and performances. In another context, we use representation to bring out the relationship between a politician and his area of administration or constituency. Post-colonial feminism was represented in many ways by women with a vision for the Third World Nations (See Post-colonial Novel). (Rajan and Park, 2004, para.1)This work is the representation of the benefits of the movement, as portrayed by Ugandan female participants and is informed by the post-colonial feminist theory. At the core of working colonial discourses lies the politics of representation such that post-colonialism is not just a mere philosophy, but an identity theory where historical analysis of the entire process of colonization and decolonization should focus on representation. The subject position of a postcolonial feminist is a setback on the prohibition of the subject of self-presentation. The efforts to give marginalized perspectives by feminists are prone to dangers of essentialism that may block the advancements in decolonization. Representation may also be at risk of danger if used as an art of reading silences, thus producing new regimes and forms of violence. This moment seeks to explore all the relevant dynamics entailing power, silence and speech from a postcolonial feminist perspective.
The brief overview above has entailed three moments that have been used to develop and disperse various ideologies regarding post-colonial feminism both as a movement and a culture. To structure her narrative, Baldwin uses the version of the female body thus showing the centrality of the body in women’s life and proving its importance throughout the narrative. In many strands of feminist ideologies and theories expounded by scholars such as Angela Carter, Gloria Anzaldua among others, the juxtaposition of the female body with culture, has set a platform for the emergence and freedom the female self and underscored writing as a political act for their emancipation. These findings about culture are relevant in that they can help leaders to know and own their cultural preferences and biases. They can also help future global leaders to pass information more effectively across cultural and geographic boundaries.
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