The Centrality of Gender and Sexual Justice to Decolonization,
It is impossible to talk of indigenous sovereignty without the discussion of body autonomy. Decolonization is unattainable devoid of gender and sexual justice as expressed by women (Betts, 2004). Decolonization can never go unrecognized for it focuses on and essentially changes being, it converts the observer trampled to a dispensable state into a privileged player. The decolonized actor is captured in a new rhythm, specific to a new generation of people, with a novel tongue and a new civilization. Decolonization is the creation of a new people. (Okamoto, 2004)
Background of the Study
Sexual justice has over time become mainly focused on the sexually harassed women rather than taking a broad perspective into involving both the assaulted and the perpetrators (Yellow et al, 2012). For instance, when investigating a sexual assault case in the community, the group conducting the investigations is overly obsessed with the mental and health impacts caused to the victims of these crimes. While this is a way to reflect social justice to the victims who are women, to end there would for sure perpetuate a colonial mindset in that there is no investigation of how and why the perpetrators are engaging in sexual harassment, or how the existing structures and current policies impact the occurrence of these sexual assaults. Without these investigations against the perpetrators, researchers and counselors end up with recommendations that revolve around teaching women self-defense and providing post-trauma counseling instead of recommendations that are actively decolonizing, such as working with men to prevent the act of sexual harassment and putting into place structures and policies that protect women and other service members (Teunis et al, 2007).
Gender dimension is the key to decolonization since it is within the conceptual framework of the multiplicity that there thrives black exclusion, state of violence, and economic exploitation that needs to be well understood. Women are at the core of the universal economy with their labor used to further enrich small economic elite and still do the socially reproductive work that includes, cleaning, cooking, super-exploitation, and caring which all goes unpaid (Buckley et al, 2011). The female incorporation to the logic of transnational capital often means the disruption of the traditional women’s informal sectors of work. The black men also finds it hard to thrive since mostly the division of labor means deep economic marginalization where most of them end up locked in the illegal prison-industrial complex (Butler, 2004). Therefore, gender forms an integral part of the decolonization plans of a society.
• What are the roles played by gender in colonization? How would this affect decolonization? How important is sex to decolonization?
• What has sexual justice got to do with colonization? How can it be used to ensure effectively the process of decolonization goes on successively?
• How do we pull back the colonial injustices based on gender and sexual violence in our new terms?
While the commitment to these issues has increased, there remain many aspects of the gender and sexual justice aspects that fall short of actually fulfilling policies and measure that would ensure the decolonization of the traditional tenets in the society. Therefore, there is the need to study and investigate more into the matter of gender and social justice effects in the campaign of decolonization. We can emphatically say that indeed decolonization is impossible without gender and sexual justice.
1. Betts, Raymond F. Decolonization. New York: Routledge, 2004.
2. Buckley-Zistel, Susanne, and Ruth Stanley. Gender in Transitional Justice. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011.
3. Butler, Judith. Undoing Gender. New York: Routledge, 2004.
4. Okamoto, Karen. Decolonization and Desire: Isaac Julien’s Looking for Langston and the Work of Frantz Fanon. , 2004.
5. Teunis, Niels, and Gilbert H. Herdt. Sexual Inequalities and Social Justice. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2007.
6. Yellow, Bird M, and Angela C. Wilson. For Indigenous Minds Only: A Decolonization Handbook. Santa Fe: School for Advanced Research Press, 2012.
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