Ladies and gentlemen welcome. Indeed, feminism is a very comprehensive and important subject so that it is seen to pervade every sphere of our lives. The pervasive nature of feminism is also exemplified in the manner in which feminism and other disciplines interrelate. Of particular importance is the relationship that exists between feminism and postcolonialism. So profound is the relationship between feminism and postcolonialism that they have always been considered as being associative and complimentary. The similarities are to be discussed heretofore.
First and foremost feminism and postcolonialism are seen to be identical due to their first predominantly political nature. In this case, both feminism and postcolonialism stage a struggle against injustice and oppression. In this quest to overthrow the injustice and oppression, both feminism and postcolonialism have sought to reject or seemingly challenge the established hierarchical systems which are normally established on patriarchal systems. This is because the hierarchical and patriarchal systems are always dotted with the white male domination, while denying the supremacy and reality of the power and authority which has been given to masculinity, since time immemorial (John, 2006).
Just like patriarchy which femininity seeks to banish, imperialism is equally phallocentric and a supremacist ideology which seeks to dominate and subjugate all its subjects. This is to the effect that in a patriarchal society, the woman is made to undergo what is akin to the misery of the suppressed and oppressed subject. Lewis (2003) observes that the meaning of this rendition is that the exponents of postcolonialism react against colonialism in both political and economic sense, in one hand, while on the other hand, feminist theorists are up in arms against colonialism, albeit that of sexual nature.
It is also important to note that as the line of similarity stretches further, one on being keen enough is able to notice that as far as both feminism and postcolonialism are concerned, both women and natives are the minority groups who are defined unfairly by the intrusive male gaze (Blunt and Rose, 1994).
According to McClintock (1995), the relationship between post colonialism and feminism is one that cuts at the core and fundamentals of what defines feminism and postcolonialism. This is because, at the heart of the efforts that are being concerted, the quest for justice and egalitarianism reign supreme. By extension, it can be said that feminism and postcolonialism are similar in that what they pursue is not personality (men or the white Caucasian colonialists), but the realization and entrenching of higher ideals (egalitarianism and justice) in the society as the guidelines to live with. The egalitarianism and justice aforementioned are to do with the democratization of the political process so that political power is accessible to all, with this power being instrumental for the distribution and appropriation of values of economic nature.
Closely related to the justice which is the pursuit of feminism and postcolonialism is equality and dignity. Equality and human dignity also links feminism and postcolonialism since they are the object of pursuit in both forms of activism. This is because; colonialism and patriarchal society both seek to stereotype people. As such in whereas in a hierarchical set up, women are regarded as being in two extremes (either being a virgin or a whore), in the colonial set up, one is either a civilized citizen on one hand, or a heathen or a savage on the other. This form of stereotyping is dangerous since it denies individuals of their identity. The categorization of individuals in classes denies individuals of the chance to realize their true and unique identities. Therefore, at this juncture, it is important to note that both feminism and postcolonialism have one commonality in that they are out to ensure the protection of identity of the individual (Narayan, 2000).
It is important to note that according to Tong (2008), these two theoretical trajectories and political practice and second identify moments of convergence, critical intimacy and disjuncture. The moments of convergence, especially in political practice is seen in the fact that that both feminism and postcolonialism are interested in affecting political power, as the modus operandi for bringing about permanent change. Both feminism and postcolonialism therefore seek to bring change by using political tools and advocacy such as the amendment of the constitution, changing the policies of the public sector on the allocation of national resources- employment opportunities included (Spivak, 1999).
Herein, the point of disjuncture is seen in the fact that while feminism, however radical it may be, usually takes the form of advocacy, empowerment and building of awareness; postcolonialism on the other hand, in its radical stance mainly involves the use of revolutionary approach. According to Gandhi (2008), normally as have been seen in history, virtually all colonies were bequeathed to the autochthones after the autochthones staged protracted battles with the colonial military forces. Africa is rife with such history, with only south Africa being the exception since after the lengthy war for freedom and the incarceration of its leaders such as Nelson Mandela and the killing of some of the revolutionary leaders such as Steve Biko, it is the masses that finally led the country into a new birth by taking part in a revolutionary plebiscite that saw Nelson Mandela become South Africa’s first independent president.
Another point of disjuncture as Suleri (2002) observes, is seen in the fact that while feminism is seen to be an issue which is primarily social, so that its underpinnings are mainly acculturation, gender and socialization, colonialism on the other hand involves the seizing of a people’s state by an external force and subsequently controlling it for economic and political gain. This underscores why postcolonialism in its radical nature entails the use of force, compared to feminism.