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Old Wednesday, May 08, 2019
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Post Colonial Perspective of Gender

Colonial Perspective of Gender


Negative Impact:

  • The following points regarding colonial perspective of gender are based on the scenario of before and after the advent of British empire in the Indian Sub-continent.
  • With colonization in India, Europeans implemented their ideas of sex and gender identity to the native people.
  • It erased the preexisting concept of sex and gender identity that was there before the arrival of British
  • With western colonization, it created dual social category system.
  • They introduced this concept of making this dual social category to distribute and organize production, territory and behavior.
  • The main idea was to have control over labor and authority.
  • The restitution of conjugal rights; meaning compensation or punish was introduced for not participating in sexual acts with their spouses. A spouse could sue one's partner for refusing their sexual obligations for marriage.
  • Indian prostitutes were provided to people in the army who served as soldiers. They (prostitutes) were given cards for identifications and medically checked.

Positive Impact:

  • From 1772 to 1947, 9 major reforms were introduced regarding child marriage, widow remarriage and women inheritance laws;
  • Child marriage was strictly prohibited. Back in the day it was a normal practice for child of age 12 getting married in the Indian Sub-continent. Europeans got rid of such traditions and made laws against it.
  • Widow remarriage was prohibited before British India, it was also allowed in colonial era.
  • Women inheritance laws were improved than its previous state.
  • Women were given right to vote in 1921 but with a very limited sense; This was given to only those men and women who were educated. This right was given to women due to the efforts of Women's Indian Association (WIA).
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Old Thursday, May 09, 2019
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A very thorough example of gender from a colonial perspective. I'd also like to add the very fascinating concept of two - spirit in Native American tribes. Before being colonised different tribes had their own ideas on gender classification. Some even had so many as 5 to 7 different genders.

It is quite an interesting phenomenon from a sociological prespective that such a social construct simply vanished under colonial rule and the two way gender classification of male and female became the default when in fact it was a primarily European construct and older civilizations had very different concepts regarding gender.

From a purely economic standpoint this colonization of gender constructs itself had a very important purpose; division of labour. Dividing the people into men and women was an easy and effective way to organize production, territory and behavior. You can refer to Fredrich Engels' works to back this up but this side of the debate slides into the capitalistic perspective of Gender as well.
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