Why has the category “gender” not figured transformatively in anti-colonial resistance, or nationalist politics in the region? This is a question posed in this forum by literary scholar Natasha Barnes (1991). Despite the centrality that Caribbean feminists have accorded to “gender” in their pursuit of social justice I argue that “gender's” analytical marginalization persists because the philosophical underpinnings of these nationalist/anti-colonialist projects have all but insisted upon the supplanting of gender by race. Toward this end, I examine the fraught role that “gender' plays in Frantz Fanon's work by revisiting his engagement with Mayotte Capécia's Je Suis Martiniquaise. For post-colonial subjects the assertion of one's humanity is simultaneously a claim of one's value. While, Caribbean feminists have deployed gender as the primary category through which a critique of human condition is invoked I argue that is now woefully inadequate when faced with the complex terrain of 21st century Caribbean feminist advocacy.
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Michelle V. Rowley; Whose Time Is It? Gender and Humanism in Contemporary Caribbean Feminist Advocacy. Small Axe 1 March 2010; 14 (1 (31)): 1–15. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/07990537-2009-040
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