By Himani Bannerji
Himani Bannerji transforms the theorizing of race, gender and sophistication in those essays illuminating the politics of differenceas they have an effect on non-white ladies within the post-colonial global.
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Extra info for Thinking Through: Essays on Feminism, Marxism and Anti-Racism
As a marxist and a feminist, conscious of racism and imperialism, I dropped out of the department as does a leaf from a branch when its stem has dried. Upon leaving the classroom I experienced relief. Now there was the crude harassment of everyday life, sexist racism but not the subtle, refined cruelty of intellectual racism and colonialism. I concentrated on writing poetry, political-cultural criticism and on articulating myself somehow to the women's movement that existed in Toronto. But there, in the place I least expected, a naive believer at this point in "sisterhood BUT WHO SPEAKS FOR US?
This is taken up very clearly in the essays of Pratibha Parmar, Hazel Carby, Errol Lawrence, et al. in The Empire Strikes Back, where the racism of British, middle-class social assumptions are fully bared by being put next to the white/European "civilized" ideals of the family. As many Black writers point out — most importantly Franz Fanon in The Wretched of the Earth and Aime Cesaire in Discourse on Colonialism — the colonizer (slaver or imperialist or whatever) not only reorganized the identity and social space of the colonized, but also at the same instant, through the same process, his own.
The absence, the gap, the silence regarding the presence of "others" or "their issues," did not bother the theoretical and investigative minds of these white feminists of all varieties. This physical non-representation in spacial/textual politics was not problematized. It was not remarked that nonwhite women were and are not seen as a real part of "feminist" textual production. The fact that this "exclusion" is organized by the very same principles that generate "inclusion" for white women still remains invisible to white feminists by and large.