Postcolonialism began in the early 1990s and was concerned

Postcolonialism   and   feminism  
are   some   of  
the   critical   discourse, which is bringing   most theoretical attention to
postcolonialism.  Feminists are geared
towards the understanding of the Third world women and the decimation of gender
in the racialized spaces. The postcolonial feminist also seeks to bring to knowledge,
of unheard voices of women in the postcolonial works as most postcolonial issues
cost by slavery and colonization but postcolonial feminist also came to show
how women were treated not only in the non-western world, but also in the
western world. Postcolonial feminism also wishes to bring out the problems
faced by women in the Third world.

Feminism metamorphosed into three waves, which is the first, the
second and the third wave of Feminism. The first wave being the 19th
century and the early twentieth century in the United States and the United
Kingdom. Its focus was reclaiming the right of Women.

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Long history of prejudices and inhuman remarks against females
prevailed over countless social and cultural texts ultimately led to the
emergence of feminism in late 60s and early 70s of twentieth century in the
West. Since then feminists went all out to reexamine issues of sex, gender, and
even language (as by-products of patriarchy) in literary and cultural
discourses. Feminism like Marxism and Post colonialism invalidates unjust power
relationships. Feminists having an oppositional stance started questioning
their inferior status and asked for amelioration in their social position
(Freedman, 2002). As such, it calls for equal justice and equal opportunities
for females. In short, feminism as a concerted attempt aims to get the nature
of gender inequality, gender politics, gender roles and relations, power
relations and sexuality. In other words, feminism as a reactive discipline
seeks to answer the question why women are treated as a second-class citizen
oppressed and enjoyed lesser opportunities than males. Feminism is consisted in
variegated; colorful approaches hence better to call such approach ‘feminisms’.
It is culture-based line. In multicultural countries, feminist approach looks
highly fragmented and multi-valent. The forms and colors of feminism in Indian
context are unique and surprising. In multi-cultural settings, the complexities
of feminine cannot be underemphasized (Raj Kumar Mishra, 2013).

The second wave of feminism was dialed with the issues of economic
and other forms of equality like having a carrier in addition to motherhood
while the third began in the early 1990s and was concerned with expanding
common definitions of gender and sexuality.

Postcolonial feminism
emerged as part of the third wave of feminism, which began in the 1980s, in tandem with many
other racially focused feminist movements in order to reflect the diverse
nature of each woman’s lived experience. It is sometimes viewed sometimes
viewed as ‘third world feminism’ born out of the critique aimed towards Western
feminism, which is mainly a white discourse.

The term often
used to coin the depiction of women in the postcolonial world is “Double
colonization” as they simultaneously experienced the oppression of colonialism and
patriarchy – a colonization of imperialism and their
male-dominated world.

Feminism can be defined as the social, political, and moral
experiences of women in a literary era. It stands for the social, political,
and economic inequalities. Writers of feminist movements seeks to stop the
inequality that existed between men and women. In post-colonial literature,
writers point out the inequalities experienced by the ex-slave and migrant
women, which were caused by the white men, the political and the social and
economic environments they found themselves in. Post colonialism is the
resistance to colonization and its effects on culture, brought about by
colonization. It therefore, tries to bring back history in to the present to
make the colonizers realize their pass atrocities committed on the colonized
and the ex-slave migrants.

The writers of postcolonial literature are mostly the colonized
people who seek to show their lost identities and gender marginalization
brought about by colonization and migrations, due to the slave trade. Postcolonial
feminism is therefore the presentation of women by postcolonial writers who
somehow where victims of the colonization and slave trade. They present the
women in the pre-colonial and post-colonial periods, bringing out the Gender
inequalities, which exited in the society

This study
will throw more weights on the postcolonial feminism mirroring one of the works
of Dabydeen in “A Harlot’s progress” where slave
from unknown African village has struggled with issues of self?representation.
David Dabydean is a British
writer of Guyana origin who aims at making the conditions
and discrimination of migrant women in Britain and countries of formal
colonizers known to the society especially western feminists to exercise a
change. He believes this brings about gender equality through the lifeless, undistorted
and non-stereotypic representation of the ‘third world women’.

In his novel
A Harlot?s Progress, David Dabydeen extends his scholarly interest in visual representations
of blacks in eighteenth century England from historical commentary to creative

There are many
instances given in Harlot’s progress where imperialism had negative impacts on
the lives of women in Africa. One of such instances as narrated by writer is a
case where he sees banished women to forbidden forests for their barrenness as
crude idealogy just because of imposed religious brought to his people. He sees
the idea of women being used as sex apparatus a night before their husbands go
to a battle or for a hunt as primitive. Rima recounts to Mungo the superiority
of the male counterpart is visibly obvious, as men have to be addressed as

He exposes the
dominance of men in the presence of their wives. He cites a case where a man
maintains his composure just because his wife has undermined his authority by
speaking of a matter he is ignorant of and pronouncing so decisively on it; in
addition, a matter that is properly the business of men.

In view of inferiority complex shown by females, it is
believed females need education to acquire skills to compete with men in the
outside world and hence a loss of feminine (spiritual) virtues; even though the
general belief is female counterparts are not met to be educated as it is
counted as waste of money and time. They are seen as tool for motherhood.

Sex exploitation of women — a character’s crippled condition becomes a
measure of their own. Her virginity is taken in return for a drink of secret
water. This case of sex exploitation is seen as a norm in a
male-dominated world. Ladies are called vulgar words like cunt, honeycomb and
their sex becomes a thing of ridicule in a communal clan.

In view of sexual
exploitation, Dabydeen here is pointing how women who are poor and have few options for survival
may fall victims to traffickers or may prostitute themselves when they
seemingly have no other choice. Without the possession of cultural or social
capital, women ranging from exotic dancers to trafficked women struggle against
economic, social, and sexual oppressions. Women would not be compelled to sell
sexual or erotic services if the political environment at the policy level
afforded equal opportunities to gain social capital, thus increasing poor
women’s vulnerability to being preyed upon or trafficked. Proponents of the
political economy perspective point to studies with disproportionate
percentages of housing instability and poverty among youth who trade sex to
survive, as well as the lack of economic options for girls and women who engage
in prostitution. Human trafficking migration patterns tend to flow from
East to West, but women may be trafficked from any country to another country
at any given time and trafficking victims exist everywhere. Many of the poorest
and most unstable countries have the highest incidences of human trafficking,
and extreme poverty is a common bond among trafficking victims. Where economic
alternatives do not exist, women and girls are more vulnerable to being tricked
and coerced into sexual servitude. Increased unemployment and the loss of job
security have undermined women’s incomes and economic position. A stalled
gender wage gap, as well as an increase in women’s part-time and informal
sector work, push women into poorly-paid jobs and long-term and hidden unemployment,
which leaves women vulnerable to sex traffickers.

issues are linked to poverty.

Woman’s plights
are dismissed as irrelevant myth belonging to the past; it is a tale more than
ordinary. Dabydeen is against portrayal of postcolonial women primarily
as ignorant, poor, uneducated, tradition-bound, domesticated, family-oriented,
and victimized. He feels that in such negative characterizations scant
attention is paid to history and difference. Postcolonial feminists disapprove
postcolonial tendencies to construct a single category of the colonized
ignoring differences. Even though there are arguments that colonial oppression
undoubtedly hurt sentiments of both men and women but nature of oppression was
quite different, this is what is  called double
colonization, first as a colonized subject and second as simply being a woman
by patriarchy.


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