Women, Land, Embodiment: A Case of Postcolonial Ecofeminism

Citation:

Jabeen, Neelam. 2020. “Women, Land, Embodiment: A Case of Postcolonial Ecofeminism.” International Journal of Postcolonial Studies 22 (8): 1095-109.

Author: Neelam Jabeen

Abstract:

In continuation of a previous essay about how Pakistani Anglophone literature intervenes into the mainstream ecofeminist paradigm, in this essay I show how South Asian literature – specifically, Pakistani and Indian fiction – challenges the mainstream ecofeminist assumption of a symbolic woman–nature (land) connection where terms like fertile, barren, seed, rape, womb, virgin, etc. are used for both women and land, symbolically feminizing land, and naturalizing women. I argue that this woman–land connection cannot be merely regarded as symbolic because in the post/colonial South Asian societies that the selected texts present, women’s bodies are actually treated as land, which in turn complicates the notion of women–land embodiment, allowing a deeper understanding of the cause of the twin oppression of women and land.

Keywords: embodiment, postcolonial ecofeminism, women-land/nature connection

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Environment, Feminisms, Ecofeminism, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India, Pakistan

Year: 2020

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