Hello Mozambique

Every so often my academic friends tweet about interesting books and papers. I got one this morning (thanks Olivette!). The book in question is Sexuality and Gender Politics in Mozambique: Rethinking Gender in Africa by Signe Arnfred, who I think is Danish. There is a review of the book at Feminist Review, and what caught my eye was this comment:

Arnfred argues that in the same way that race, a ‘social, political, economic relation of domination, is reinvented as a biological difference, thus naturalized, [w]hat happens to “gender” is very similar: a social relation of male domination/female subordination, brought along with the European colonial powers and supported by Christianity, is represented as a biological difference between men and women, with the “natural” implication, that women are subordinated in relation to men’ (pp. 185–186).

This is very similar to the argument I have made about the erasure of trans people from non-European cultures. Obviously with trans folk there may be some biology involved, but the simplistic and incorrect understanding of that science by Victorian-era Europeans is what caused the problem.

So, another book I need to read. I do wish that academic books were not so expensive.

2 thoughts on “Hello Mozambique

  1. There are used hard cover editions available at amazon.com marketplace for a reasonable price and the new paperback editions are not that expensive either. I’m sure that some book shops in UK have this also for a reasonable price (and it was published already in 2011 so you can find it used also).
    Thank you for writing about interesting books like this one!

    1. Book Depository’s price for the paperback isn’t too bad. The trouble is with academic stuff that I’ll probably be paying for a whole book when the material I need comprises maybe half a dozen pages. This is what libraries are for. I need access to an academic library.

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