Family Feuds: Gender, Nationalism and the Family1

Anne McClintock

all are invented,snd all aredangerousaregendered, All nationalisms butin sense as havingto be opposed, notin EricHobsbawm's dangerous, the sense of representingrelations to political power and to the of violence.Nationalism,as ErnestGellnernotes, invents technologies nations,despitetheir nationswherethey donot exist, andmostmodern appeal to an august and immemorialpast, are of recent invention warns,however,that Gellnertends Anderson (Gellner,1964).Benedict to assimilate 'invention'to 'falsity' rather than to 'imagining'and communiby contrast,views nationsas 'imagined Anderson, 'creation'. ties' in the sense that they are systems of cultural representation wherebypeoplecometo imaginea sharedexperienceof identification 1991:6). As such,nationsare (Anderson, with an extendedcommunity of the mind,but are historicaland instinot simply phantasmagoria tutional practices through which social differenceis invented and Nationalismbecomes,as a result, radicallyconstitutiveof performed. people'sidentities,throughsocialconteststhat are frequentlyviolent and always gendered.But if the inventednature of nationalismhas foundwide theoreticalcurrency,explorationsof the genderingof the paltry. havebeenconspicuously nationalimaginary of gender.Despite All nations dependon powerfulconstructions nationalisms'ideologicalinvestment in the idea of popular unity, nations have historicallyamountedto the sanctionedinstitutionalizNo nationin the worldgiveswomenandmen ationof genderdifference. the same accessto the rights andresourcesof the nation-state.Rather than expressingthe floweringinto time of the organicessence of a timeless people, nations are contestedsystems of culturalrepresentation that limit and legitimizepeoples'access to the resourcesof the nation-state.Yet with the notable exceptionof Frantz Fanon, male theorists have seldom felt moved to explore how nationalism is
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implicatedin gender power.As a result, as CynthiaEnloe remarks, nationalisms haveCtypically sprungfrommasculinized memory, masculinizedhumiliation andmasculinized hope'(Enloe,1989:44). GeorgeSantayana,for one, gives voiceto a well-established male view:COur nationalism is like ourrelationship to women: tooimplicated in our moral nature to be changed honourably,and too accidental to be worth changing'.Santayana'ssentence could not be said by a woman, for his Cour' of national agency is male, and his male citizen stands in the same symbolicrelationto the nation as a man standsto a woman.Not onlyare the needsof the nationhere identified with the frustrations and aspirations of men,but the representation of male national power depends on the prior constructionof gender difference. For Gellner,the very definitionof nationhood rests on the male recognition of identity:CMen are of the same nationif and only if they recognize eachotheras beingfromthe samenation.'(Gellner, 1964)For Etienne Balibar, such recognitionaligns itself inevitably with the notionof a Crace' structuredaboutthe transmissionof male powerand property: CUltimately the nationmust alignitself, spirituallyas well as physicallyor carnally,with the C4race", the C4patrimony" to be protected fromall degradation' (Balibar, 1991,myemphasis). EvenFanon,whoat othermomentsknew better,writes 'Thelookthat the native turns on the settlertownis a lookoflust . . . to sit at the settler'stable,to sleepin the settler's bed, with his wife if possible.The colonizedman is an enviousman'(Fanon,1963:30).ForFanon,bothcolonizer andcolonized arehereunthinkingly male,andthe manichaean agonofdecolonization is wagedoverthe territoriality of female,domesticspace. All too often in male nationalisms,gender differencebetween women and men serves to symbolicallydefine the limits of national differenceand power between men. Excludedfrom direct action as nationalcitizens,womenare subsumedsymbolically into the national bodypoliticas its boundary andmetaphoric limit:CSingapore girl,you're a great way to fly.' Womenare typically construedas the symbolic bearers of the nation, but are denied any direct relation to national agency.As EllekeBoehmernotes in her fine essay, the Cmotherland' of male nationalismmay thus Cnot signifbr C4home" and C4source" to women' (Boehmer, 1991:5). Boehmer notesthat the malerolein the nationalist scenariois typicallyCmetonymic', that is, men are contiguous with each other and with the nationalwhole.Women,by contrast,appearcina metaphoricor symbolic role' (Boehmer,1991:6). In an important intervention,Nira Yuval-Davisand Floya Anthias thus identify five major ways in which women have been implicatedin nationalism (Yuval-Davis andAnthias,1989:7): * as biological reproducers of the members of nationalcollectivities * as reproducers of the boundaries of nationalgroups(through restrictions on sexualormaritalrelations) * as activetransmittersandproducers of the nationalculture

while into criticalrelationwith othersocialstructures ofracial. First Family. participation andinstitutions.Second.oftencontradictory) emerges. In Britain. theoriesofnationalism to the genderingof nations.Cthe figuredas the antithesisofhistory. attentionto the structures at the sametimepayingscrupulous ethnic and class power that continueto bedevil privilegedforms of ^ * ^ temlmsm. at the sametime.As the nineteenthcenturydrewon. nationsas Cmotherlands' into the national that are not their nativehomes.Nations are of familial and domestic frequentlyfiguredthroughthe iconography to be born.and are Cnaturalized' and Cnative' family. figuredas domestiogenealogies.We speak of derivesfromCnatio': space. nations CMother as SouthAfrica's honoured might figureby whichhierarchical metaphoric indispensable couldbe shapedintoa single socialdistinctions add. figuring the shapearound tookincreasing Britain'semergentnationalnarrative an offered Cfamily' The Man. of the Nation'.' A feminist theory of nationalismmight be strategicallyfourfold: investigating the gendered formationof sanctioned male theories. of Family evolutionary of the image (and.socialist feminism.First. In much Western. as a feminist issue. of Chomelands' lands.the familyas an institution . The national family of man A paradoxlies at the heart of most nationalnarratives. at the same time. <[i]ssues tendedto be ignored. in at least twoways.NationandFamily 63 s signifiersofnationaldifference as symbolic in nationalstruggles * as activeparticipants Nationalismis thus constitutedfromthe verybeginningas a gendered withouta theoryof particular.feminist theoristsare typicallyindifferent analyses of nationalismhave been lamentablyfew and far between. the familyas an institutionbecamevoidedof history.Thefamily Yet a curiousparadox historicalgenesisnarrative. nationalism havebeen slowto recognize Whitefeminists.After1859andthe adventof offersa Cnatural' historicaltime. while.We talk of the Family of Nations.In this way. immigrationmatters are dealt with at the Home in the United States. discourse. Nonethe less.WinnieMandelawas. as a metaphoroffereda single genesis narrativefor nationalhistory. until her recent fall from grace. are symbolically itselfhas been family' sincethe midnineteenthcenturyin the West.and cannotbe understood If male reveala doubledisavowal. bringinginto historicalvisibilitywomen'sactive culturaland political bringingnationalistinstitutions in Yuvalof ethnicityandnationalityhave Davis andAnthiaspointout.The term Cnation' countries Cadopt' Foreigners andCfatherlands'. the Presidentand his wife are calledthe Office.the family Thefamilytropeis important figure for sanctioning social hierarchywithin a offers a Cnatural' tropefor putativeorganicunityof interests.

a orderof affiliation.64 FeministReview was figured as existing.the global'familyof nations'. beyond the commodity L.First.(Davidoff.beyondpolitics.Nationalorimperial progression that naturally contained hierarchy non-revolutionary withinunity:paternalfathersrulingbenignlyoverimmaturechildren. as a metaphoric nation-state. thus Hall. national for figure the organizing upper Saidhas pointedto a transitionin the late Victorian Edward to a cultureof relations) (familial middleclassfroma cultureof'filiation' relations).and imperial capitalism.Thefamilyimagewas thus drawnon as a category difference element of historical unity as an 'organic' within hierarchy to figure for legitimizingexclusion progress.Whileretainingthe powerfuldistinctionbetween the linearthrust of Said's I wish to complicate filiationand affiliation.The metaphoric depictionof social hierarchyas natural and familial .the filiativeorderdid not disappear: reinventedwithin the new ordersof the after-image.Since the familyimageon into adults.andchildto adult.or a vocation.the colonyas a 'familyof black childrenruled over by a white father'. credo. C.Sincethe subordination of social forms other fact. the family The significance withina socialhierarchy figureforsanctioning an indispensable offered to woman of putativeorganicunityof interests.historicalchangeas natural.was deemed hierarchy could be depicted in familial terms to guarantee social of nature.the bureaucracy.In the courseof the nineteenthcentury. 1987)The family antithesis. as its well as history.a the culturalinvention Increasingly.liberal individualismand imperialism. typicallyattendedby a secondmoment. Secondly. legitimizing metropolisand the colonialbureaucracy shape.organictime.projecting progress childrenCnaturally' enabledwhatwas oftenmurderously CProgress' to nationalandimperial of natural unfolding violentchangeto be legitimizedas the progressive couldbe figuredas an organic. of the familytropewas twofold. by natural decree. and market. naturalized shadowy.too.and beyondhistoryproper.thus dependedon the prior of womenand childrenwithin naturalizingof the socialsubordination the domesticsphere.the turn to a compensatory whichmightvariouslybe an institution.the socialfunctionof the great servicefamilies (whichhad been invested in filiative rituals of onto the national becamedisplaced rankandsubordination) patrilineal onto projected was family ofthe image filiative So.The decay of filiation was. both time. . filiationtookan imperialshape. the industrial bureaucracy.the 'national family'.I argue. a natural man. intervention decree. form. bothonto the national FamilyofManwas projected ofthe evolutionary as its natural. same the and one at became.the family offeredan indispensabletrope for figuring whatwas oftenviolent. their as institutions affiliative emerging ratherit flourished Thus.and therebybecameindispensable suchas socialformations (affiliative) withinnon-familial andhierarchy nationalism. story. he argues.Said arguesthat a perceivedcrisis (non-familial 'affiliation' familytookon the aspectof a in the late Victorianupper-middle-class pervasive cultural affliction.

to the rightsandresources relationship person's becomes citizenship the putatively universalist concept of national unstable when seen from the position of women. citizenship is the legal representationof a But ofthe nation-state. past'[Kandiyoti.women were not incorporated throughmen.Bhabha. The CodeNapoleon was the firstmodernstatuteto decreethat the wife'snationalityshould follow her husband's. thus attemptingtoconfine guilt? (Fanon. . modernJanus' gazingback into the primordial face one time: of figure contradictory mists of the past. The dream of the 'total domesticationof Algeriansociety'came to haunt colonialauthority. n mocern Europe.In Benjamin's (Buck-Morss. paradox crucialinsightintothe temporal centralfeatureof nineteenthcenturyindustrialcapitalismwas the 'use of archaic images to identify what was historicallynew about the insight.citizenshipin relationwithinthe family. of modernity. . the nationwas mediatedby the marriage . the other into an infinite future. In post-French directly into the RevolutionEurope.lose their originsin the myths of son. 1991:1).femalebodybecamethe terrainoverwhichthe militarycontest was fought. Deniz Kandiyoti expresses the temporal contradictionwith clarity: 4[Nationalism] presents itself both as a modernprojectthat melts and transforms of in favourofnewidentitiesand as a reflection attachments traditional authentic cultural values culled from the depths of a presumed NairnandAnderfollowing 1992).the idea of familythus captured. acrosstime) as a natural. 1989:67). 1965:38). (Nairn.'Around tookshapeas a domestic frequently intervention the family life of the Algerian.imperial rescuedrama.but onlyindirectly membersof the familyin privateand publiclaw. socialrelationto a man throughmarriage. "antiquity" canthus ask:'Supposing Anderson nationalprogress.and the domesticated.For women. the nation takes shape as a For 1977). . of commodities' "nature" imagesof inventing dependson systematically of'Progress' the mapping time to identifywhat is historically'new'aboutenlightened. communal like narratives. The gendering of nation time TomNairnin namingthe nation'the A numberof criticshave followed nuity(hierarchy and state give to capacity its in of the Familyof Manbecameinvaluable the alibiof nature.the occupierpiled up a whole mass of withina circleof the Algerian judgements. The evolutionary throughspace)and temporaldisconti(hierarchy sociald7scontinuity The idea continuity. .NationandFamily 65 in one potenttrope. Bhabha and Andersonborrowhere on Walter Benjamin's a ForBenjamin. time and only fully realize their horizonsin the mind'seye' (Bhabha. 'archaic' were. as dependent nation-stateas citizens. writes:sNations. imperialintervention As Fanon eloquentlydescribesit in 'Algeriaunveiled'.an example other Europeancountriesbriskly as a relationto the nationwas submerged A woman'spolitical followed.

Men. Johannes Fabian's important meditation on time and anthropology. 'they spatialized time'.Womenare as a 'natural' figuringthe contradiction of nationaltradition representedas the atavisticand authentic'body' connationalism's and natural). an organicprocessof upwardgrowth. represent the potentand (forward-thrusting. Social evolutionismand gave to national politics a conceptof natural time as anthropology was 'progress' familial.Theaxis of timewas projected historybecameglobal. agentofnationalmodernity progressive prinor revolutionary progressive. history. subordinatedinto a hierarchicalstructure of branchingtime . the world'sdiscontinuous'nations' appearto be marshalledwithin a single. onthe character the family. followingDarwin.with the Europeannation as the are rankedand discontinuities Third.66 FeministReview of "novelty?' consequence juncture. Time. history is imaged as naturally teleological. does not address. and the offofthe past.tookon the character The exemplaryfigurefor spatializingtime was the Family Tree. With the publicationof The Origin of Species. managedas a naturalrelationto gender. a point Fabian. Mappedagainst the global Tree. Second. Fabianpoints (chronological imperialproject out. three principles emerge. backward-looking.veeringbetweennostalgiafor the past.the necessary at a certainhistorical 1991:xiv).however.and worldhistory. by contrast.cosmologiThe socialevolutionists cal Tree and secularizedit as a natural genealogyof nature. Whatis less oftennoticed.but also historical scienceof on to a global.inconvenient apogeeof progress.IEmeand the Other(1983).evolutionary types. it was domesticated.In orderto do this.embodying ( that the temporalanomaly within nationalism.embodying relationto timeis thus anomalous Nationalism's cipleof discontinuity.Now not only naturalspace.the time) (chronicle brokethe holdofbiblicalchronology socialevolutionists empirical. nationalism's historic).taxonomic andmapped time. In the image of the FamilyTree. servative principle of continuity. rubricof underthe organizing of an evolvingspectacle. hierarchicalEuropeanurnarrative.however. In the secularizedTree of Time. the perchon its lowerbranches. for one.imperial history. the of disposal the at it placing and by secularizingtime time). tookthe ancientimageofthe divine.organized distinct'family' as a seriesof anatomically represented Violentnationalandimperialchangethus took into a linearprocession. (Anderson. The merging of the 'racial'evolutionaryTree and the 'gendered'Family into the Family Tree of Man providedscientific .especiallynationalandimperial Mostimportantly.the differentialprogressof'racially'differentnations mappedagainst the tree's self-evidentboughs. was thus not onlysecularized.shows how.CharlesDarwinbestowedon the developingglobalprojectof . couldbe collected history.with 'lessernations'destined.secularTimeas the agentof a unified a decisivedimension empiricism on to the axis typicallyresolvedby sloughing divisionofgender. of a spectacle.

but existed.Women.while 'all the anti-imperial dumpedinto three categories:mimicryof Europe.We might do well to developa more theoretically complex.varied trajectories. ethnicitiesand generationsdo in the the myriadnationalformations not identifywith.A feministinvestigation (Hobsbawm.childlike.In South Africa. Differentgenders. while the family itself the domainof private. like colonized anteriortime withinthe modernnation.Britainhad scantinterestin its unpromising (1867) of diamonds the southerntip of Africa.I wish now to beyond of relationbetweenthe inventedconstructions turn to the paradoxical familyandnation. archiveof the nationalarchaic.middle-class agency of national 'prowere seen to embodythe forward-thrusting gress'.irrationaland regressive.female space)was figuredas (conventionally.White. anti-Western of nationaldifference 1990:151). the dismissalof ThirdWorld of Hobsbawm's Eurocentricism breathtaking nationalismswarrantssustained criticism. might.the living anachronistic men.performed sameway. consequences Afrikaner nationalism and gender colonyat Until the 1860s.In a gesture of sweeping 'original nominatesEuropeas nationalism's Hobsbawm peoples.Thusthe figureofthenationalFamilyofManrevealsa persistent the invented domainof (conventionally.National 'Progress' male.But very quickly.nationalisms that do not follow a universal blueprint.the conservativerepositoryof the nationalarchaic. it couldpopularize Britain'semergingnational narrativegenderedtime by figuring class)as inherentlyatavistic andthe working women(likethe colonized . did not inhabit history theyhavetakenshapewithinSouthAfricain both relations to the competing black and white women'scontradictory nationalgenealogies. by contrast.miningneeds for cheaplabourand a centralizedstate collidedwith traditionalfarming . at this point. a permanently humans.take into accountthe dynamicsocial and historic contexts of national struggles.classes.and strategicallysubtlegenealogy of nationalisms. their strategic mobilizingof popular forces.that thereis no singlenarrativeof the nation. At the very least. unceremoniously highspiritsofmartialtribes' andthe 'natural xenophobia. public space) was figured as familial.the competingAfrikanerand Africannationalisms withvery different trajectories.and their relation to other social institutions.certainly. are movementsof any significance' home'.Withthese theoreticalremarksin mind.Onlyuponthe discovery andgold(1886)werethe UnionJackandthe redcoatsshippedout with any real sense of imperialmission. by contrast.NationandFamily 67 andracialimagethroughwhich gendered racismwith a simultaneously the idea of was argued. or experience in ways andconsumed areinvented. history. their myriad. Onecan safelysay. havehadbothdistinctandoverlapping forwomen.

to invent slaves and women. counter-culture in the Union of and the British capitalists swore blood-brotherhood 1910. The a recent effortto is currentlydebating shore up its waning power. (kitchen-language) scorned as the 'kombuistaal' thereforehad.andout of these contradictions. modestclerks and shopkeepers. quite literally. white male aspirationsand white male politics.Afrikaner name: the Broederbond(the brotherhood). the Broederbond Afrikaansspeakingmen into the whetherto admitso-called'Coloured' continueto be barred. brotherhood.the rag-taglegionof'poorwhites'with little or no prospects. All womenwill. the Anglo-Boer Africanlandandlabour. O'Meara.Indeed. of Nationalistpolicy(Moodie.Review 68 Feminist forcontrolover in the conflict interests. the inventionof Afrikaner men cliqueofAfrikaans In of Afrikanerdom Henceforth.newspapers. staal' ('Hottentot's associations. Warof 1899-1902. Boervernaculars the myriad fashioning just sucha movement. the invention of this Whenthe Boergenerals had a clearclass component. to do the inventing. however. 1983).Theywerea historicpurpose.and elevated to the status of the august "degenerate" 1987:97). nationalismwould be synonymouswith white male elabortwentiethcentury. invented communityof the volk requiredthe a popularpress and a consciouscreationof a single print-language. as a language.the the small farmersand poorteachers. a single identifiable into has brilliantlyshown. a required Atthe sametime.Afrikaners andno the flurryof 'languagemovement' novels and countlessculturalevents. in the new state. .as the despised'Hotnotate labourof'regeneration' language')was revampedand purgedof its rural. identity. launcheda secret society.1975.exploded of had no monolithic To beginwith.the bloodied if they were to survive in the had to forge a new counter-culture emergent capitalist state.a small. From the neatly summedup in its the society. all precarious the intellectualsandpetitebourgeoisie.1983).Aftertheirdefeatby was a doctrine nationalism Afrikaner remnantsof the scatteredBoercommunities the British. beganto identifythemselvesas the vanguardof a new Afrikanerdom.the inventionoftradition IsabelHofmeyr was undertaken.with smatteringsof the slave. 'mothertongue'of the Afrikaanspeople(Hofmeyr. the chosen emissaries of the national volk (Moodie. however. as a whole.magazines. was legallyrecognized Afrikaans traditionhad a clear At the same time.Afrikaners themselves.The class of culturalbrokersand image-makers of the early twentieth century.NguniandKhoisanlanguagesof house-servants. provided decadesofthe the early In Afrikaans language. with the express mission of capturingthe loyalties of dispiritedAfrikanersand fosteringwhite male business swiftly burgeonedinto a secret.clandestine gendercomponent.The tiny white brotherhood poweroverall aspects mafiathat cameto exertenormous country-wide The genderbias of O'Meara. poems.1975. power.speakinga medleyof HighDutchandlocal dialects. In 1918. common disunited.

The nation emerges as the progenyof male historythroughthe motorof military might.the reinventionof the replicas of Voortrekker Eachwagonwas literallybaptized. male inseminationof Europeanmilitaryhistory. lanlandsalsoeffectsa colonial of'virgin' Thefeminizing guageand'reason'.two decadesafterthe recognition patriarch.and passivelyawaiting the thrusting. Nine wagons were built .A divinely Africans'falsely' 'degenerate' the nationin a malebirthingritual. the decorous andthe invisibilityofwhite oftheirsexualityto the patriarch. an epic extravaganzaof inventedtraditionenflamedAfrikanerdominto a deliriumof nationalistpassion. figureofthe volksmoeder.racial and gender'degeneration'. At the centre of this imperial the uolk. The wagons rumbledalong differentroutes from Cape Town to Pretoria.voidedof sexual whatis figured cal space.the women's starchedwhite bonnetssignifyingthe purityof the race. white men grew beardsand white womendonnedthe ancestralbonnets. relationto the nationas indirect.epicmale of Afrikaansas a In 1938.mediatedthroughher social woman's relationto men. territorial aboriginalterritorialrights. and the white male patrimonycan be violentlyassured. At the heart of the continent. white motherand childrensequesteredin the wagon. of colonial society at large: the whip-wieldingwhite the microcosm patriarchprancing on horseback.called generically.creaking (wifeandmother). her nationalidentitylying in her unpaidservicesand throughhusbandandfamily.Africans servants toiling alongside. erasure. stands the the motherofthe nation. effronteryof slave the Boer massacre of the Zulus at the Battle of Blood River.NationandFamily 69 the historyofthe volk historiography. Thiswagon.Huge crowdsgatheredto greet the wagons. land'the mythofthe 'virgin land'is simultaneously mythofthe 'empty is to be 'virgin' narrative. engulfingthe countryin a four-month Alongthe way. hero. language.ortheEeufees(Centenary). journeyinto empty as in racialandgendertime.One was.Eachwagonbecame sacrifices. surrender femalelabour. historiography Thecentralemblemof Afrikaans andeachtrek is figuredas a familypresidedoverby a single. Trek(Second the and laws British from away 1838 in Trek Great mutinous first Boers' commemorated also Centenary The emancipation. Afrikaner In the voluminous as an imperial figured narrative national male a is organizedaround in geographiforwards proceeds journey The lands. an historic agon is staged. cannotclaim forif the land is virgin.and spectacleof inventedtradition. baptizes conflict military organized which grants to white men the patrimonyof land and history.Withinthe colonial effectinga double to be emptyof desire.sparkingalong the way an orgy of nationalpageantry. as claimentitlementto the land.Dubbedthe Tweede the the eventcelebrated Trek).Vrouen Moeder symbolized acrossthe country.and archaicto sanctionmodernity.No wagonwas namedafter an namedafter a male Voortrekker adult woman.butbackwards The a prehistoriczone of linguistic. contradictory is the GreatTrek.As the . however.

until Anderson printcapitalism. babies were namedafter trekker Nota fewgirlswerebaptized heroes.Review 70 Feminist Nation of theAfrikaans Markers as Boundary Women trekkerspassed throughthe towns. Nuremberg In our time. recently. The first point about the TweedeTrekis that it invented white nationalist traditions and celebratedunity where none had existed before. organize spectacle. national collectivityis experiencedpreeminentlythroughspectacle.Despite In this respect. The Eeufesia(Centeneria).but a newpoliticalstyle:the politicsof fetish symbolandculturalpersuasion. The TweedeTrekwas inspirednot onlyby the Nazi creedof Blut undBoden.Here I departfromAnderson. I suggest. One could arguethat the singularpowerof nationalismhas been its capacityto of the management unitythrough collective a senseofpopular.creatingthe illusionof a collectiveidentitythroughthe political The secondpointis that the Nationalists spectacle.been accessibleto a relativelysmall literate elite.with explicit scoutsbearing ledbythousandsofAfrikanerboy ThirdReichovertones.nationalism . favourite: but popular with the improbable affair climaxedin Pretoriain a spectacularmarathon.who sees technologyof nationalismas emergingprimarilyfromthe Gutenberg neglectsthe factthat printcapitalhas. mass nationalcommodity inhabitsthe wereroadsandpublicbuildings. flaeming torches. stagingof vicarious adoptedthis ploy fromthe Nazis.

the EeuSees management. myriad the over paper to bond threatenedthem.NationandFamily 71 Hegel)to the idea nationalism(following of European the commitment nationalism of rationalProgress. of performance inventedcommunity: which nationalismis a symbolic effortby the Broederself-conscious and the Eeafeeswas a calculated and class tensionsthat gender regional.mass rallies.Thisgendereddivisionof labouris summedup in the colonialgospelof the family. while womenwerethe (unpaid)keepersof traditionandthe volk'smoraland spiritualmission. costumes and crowd revealedthe extent to Morethan anything.Thevolksmoeder. colonialists betweenAfrikaner conflict The invention of the volksmoeder: mum's the word The Anglo-BoerWar (fundamentallya war over African land and labour)was in many respectswaged as a war on Boer women. a triumph of image team sports. as the Eeafeesborewitness. Nor is it an ideologyimposedwilly-nillyon fact than a socialcategory. offetishobjects: throughthe visible.wherebymen were gendereddierision seen to embodythe politicaland economicagency of the volk. flaming torches. The EeuSeeswas. for the Nationalists'triumphantsweep to powerin 1948. which are projected work remains to be Considerable embodiedin impassionedobjects. incendiaryspeeches. constantlyto the pressures arising from Africanresistance and the andBritishimperialists. of national creationprevailed.ritualorganization airplanelogos. formsof popular on to and fetishes embodycrises in social value.completewith the spectacularregalia of flags.and adapted with paradox.andso on. nationalismtakes shape flags.and the presidingiconof the volksmoeder is less a biological however. patriotic songs.3 nationalFromthe outset.anthems. though certainlynot the only one. ofthe nation-stateas the embodiment and transmittedprimarilythroughfetishismhas been experienced denigratedas the preciselythe culturalformthat the Enlightenment antithesis of'Reason'.the Britishtorched camps. Afrikaner ism was dependent not only on powerful constructionsof racial A of genderdifference. but also on powerfulconstructions difference.uniforms.Moreoften than not. the myriad is a changing.maps. spectacle. As a fetishistic displacementof difference.In an the farmsandlands. by anyone's standards. effortto breakBoerresistance.for the success of the TweedeTrekin mobilizinga sense of white Afrikanercollectivitywas a major reason. fetish ritualsof nationalspectacle. (themotherofthe nation).nationalcuisinesand of collectivefetish as well as throughthe organization architectures.militarydisplays. Farfrombeingpurelysexualicons.2 refuseornegotiatethe male doneonthe waysin whichwomenconsume.dynamicideologyrife underconstantcontestby men succeededfamously. hapless femalevictims. intoconcentration andherdedthousandsofwomenandchildren .Rather.nationalflowers.

'Notfornothing' as Hofmeyr notes. whitewomen werejealouslyandbrutallydeniedanyformalpoliticalpower.the mighty male embarrassment of militarydefeat couldbe overlooked. it is a retrospective iconography of gendercontainment. three years after Union.Yet. It is importantto emphasizethis for two reasons. Afrikaanswas a languagefashioned veryprofoundly bywomen's labours. the Vrouemonument (Women'sMonument)was erected in homageto the femalevictimsofthe war.000 womenand childrenperishedof hunger. but active. essential sisterhood in suSering. Clutching this small power.wherewomenstandweepingwith their children. it recognizesthe powerof (white)motherhood. Here.72 FeministReview where25.As such they were complicit in deploying the powerof motherhood in the exerciseand legitimation of white domination. afterthe Anglo-Boer War.'wasit calledthe "mother tongue".White women were not the weeping bystanders of apartheid history. withinthe economy ofthe domestic household.motherhood is a politicalconceptunder constant contest.white women'sactivismis overlookedandtheirdisempowerment therebyratified.but were compensated bytheirlimitedauthority in the household. but as emblematic of national(that is. In 1913.Whitewomenare bothcolonizedand colonizers. ' (1987) In Afrikaner nationalism. Certainly. The icon of the volksmoeder is paradoxical.1990). on the otherhand. women played a crucialrole in the invention of Afrikanerdom. male)disempowerment. . and the memory of women's vital effortsduringthe warwashedawayin images of femininetears andmaternalloss. they became complicit in the racism that suffuses Afrikanernationalism. domesticenclosure.For this reason. stoicalandself-sacrificial (Brink. On the one hand. if decidedly disempowered.andreplaced by the figure of the lamentingmotherwith babein arms. Erasing Afrikanerwomen'shistoricagency also erases their historic complicityin the annals of apartheid. black South Africanwomen have been justly suspiciousof any easy assumptionof a the early decadesof this century.Definedas weepingvictims of Africanmenace. containingwomen's mutinouspowerwithinan iconography of domesticservice. stemming fromcolonialwomen'sambiguous relationto imperialdomination. participants in the inventionof Afrikaner identity. The familyhouseholdwas seen as the last bastionbeyondBritish control. Indeed. and the culturalpowerof Afrikaner motherhood was mobilizedin the serviceof white nation-building.Women's disempowerment was figurednot as expressiveof the politicsof genderdifference. By portraying the Afrikaner nationsymbolically as a weepingwoman. women'smartial role as fighters and farmers was purgedof its indecorously militantpotential.desolationand disease.the politicalpowerof the fierce Boer womenwas muted and transformed.ambiguouslyimplicatedin the history of Africandispossession.Themonumentenshrined Afrikaner womanhood as neithermilitantnorpolitical.Themonument tookthe formof a circular. butas suffering.

.soonto becomethe African nationalism..uniting the four squabblingprovincesunder a single legislature.and as replicating the wives of the members . servicerole to nationalismwas summedup in vote.They were urban. in the full civicparticipation demanding andassimilationist.likeits nationalism African capitalismandrapidindustrialization.Yet at the 'national' not a singleblackSouthAfricanwas present. In outragedresponse. black women'srelation to their exclusion nationalism was structuredaround a contradiction: within the ANC contrastedwith their fromfull politicalmembership activism. the Afrikaner class base.At this gathering. shall ipso facto become auxiliary members.the SouthAfricanNatives NationalCongress NationalCongress. Theirsubordinate. increasinggrass-roots women'sresistancewas shapedfrombelow..Andso.a traditionalpatriarchal (whichprotected (all male). anti-tribal and radical change. of conscious the product counterpart. the Union was an act of profoundbetrayal. the enactreinvention. A colourbar banished Africansfromskilledlabour.rather than confrontation 1991). in 1912. great British Empire. Forged in the crucible of imperial thuggery. clerks. was launched. .' suitableshelterandentertainment In 1913 the white state saw fit to imposepasses on womenin an effortto pre-empttheir migrationto the cities..Whilethe languageof the was in ANCwas the inclusive languageof nationalunity.NationandFamily 73 Gender and the ANC: 'No longer in a future heaven' has roughlythe samehistoricvintageas Afrikaner nationalism African nationalism. It shall be the duty of all auxiliarymembersto provide fordelegatesto the Congress.the kind of men whomFanon describedas 'dusted over with colonial culture'.. Afrikaner ment of a new political collectivityby specificcultural and political werevery different. But its racialand gendercomponents Africannationalismwould describeits own distinct trajectoryacross the century. mining was. Theywerealso solidlymale(Lodge.ranked by an upper house of chiefs authoritythroughdescent).As Frene Ginwala(1990)has argued. which saw women'spoliticalrolewithinnationalismas mediatedby the marriage 'All wives'domesticroles within marriage: relation.and an executive(all lowerhouse of electedrepresentatives male). join as 'auxiliary Wivesofmalememberscould membership. In 1910 the Union of South Africawas formed. small businessmenand traders.and agents. Indians and so-called 'coloureds'were excluded from full members'. Drawn from the tiny urban intelligentsia and petite teachersand its memberswere mostly mission-educated bourgeoisie.ForAfricans convention. For the first thirty years of the ANC. the draft constitutionof the SANNC (later the ANC).the Congress fact exclusive and hierarchical. as well as the powerto but were deniedformalpoliticalrepresentation.and the franchisewas deniedto all but a from on Bloemfontein men descended handful.African all overSouthAfricato protesta Unionin whichno blackpersonhad a voice.had a narrow At the outset.

is less the universal and biological Motherhood. the climate of militancygave birth to the Bantu Women'sLeague of the AfricanNationalCongress.'4At women's own and votingrights reverently Makeba. as 'Ma addressed the singer. At this time. Thus in Africannationalfromthe outset.74 FeministReview to flingback mutinouslyon Bloemfontein hundredsof womenmarched theirpasses. women'sorganizedparticipation ism stemmed less from the invitation of men.1937) the struggle. and their political by the lanFage of familial serviceand subordiagencydomesticated in so far as it servedthe volunteerworkwas approved nation. which severely curtailed women'smovements. and the Women'sCharter was for workerbenefits and union formed.and inspiredmuch of its substance. the abolition of child labour. . in the presidingideologyof politicalagencyhas been couched women's WinnieMandelahas long been hailed as 'Motherof the motherhood. Nation'. but not solely.6 than it is a socialcategoryunderconstant of womanhood. educated.'5 formembers 'suitableshelterandentertainment After the Urban Areas Act of 1937.It had takenthirty-oneyears. however.It is seldomnoted.the right to vote. greaterautonomy.and the Federationof South African on Pretoriato oncemore In 1956thousandsof womenmarched Women. and equal rights with men in and childcustody.the ANCgrantedwomenfull membership national in 1943.which was launchedin 1918. quintessence transmutedand transformed contest. Within African nationalism.the ANC Women'sLeague the Freedom thrived.andfortheirtemeritymetthe fullbruntof state wrathin a insurgence Women's andhardlabour. universaleducation. women's mission was still trivializedand domesticated.Africanwomenhave embraced. andmen'sanxietiesaboutlosingcontrol.the ANCdecidedthat a Women's (Mpama. on the tiny. however.' calls for yet tensionswouldpersistbetweenwomen's Leaguebe formed.imprisonment barrage alarmedboth the state and not a few Africanmen.defined as providing or delegates. Duringthe turbulentfifties. as in its Afrikaans counterpart. drawingby and large.Thetimehas arrived onlywith domestic theirmenin with shoulder to enterthe politicalfieldandstandshoulder In 1943.This was the decadeof the insistence began to be voiced for a more 'We militant and explicitly political national women'sorganization: or concernourselves womencan no longerremainin the background forwomento andsportsaffairs.callingfor land redistribution.that marriage property. housing and food subsidies. as merelysupportive figured nationalmovementcan be strongunless the womenvolunteerscome forward and offer their services to the nation. rights.Christianelite.Women's political identity was women's and 'nation'. protest against passes for women. None the less. the (male) of interests As PresidentSemesaid:'No andauxiliary. this charterprecededthe FreedomCharter.however.women'spotentialmilitancywas muted. than from their own politicizationin resisting the violence of state decree.andMiriam however. Africa'. Charter.Nonethe less. of arrests.the CongressAlliance.

but technologies of nolence.Standup andbe counted with other women. blackorwhite.unlike their Afrikaans counterparts. womenhave everywhere enlarged their militancy.and community actinsm of myriadkinds Even underthe State of Emergency. Albertina Sisulu appealedimpatientlyto whitetolerate this?' In 1986 women:CA motheris a mother. At the outset. women'slocal rites of defiance national scale in rents and bus boycotts. Unlike Afrikaans women.7 Blackwomen's relationto nationalismhas thus undergone significant historical changes over the years. anti-rapeprotests. can you as a woman. Since the a mother. have been mirroredon a organizedsquatter camps. identifying themselves more and more as the Cmothers of revolution'.Africanwomen appealed to a racially inclusive image of motherhood in their campaignsto fashion a nonracial alliance with white women. moreover.Africanwomen nationalists. working strategicallywithin traditional ideology to justify untraditional public militancy.' Overthe decades. A Federation of South African Women pamphlet of 1958 exhortedwhite women: CIn the name of humanity. strikes.have transformedand infused motherhood with an increasingly insurrectionary the ideology of cast.NationandFamily 75 VOICE OF WOMEN 3rd Qual:er 1980 YEAR OF T}fE t}fARTER A quaeerly maWa2ine d the ANC(St W¢ncen's S§etion the ideologyin a variety of ways. women were L .insistingnot onlyon also on their rightof accessto the their rightto politicalagency.

8 Duringthe sixties and seventies.still largely male. It is as progressiveor reactionaryas nationalism.9 On 2 May 1990.with black women demandingthe right to fashionthe terms of nationalistfeminismto meet their own needs and situations.the NationalExecutiveof the ANCissued an historiccstatementon the Emancipation of Women'. on 17 June 1990. which forthrightlyproclaimed: CThe experience ofothersocietieshas shownthat the emancipation of womenis not a by-product of a strugglefordemocracy. distinct fromthe national. a transformedAfrican discourse on feminism has emerged. then theirvolunteerworkwas put at the service of the national revolution.So far. A few monthslater.recentlyreturnedto SouthAfricafromexile. Gradually.' Ifthe ANCremainsfaithful to this document. At the sametime. We have not got rid of the term nationalism. traditions and practiceswhich discriminateagainst womenshallbe heldto be unconstitutional. the leadershipof the ANC Women's Section. thereis nothingwrong with feminism. nationalliberationor socialism. intothe bargain. . the degreeto whichthis rhetorical recognition will findpoliticalandinstitutionalformremainsto be a result of women'sown insurrections.and womencouldill affordto antagonizemen so embattled. nrtually all existingpractisesin SouthAfrica's legal.It has to be addressedwithinour own organization.and alreadyso reluctantto surrender whateverpatriarchal powerthey still enjoyed. Nationalismcan be reactionary or progressive. . feminismshouldbe tailoredto meet localneedsandconcerns.Onlyrecentlyhas women'sempowerment been recognized in its own right. customs. Feminism and nationalism For many decades.women's position within the nationalist movementwas still precarious. politicaland sociallife will be rendered unconstitutional.Nonethe less.that all Claws. the mass democratic movementand in the society as a whole. but their emancipation was still figuredas the handmaidenof national revolution.Africanwomenhave been loath to talk of women's emancipation outsidethe terms of the nationalliberationmovement. however.' The document is unprecedentedin placing South African women'sresistancein an internationalcontext.' Rather.insisted on the strategicvalidity of the term 'feminism': CFeminism has been misinterpreted in mostthirdworldcountries. theoretical . In recent years. the need forwomen'sfull participation in the national liberationmovementwas grantingfeminism independent historicagency.andin declaring.And with feminism it is the same.76 Feminist Review deniedformalrepresentation.Africanwomenraisedjustifiably scepticaleyebrowsat a white feminismthat vaunted itself as giving tongueto a universalsisterhood in suffering.democratic and socialist revolution. black womenwere understandably waryof the middle-class feminismthat was sputteringfitfullyto life in the white universitiesand suburbs. Yet very real uncertaintiesfor womenremain.

male aspirationsandmaleprivilege. victimized andparadigmatically monolithic. divisive. is to cover insist on silenceaboutgenderconflict To ask womento over. whenit nationalism.Thesingularcontribution nationalist feminism has been its insistence on relating feminist movements. last In the privilege.If nationalismis not transformed power. the within transformlabourrelations given the same political visibility as men.borrowing colourhave been vehementin challengingprivilegedfeministswhose article. of the feminismsare deridedas a pathology the for hegemonic.biddingwomenholdtheir tonguesuntil after the revolution. rethinking deep. of how.Moreover.buttheir womencalledforattentionto sexualharassment demandwas brusquelyflickedaside by male unionistsas a decadent Lesbianandgay activists imperialistfeminism'. of Cbourgeois symptom have been similarly condemnedas supportinglifestyles that are no morethan invidiousimportsof empire. WorldWoman' throughthe use of the categoryCThird subject. wait until after the revolution. to womenlivingundervery of this feminismmaywell be inappropriate are callingforthe rightto situations. Feminism.1986). Denouncingall feminisms as imperialist.Therehas beenlittle strategic not are women and household.the nation-statewill remaina repositoryof male hopes.1991) challengesthe appropriation of women of colour'sstruggles by white the international publishing.Feminismis imperialistwhen it puts the interests and needs of privilegedwomenin womenand abovethe localneedsofdisempowered imperialistcountries womenof decade.women who are not empoweredto afterthe to organize duringthe strugglewill notbe empowered organize by an analysis of gender struggle. mutiniesaroundthe worldpredated manywomen's if all feminists.NationandFamily 77 havenotrun genderimbalances andstrategicanalysesof SouthAfrica's to in particular.but. At a recent COSATU (Congressof South AfricanTrade Unions) convention. nor is there one patriarchy. patriarchal from men. remain will feminists white dangerthat Western.In an important ChandraTalpadeMohanty( the lessons isms arefromthe outsetconstituted of internationalhistory portend. specifically as a singular.Instead.To Yet feminismis a politicalresponseto genderconflict.erases from resistanceto localandimperialist the longhistoriesofwomen's memory patriarchies. and therebyratify. . accessto privileged simplereasonthat suchwomenhavecomparatively andmoney.A gooddeal media. racialand class powerseemsinvisibleto them.As Kumari Jayawardenanotes (Jayawardena.however.women'sdisempowerment. strugglesto otherliberation feminismas male nationalistshave condemned All too frequently. Westernfeminism. There is not only one feminism.serves merely as a strategic tactic to demands.Not onlydoesit concealthe factthat nationaldeferwomen's in genderpower. not its union in the unions. withoutanycontactwithWestern oroccurred real very a is there West.womenof colour different of fashionfeminismto suit their not transhistorical.

(forthcoming.' Notes Anne McClintockis an associate professor at Columbia University. TRANSITION51. For borrowFanon'sphrase. right been allowedto be morethan the maidservant canthe iconogranationalism: crucialquestionremainsforprogressive phyof the familybe retainedas the figurefornationalunity. Maids. Her book Maids. In a nationalist to decidewhich bothwomenandmen shouldbe empowered revolution. in New Formations expand on the fetishistic nature of national spectacle in my book. abstractedCcollective Yetthe current longerin a futureheaven'. no one was more aware than Fanon of the attendant risks of projecting a fetishistic denial of difference on to a conveniently will'. Yet traditionsare both the outcomeand the recordof past political contests. whenwe'vewon. The nationalwarof liberation.which should be transformed. 1 Parts of this paper appeared in 'No Longer in a Future Heaven'.became most manifest in the lines from situationgives soberpoignancy.ormust an be developed? alternative.radicaliconography against the pitfalls of the warnings prescient Fanon's Frantz were never moreurgentthan now. In many nationalistor socialist countrieswomen'sconcernsare at best paid lip service. traditions are outmoded. with patriarchymerely a nasty second cousin destined to wither away when the real villain finally expires. She is currently researching nationalism and gender in South Africa on an SSRC-MacArthurInternational Peace and and ImperialSecurity Fellowship. no less than two competing Treks set out to re-enact .In SouthAfrica. as well as the sites of present contest.At the same time. ism or capitalismhas been women'sruin. nationalconsciousness nationalism gives ntal expressionto popularmemoryand is strategically essential for mobilizingthe national populace.Nowhere havenot cometo sharewomen's A to nationalism. andImperialism MapsandMines:Gender 3 has feminismin its own work.Review 78 Feminist All too often.the doorsof traditionare slammedin women'sfaces. is Cno nationaltransformation especiallyforwomen. (1991) 10623. But it's later. the degree to which the Eeufeespapered over fatal divisions within the white populace. famousfilmonthe Algerian Pontecorvo's Battle of Algiers: 'It is difficultto start a revolution.and which Malenationalistsfrequentlyarguethat colonialshouldbe preserved.If womenhave cometo domen'swork. 2 I critique the Freudian/Lacaniantheory of fetishism in 'The return of female Spring 1992. where she teaches gender and cultural studies.more difficultto will sustain it.that the real difficulties begin. Yet nowhere has a national or socialist revolution broughta full feminist revolutionin its train. at worstgreetedwith hilarity. when during the height of the State of Emergency. I fetishism and the fiction of the phallus'.1993).Mapsand Mines:Gender ism is coming out in 1993.

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