Aug 23

An academic essay on the notion of feminism as a social and academic enterprise

By: Jeronimo Kateya

• Feminism is a social and academic enterprise.

• It came into being to counter patriarchal society which is a set up characterised by male power and male domination.

• This sociocultural set up arouse critical thinking amongst feminists to critically question the ontological nature of human being and his very anthropology.

• The very co fundamental thinking of feminism is the comprehension of some terminologies that need logical clarity offered by this enterprise.

• One of these terminologies is the notion of “sex”. For them, “sex” implies biological anatomy that distinguishes “male” and “female.” In Oshiwambo ethno-linguistic we ask when a baby is born: “okakwashike-kookanhu”.

• This sex identification is consciously meant to understand the biological anatomic distinction of a baby whether is a male or female.

• Besides the very first phase of comprehending independent concept of sex as a biological anatomy, sex is far from “gender” terminology.

• Feminists argue that the notion of “gender” is not a biological anatomy but rather a phenomenological term that is sociocultural constructed under the influence of patriarchal society.

• The center point of reflection on gender is cardinally hinged on the idea of “becoming”. By becoming logically means, patriarchal societal expectation of “exclusive pointers” of becoming and behaviors that are associated to “okakwashike-kookanhu” (what is the babe by sex so at a later stage of growth development attributes and certain behaviours are attributed as she/he continues becoming.

• One of these key concepts associated by gender defined and characterised by patriarchal male domination and male authority are terms such as “femininity”, “women”, “lady” and on the other side we have sociocultural construct terminologies associated to male gender such as “masculinity”, “gentleman” and “men”.

• These sociocultural construct implies that they are socially and culturally constructed and are not therefore associated with sex.

• Feminism as a social and academic enterprise continues to further develop and mould this reflective theory based on sex and gender where they reflect not only on the “becoming” of anthropology but also on the “attributes” of that which is constructed socially and culturally.

• As he/she advances on his/her “anthropological becoming” feminists argues that certain attributes are expected from his/her “becoming”.

• Some of these attributes associated with gender or that which are socially and culturally attributed to his/her ontological becoming ought to be in line with what is defined by patriarchal dominance of power and patriarchal authority as is perceived in a patriarchal society of male domination.

• These “gender attributes” from women side include, “soft”, “caring”, “nurture” “tenderly love” etc. whilst from men include attributes such as “strong”, “rationality”, “reason”, “aggressive,” “protector” etc.

• These distinction of “sex” from “gender” and roles makes us to understand what comes with biological anatomic innate and what is defined by patriarchal society of male domination of power and male authority.

• As a critical movement and academic enterprise, the scope of feminism is quite holistic and broad. This implies that, feminism has various branches as we shall pen them as follows:

• Radical Feminism: this branch of feminism totally rejects patriarchal power of domination and patriarchal authority.

• Socialist Feminism/Marxist Feminism: They dwell more on economic issues. They challenge male domination in the field of economic spheres.

• Black Feminism: Their point of intellectual departure and contribution focuses on the area of “gender”, “imperialism” and “race” (GIR). Last but not least:

• Psychoanalytical analysis:

-They challenge “gender” as that which can be a “stand alone” based on race, religion, nationality and ethnicity.
-Their reflective conclusion is based on the notion of “intersectionality.”
-Intersectionality is a term coined by Kimberle Crenshaw
– It implies that black women are not affected on the aspect of “gender”.

From this above ideological worldview, my inputs and contribution is that given this whole deductive and inductive reasoning of feminism as a socialist and academic enterprise, we can affirm therefore that, what male can do in the world of work, female as well can work.

It is self-evident therefore that the intellectual contribution of feminism plays a significant role in influencing women to work in any field without being affected by gender and thus striving for gender equality such as working as engineers, bankers etc. and in Namibian context as for today we see women conquering the world of banking sectors successfully and in other areas as well.

*Jeronimo Nghilunanye Kateya is from Oupale waKateya village.