Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Black IntersectionalitiesA Critique for the 21st Century$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Monica Michlin and Jean-Paul Rocchi

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781846319389

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9781846319389.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 18 April 2021

Postcolonial Backlash and Being Proper: Femininity, Blackness, Sexuality, and Transgender in the Public Eye

Postcolonial Backlash and Being Proper: Femininity, Blackness, Sexuality, and Transgender in the Public Eye

Chapter:
(p.36) 3 Postcolonial Backlash and Being Proper: Femininity, Blackness, Sexuality, and Transgender in the Public Eye
Source:
Black Intersectionalities
Author(s):

Antje Schuhmann

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.5949/liverpool/9781846319389.003.0003

This essay explores the widespread support that the 800m athletic world champion Caster Semenya received in 2009 in the name of South African patriotism, and argues that the heteronormative and patriarchal home base of nationalism, its gendered matrix, reflects a dilemma: popular support for Semenya reinforced the very concepts that first led to her international exposure and the violation of her human rights. The “Caster Debacle” can be seen as one moment in a chain of ongoing events in South Africa that link a critique of certain gender performances with postcolonial collective identity formations. This results in a culturally and politically conservative backlash, as well as in a rejection of supposedly Western phenomena of women’s rights or LGBTQ rights. The crisis of representation around Semenya’s questioned sex status sits in direct relation to her being a black woman who was exposed by a Western-dominated international sports body. Her case became mired in a collective outburst of gender-normative post-colonial patriotism but it also points to how western feminism and queer politics still need to be intersected with postcolonial realities and a critique of dominant, racialised body politics.

Keywords:   feminism, gender normativity, gender performance, human rights, LGBTQ rights, nationalism, postcoloniality, racialization, South Africa, transgenderism

Liverpool Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.