Introduction to Decolonisation

Lesson Plans: Week 4

Gender, sexuality, and feminism

ILOs for the convener and students this week:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the complex intersections between power, oppression, gender, and sexuality within a decolonial framework
  • Explore how the perception of feminism can be decolonized

Lesson Structure

Activity 1: Discussion of the readings (allocated time: 10 minutes)

Students should read the required readings before class and have a discussion in class.

Discussion prompts:

  • What is the difference between decolonial and colonial understandings of gender? How do they relate to each other?
  • What does Lugones mean by ‘coloniality of gender’?
  • How have the colonial understandings of gender impacted society? How have they contributed to structural violence and oppression?
  • Discuss this quote from the Driskill reading: ‘Sexual abuse must be seen with an understanding of the history of colonization, which uses sexuality as a tool to gain power over others and to control women’s bodies.’

Activity 2: How can we decolonise our perception of feminist issues? (allocated time: 20 minutes)

Students should choose a case study that is a concern for feminism / gender equality and that is mainly portrayed as the problem ‘somewhere else’ and examine its complexities.

Outline of the discussion activity:

  • The convener will provide some optional case studies that students can choose from (e.g., honour killings, homophobia, clothing, etc.)
  • The convener can use Mohanty’s concept of ‘feminist solidarity / comparative feminist studies’ as a guideline. The class can then use differences to:
    • find out about global similarities
    • attempt to theorise commonality
    • contextualise
    • find common threads
    • View the situation from the least privileged perspective

The discussion can take place in small or big groups. Mentimeter can be used to collate or present ideas, if helpful.

Activity 3: Intersectionality (allocated time: 25 minutes)

Students should familiarise themselves with the concept of intersectionality and summarise Crenshaw’s work; the aim is to explore intersectionality as a way to understanding how multiple forms of inequality or disadvantage are sometimes compounding, creating obstacles that conventional ways of thinking may not highlight.

Students should then explore the song from the Driskill reading from an intersectional perspective. Give students five minutes to independently read and analyse the poem before discussing key themes as a class.

Supporting information for this lesson can be found here.