Posted: February 10th, 2022

Colonial Biases



Colonial Biases
The essay depicts numerous analogies that indigenous feminist and queer philosophers intellectualize on colonial biases. Further, it shows colonial authorities’ cruel practices towards indigenous communities, females, and heterosexual persons. Native Communities have endured great ordeals of social, economic, and political significance to their existence . Notably, the biased colonial strategies elevate the male gender and shun the female gender as inferior in decision making, social-political leadership, and relationship.
Despite the rampant racisms and inhumane treatment, locals were supposed to accept it as usual. Specifically, indigenous feminist Trask annotates that, “The suffering and dispossession that Hawaiians have endured and continue to endure have been justified by a racist ideology.” . The misguided American political insinuation accelerates racism that Hawaiians are better off as American citizens than before as civilians of their own sovereign country. Colonial bias executed by the U.S aimed at luring the indigenous communities with total American citizenship grants to embrace American culture. However, the colonial ideologies depicted by the successive U.S regimes towards natives contrast to the U.S’s strong advocacy for individual rights against any form of discrimination.
Additionally, colonial heteropatriarchy is imposed through the dispossession of land to create room for expansion of American military and individual settlers negatively impact on economic aspects of the Hawaiians. Policies that limit women’s claims and individual ownership of land are evident. Thus, dispossessing the natives through forceful evictions and failing to compensate them generates conflict, suffering, and livelihood loss. The land holds traditional significances in that it is the place where preceding generations are buried, cultural rituals, and shrines where the Hawaiians connect with their past and present. . Denying them their right to own land and dispossessing land leads to the loss of their cultural diversity.
Moreover, sexual exploitation of women and girls is a form of colonial heteropatriarchy. Deer, a native feminist, says that “The culture of rape of women is deeply embedded in the imperialist mindsets”. . Meant to degrade and assert men’s power over women. Deer explains that the demoralizing vice of rape was rare in native society. The alarming increase in rape culture combined with the inefficient justice system afforded to native women and girl’s victims portrays a sad state of affairs. Instigating a viable and transparent justice process inclusive of the native justice system addresses the crisis and the healing strategies for victims of sexual abuse.
Furthermore, colonial bias is actualized in interpersonal relationships, families, and sexuality. Hunt and Holmes, queer, argue that the languages are biased about persons with heterosexuality. Commonly termed as queer, numerous societies often abuse the word to refer to indigenous people, women, and individuals in same-sex relationships. . However, Hunt decodes that, “Queerness is then less about a way of being and more about doing”. Queerness analogy is less of a behavior trait and more of doing and implementing a social, political radical approach. The hostile ideology fathomed by the colonialist limits the necessitated political inclusions changes of the diversities in relationship matters.
The feminist and queer philosophers have illustrated numerous approaches to establish grounds for resistance to the perceived oppressive and humiliating colonialism heteropatriarchies. Trask a feminist suggests that some approaches can achieve native resistance, such as advocating for equal treatment of all subjects and equitable sharing of resources. The absolute necessity for Hawaiian to decolonize the mind as a form of resistance . Besides, the identification of political leadership is driven by the necessity to address the native’s concerns. Trask decodes that, “But while Hawaiian men have been transforming themselves into politicians, many Hawaiian women have chosen the path of decolonization”. Unlike the male politicians obsessed with the privileges of power, women leaders have shown constant revolutionary efforts aimed at benefiting the native populaces. Emancipating Women from mental slavery portrays them as inferior to men discouraging them from fighting for political positions. . Realizing and embracing Hawaiian traditions which are not inferior to the Americans. Illegalizing forceful possession of land and natives not considering selling land for the short-term benefit accomplishes their economic and cultural aspirations.
Moreover, there is a necessity to address the sexual violence and rape crisis. Deer proposes instituting effective legal processes that guarantee justice to the victims. There is a rife urgency to incorporate autonomous tribal judicial systems that are well versed with indigenous values and afford punitive measures to capital crimes like rape in an excellent approach to all civilians. Significantly affording civil protection orders to the victim against her assailant is vital during and after the legal proceedings to ascertain victim safety.
Further, Hunt suggests that the sensitive topic of Sexuality and family relationships ought to be addressed in a liberal and flexible approach. Resistance has been implemented through relentless activism movements and parades to fight for the freedom of recognition of the LGBT community . Allowing concrete dialogues among the concerned parties is a progressive approach towards achieving this goal.
Similarities and Contrasts between Feminist and Queer
Trask, Deer and Akaka et al native feminists and Hunt and Finley queer natives are in concurrence that the natives need to decolonize the mind from biased analogies implemented by the colonialist. Trask, a feminist, and Finley concur that Hawaiians have suffered under oppressive and unguided colonial practices that affect the natives. For instance, racism and hate towards natives and queer people are rife. Still, Trask a feminist and Finley a queer native agrees that there is a need for change, starting with decolonizing the mind. Trask agree that focused leadership motivated towards advocating for native’s rights is the best approach. Hunt and Holmes agree the need for concrete dialogue to address the concerns of heterosexuals due to homophobic fear in the society.
However, the feminist and queer theorists are different in the process of implementing resistance strategies. Akaka, a feminist advocate for radical approach through the use of military wing among the Hawaiians. Trask, a feminist, hails former leadership that used armed means to resist the invasion of American forces. However, Finley, a queer advocate, says, “Our methodology of ladyship in this article centers relational knowledge production, conversation, dialogue, and personal storytelling”. While the feminists concentrate on fighting the rights of the land, social justice, and economic empowerment to Hawaiians, the queer agitators base their argument on relationship matters, sexuality, and rights for the LGBT society.
In a nutshell, the critical philosophy of biopower illuminates the constant colonial heteropatriarchy directed to the indigenous civilians affected through erosion of their cultures, assimilation to American citizenship, rape, militarization, and targeted killings of the leaders. Colonial imperialists have continuously implemented these vices, banking on the silence of natives in sensitive matters that concern their existence. Thus, emancipation efforts are a duty for all natives to create a society that allows preservation of all Hawaiians’ ecological and cultural aspects.

Akaka, Moanike’ala, Maxine Kahaulelio, Terrilee Keko’olani-Raymond, and Loretta Ritte. Nā Wāhine Koa: Hawaiian Women for Sovereignty and Demilitarization. University of Hawaii Press, 2018.
. Deer, Sarah. “Decolonizing rape law: A native feminist synthesis of safety and sovereignty.” Wicazo Sa Review 24, no. 2 (2009): 149-167
Finley, Chris. “Decolonizing the Queer Native Body (and Recovering the Native Bull Dyke).” Bringing ‘Sexy Back’and Out of Native Studies’ Closet.” In Qwo-Li Driskill, Chris Finley, Brian Joseph Gilley, and Scott Lauria Morgensen (Eds.), Queer Indigenous Studies: Critical Interventions in Theory, Politics, and Literature (2011): 31-42.
Hunt, Sarah, and Cindy Holmes. “Everyday decolonization: Living a decolonizing queer politics.” Journal of lesbian studies 19, no. 2 (2015): 154-172.
Trask, Haunani-Kay. From a native daughter: Colonialism and sovereignty in Hawaii (Revised edition). University of Hawaii Press, 1999.

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