To grapple with patriarchy requires drawing inspiration from anticolonial struggles, recognising the constraints of the neocolonial present and forging a post-patriarchal postcolonial future. In this episode, we speak with Professor Patricia McFadden, a radical feminist, scholar and activist from eSwatini (formerly Swaziland), who spent 20 years in the anti-apartheid and anti-colonial struggle and whose work addresses gender politics and citizenship, sexuality, health and decolonisation. With her, we explore the intersections of patriarchy and racism within capitalism, as nationalists collude with multinational corporations in the present “neo-colonial moment of so-called independence”. She argues that feminist critiques have been co-opted into hegemonic narratives of gender and development. McFadden calls for self-reflexivity, as we see a reawakening of feminist consciousness and agency across the African continent. We discuss issues of nationalism and citizenship, as McFadden argues that “African women who are radical have to free ourselves from the clutches of nationalism as a fundamentally conservative ideology” and claim feminism as “the politics of our present and future”.
In this episode, Boa and Ruth are joined by Stha Yeni, a PhD candidate, and Ashley Fischhoff, an MPhil candidate, both in the SARChI programme at PLAAS.