Sandra Harding | Colonialism, Postcolonialism, and Science: Gender Issues

Feminist and postcolonial philosophies of science should be taking up each other's issues if each is to be accountable to the majority of those whose interests each supposedly represents. This is so for two reasons. Women and their dependent children around the globe make up the majority of the people to whom each claims or implies accountability. Moreover, the dominant discourses that these social movements criticize persistently represent gender in racial or colonial terms and racial and colonial relations in gender terms. Gender and racial/colonial categories still co-constitute each other today. Thus each would seem to need the success of the other to achieve its own successes. Yet these two social movements seem committed to conflicting understandings of the relevant social relations, the relevant sciences, and just who can be the agents of the kinds of radical historical change for which each calls (with important exceptions to this charge). What is to be done?