White on Fanon and Women - Aaronette M White All the Men Are Fighting for Freedom All the Women Are Mourning Their Men but Some of Us Carried Guns A

White on Fanon and Women - Aaronette M White All the Men...

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[ Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 2007, vol. 32, no. 4] 2007 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved. 0097-9740/2007/3204-0010$10.00 A a r o n e t t e M . W h i t e All the Men Are Fighting for Freedom, All the Women Are Mourning Their Men, but Some of Us Carried Guns: A Raced-Gendered Analysis of Fanon’s Psychological Perspectives on War Revolutionary war, as the Algerian people is waging it, is a total war in which the woman does not merely knit for or mourn the soldier. The Al- gerian woman is at the heart of the combat. Arrested, tortured, raped, shot down, she testifies to the violence of the occupier and to his inhumanity. —Frantz Fanon 1967b, 66 A nticolonial revolutionary theorist Frantz Fanon provided a justifica- tion for people’s wars, suggesting that they contributed to the reversal of the inferiority complex created by colonization. Indeed, by as- serting their humanity through a violent confrontation with their op- pressors, Fanon claimed, the colonized could achieve recognition of their humanity, which had been denied by their colonizers. Although there is no question that revolutionary violence has been effective in struggles for national independence, has it also had the psychological effects predicted by Fanon? Can the debilitating effects of colonized identity be transformed through revolutionary violence? This is the question I seek to explore. By drawing upon firsthand accounts of the anticolonial war experiences of This work is dedicated to my former husband and guerrilla fighter D. France Olivieira. The title of this article alludes to Gloria Hull, Patricia Bell Scott, and Barbara Smith’s 1982 book titled All the Women Are White, All the Blacks Are Men, but Some of Us Are Brave: Black Women’s Studies and was also inspired by Cynthia Enloe’s allusion to the title in her article “All the Men Are in the Militias, All the Women Are Victims: The Politics of Mas- culinity and Femininity in Nationalist Wars” (2004a). I would like to thank Aida Hurtado, Lori Ginsberg, Carol Cohn, Paul Zeleza, and James Stewart for comments on a previous draft and the Boston Consortium on Gender, Security, and Human Rights; Harvard Uni- versity’s Women and Public Policy Program; and the College of Liberal Arts at Penn State University for the partial funding of this research.
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858 White African women ex-combatants, archival research of government docu- ments, human rights organizations’ reports, and current psychological research on the effects of military combat, I suggest that Fanon was overly optimistic about the psychological potential of revolutionary violence. I also argue that his optimism stemmed from his neglect of particular gen- dered aspects of anticolonial war. Fanon on the psychological benefits of revolutionary violence Grandson of a former slave, Fanon was born in 1925 in the former French colony of Martinique. 1 After specializing in psychiatry at the University of Lyon in France, he became clinical director of the largest psychiatric
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  • Spring '14
  • GaryA.Marquardt
  • Colonialism, Algeria, Frantz Fanon

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