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‘Just like your Mother?’ the Politics of Feminism and Maternity in the Pacific Islands

‘Just like your Mother?’ the Politics of Feminism and Maternity in the Pacific Islands ‘JUST LIKE YOUR MOTHER?’ THE POLITICS OF FEMINISM AND MATERNITY IN THE PACIFIC ISLANDS Nicole George 1.0 INTRODUCTION Although research into Pacific Islands feminisms is sparse, commentary on this subject frequently underscores the important place that maternal imagery occupies in activities undertaken by Pacific women to improve their status. Yet questions remain about how feminism and maternity are articulated in the Pacific Islands and how these strategies are more broadly situated within the prevailing political environment. Often, references to maternity are viewed as a practice in legitimation, allowing Pacific women to culturally anchor and validate their political claims despite the fact that they may, in fact, challenge popular ideas about the role and place of women in Pacific societies. In this vein some have hailed these efforts to subtly navigate local cultural sensitivities in the Pacific as an example of women’s political creativity. Others, however, question the extent to which references to the maternal are, in fact, empowering. To this end they have looked at issues related to maternal morbidity across the Pacific, or the physical cost of Pacific women’s reproductive labour and argued that such concerns get swept aside when a motherist ‘gloss’ is applied to a particular http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Australian Feminist Law Journal Taylor & Francis

‘Just like your Mother?’ the Politics of Feminism and Maternity in the Pacific Islands

Australian Feminist Law Journal , Volume 32 (1): 20 – Jun 1, 2010
20 pages

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References (3)

Publisher
Taylor & Francis
Copyright
© Australian Feminist Law Journal Inc. All rights reserved 2010
ISSN
2204-0064
eISSN
1320-0968
DOI
10.1080/13200968.2010.10854438
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

‘JUST LIKE YOUR MOTHER?’ THE POLITICS OF FEMINISM AND MATERNITY IN THE PACIFIC ISLANDS Nicole George 1.0 INTRODUCTION Although research into Pacific Islands feminisms is sparse, commentary on this subject frequently underscores the important place that maternal imagery occupies in activities undertaken by Pacific women to improve their status. Yet questions remain about how feminism and maternity are articulated in the Pacific Islands and how these strategies are more broadly situated within the prevailing political environment. Often, references to maternity are viewed as a practice in legitimation, allowing Pacific women to culturally anchor and validate their political claims despite the fact that they may, in fact, challenge popular ideas about the role and place of women in Pacific societies. In this vein some have hailed these efforts to subtly navigate local cultural sensitivities in the Pacific as an example of women’s political creativity. Others, however, question the extent to which references to the maternal are, in fact, empowering. To this end they have looked at issues related to maternal morbidity across the Pacific, or the physical cost of Pacific women’s reproductive labour and argued that such concerns get swept aside when a motherist ‘gloss’ is applied to a particular

Journal

Australian Feminist Law JournalTaylor & Francis

Published: Jun 1, 2010

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