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Colonial Dependence and Sexual Difference: Reading for Gender in the Writing's of Simón Bolívar (1783-1830)

Catherine Davies
Feminist Review
No. 79, Latin America: History, war and independence (2005), pp. 5-19
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3874425
Page Count: 15
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Colonial Dependence and Sexual Difference: Reading for Gender in the Writing's of Simón Bolívar (1783-1830)
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Abstract

The article explores the textual construction of gender categories in the political discourse of Simón Bolívar by means of a close critical reading of his seminal writings made public between 1812 and 1820. The historical and political processes known as Latin American independence constitute a moment of radical transformation. It was during this period that the questions of political rights, nationality and citizenship were most open to debate throughout the continent. The article shows how the category woman is constructed ambiguously in Independence/anti-colonial discourse, how gender is employed to create hierarchical systems of social organization to legitimate the exercise of power by an elite of white creole men and how myth is deployed in order to reinforce gender hegemonies. It will be shown that in Bolí var's writings colonial relations are recast as family relations and political independence from Spain legitimated in terms of sexual difference and masculine domination.

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