A Dying Colonialism is a story of how Fanon, during the Algerian Revolution, described how people changed the century-old cultural ways and adopted a certain practice that was designed to destroy the so called “tyrants” during that time.
On the first part of the book, Fanon devoted many pages to the veil and its political importance:
“For the tourist and the foreigner, the veil demarcates both Algerian society and its feminine counterpart.” (A dying colonialism, pg. 35-36)
There is a certain complexity of the role of the veil in the Algerian revolution. There have been issues with European bosses trying to put their male Algerian employees on the corner by demanding that they bring their wives to company functions. So the dilemma is that if they agree to do as their bosses wish, they are going against their cultural ruling out against women being on display but if they decline, they would be risking their jobs they risked losing their jobs.” And so, as Fanon has stated,
“The rape of the Algerian woman in the dream of a European…is always preceded by a rending of the veil.” (A Dying Colonialism, pg. 45)
On the first part of the book, one could see that Fanon emphasized the fact how women are distinguished during those times. The veil distinguishes an Algerian from a foreigner, and was stated in the page of the book below, one could see that Fanon took care in reiterating the fact that there are very clear distinctions on the society during those times.
“In the case of an Algerian man, on the other hand, regional medications can be noted: the fez in urban centers, turbans, and djellabas in the countryside. The masculine garb allows a certain, margin of choice, a modicum of heterogeneity. The woman seen in her white veil unifies the perception that one has of Algerian feminine society. Obviously, what we have here is a uniform which tolerates no modifications, no variant.
The haik very clearly demarcates the Algerian colonized society. it is of course possible to remain hesitant before a little girl, but all uncertainty vanishes at the time of puberty. With the veil, the things become well-defined and ordered. The Algerian woman in the eyes of the observer, Is unmistakably “she who hides behind the veil” (A Dying Colonialism, pg. 36)
From the phrases above, one could see that there are certain way accepted way on how people should go about things. And that is what they wanted to change. They wanted to change the image of a traditional woman and they have transformed and defined women in a different light.
That was why their political doctrine at that time was that “If we want to destroy the structure of Algerian society, its capacity for resistance, we must first conquer the women; we must go and find them behind their veil where they hide themselves and in the houses where men keep them out of sight” (pg.38) It was a very striking and very meaningful phrase such that it implies the power that women have that they think they haven’t explored yet.
By finding these women behind their veil, it not only implies letting them know what they really are and should be, but it is also an implication that there are options that are yet to be explored in the governance of a country as rigid as Algeria during those times. If women can be conquered and put to use, there is so much unexpected things that can happen. The mind of a woman is yet to be explored and exploited and by un-inhibiting them from self-expression, the possibilities of changing the Algerian society are infinite.
A Dying Colonialism is a story of the liberation and newly discovered power Fanon claims that the Algerian women have struggled for and succeeded through their active involvement in the Algerian. It was also implied in the book that Fanon believed that the recent victory of women for respect and equality held by the prominent women was permanent, an indication of the outlook on “modern,” socialist, revolutionary Algeria.
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