chapter  4
38 Pages

Erotic Autonomy as a Politics of Decolonization: An Anatomy of Feminist and State Practice in the Bahamas Tourist Economy

Marion Bethel wrote this tribute to the women of DAWN2 and in memory of the women of the suffrage movement who severed the colonial connection between property ownership, respectability, and citizenship. She uses this poem to establish a deliberate link with a particular history of women's political struggle in the Bahamas. Foregrounded in Bethel's incantation is a conscious political move on the part of women in the contemporary women's movement in the Bahamas to choose from particular feminist genealogies, particular histories of struggle, especially at a moment when the legacy of British gentility and respectability continues to assert itself and

64 I M. ]acqui Alexander

threatens to mold and usurp understandings of the self. According to Bethel, the choice of a legacy is fraught with bush, entangled, and unchartered road; a tumultuous journey out of which a path must be cleared. But she also suggests that the political strategic work of movement-building involves danger, pitching scalding tar, simultaneously deploying tools that might entrap, ensnare, or liberate. These symbols of contradiction and liberation deliberately evoke the ideological dialectic in which the women's movement is now positioned.