chapter  23
19 Pages

Mrinalini Sinha, “Gender and Nation”

What does gender have to do with the study of the nation or nation with the study of gender? . . .

If the scholarship on nationalism had demonstrated a certain indifference to gender as a category of analysis, feminist scholarship was equally guilty of neglecting the study of the nation and of nationalism. That was especially true of certain strands within feminist scholarship shaped by an assumption of the apparent naturalness of the nation for women in North America and Northwestern Europe. This scholarship tended to assume that women’s relation to the nation was best summed up in that famous quotation from a character in Virginia Woolf ’s novel Three Guineas: “[A]s a woman I have no country. As a woman I want no country. As a woman my country is the whole world.”1