There are, in my opinion, 2 overarching criticisms in Stoler’s compelling essay – artificialness of the ‘realities’ pertaining to race and sex, and injustice of Eurocentric laws used to govern the colonized.
By artificial ‘reality’ I mean the discourses whereby one’s perception of identity is falsely constructed but yet accepted as truths. I stress the distinction between the dissemination of gendered and racist ‘knowledge’ from their internalization as ‘truths’. The latter is most abhorred by me, for I believe that the worst form of colonization is that in which you do not recognize. There are still, honestly, many women who firmly believe that they are to be subservient to men, despite showing attempts to remove the gendered boundary of domesticity. What results, ultimately, is an unchanging complicity which only works towards its proliferation. Indeed, I do not think that one needs to be a feminist and/or racist to agree with this opinion of mine.
The other issue raised by Stoler pertains to the power of the colonials at creating ‘laws’ based on the above-mentioned discourses. This seems most paradoxical to me because the so-called ‘laws’ are but “exclusionary politics” to reinforce its own virility and not about justice and equality whatsoever. This can be easily seen in how “sexual abuse of black women was not classified as rape” while white women required more “protection”. Not only is this double-standard utterly perverse as a thought, the fact that they actually became concretized as codes of life during the nineteenth century is simply appalling.