While being mindful that the term decolonization originated with indigenous people’s movements, I’m finding that it is a useful concept for thinking about gender.

Here’s Deb Chachra describing the term:

The implicit driver of colonization is always that the residents are using the land ‘incorrectly’, and sustainability always looks like underutilization when compared to resource extraction.

And you can see that at work in gender and indigenous peoples. Western colonizers erased the gender of Two-Spirit First Nations and Native Americans, Third gender people throughout South Asia, Southeast Asia, Pacific Islanders, and Finland.