1998 • $22.95 • 214 pp • paper
The subordination of Jamaican Rastafarian women represents a microcosm of women's subordination worldwide. Rastafari Women: Subordination in the Midst of Liberation Theology focuses on the Rastafarians who emerged in 1930 in response to the exploitation and disenfranchisement of African people in Jamaica. Rastafarian cultural ideology includes the belief in the divinity of Haile Selassie and that the salvation of people of African descent lies in their repatriation to Africa.
Historically, Rastas have played a leading role in raising racial and anti-colonial consciousness in Jamaica. Yet at the same time, the subordination of women within their own ranks is a central aspect of their belief system. RastafarI Women is the product of years of empirical research and conversations with Rastafarian women whose voices are prominent in this work. They speak on such issues as women's codes of dress and their secondary relationship to men. This book is dauntless in its exposition of Christian religious texts and African traditional practices and the ways in which they constitute the basis for the containment of women. In Rastafari Women Lake analyzes the subordination of Rastafarian women within the larger context of sexism, colonialism, and racism in Jamaica making this book an invaluable resource for any whose work involves the intersection of sex, race, and class.