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By Luc Brunschwig, Freddy Martin, Vincent Froissard

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16 If the integration of women into public life is significantly hindered by the family law, it is impeded by other factors as well. 17 Moreover, because Islamic fundamentalism has gathered new force in Algeria since the Iranian Revolution, there is at present little possibility of change that would ensure women's equality with men. "20 The state's sanction of oppressive traditions directly contradicts the 1964 Charter of Algiers, which proclaims women's political equality with men in the new socialist state, calling for their integration into every level of the work force as well as national political organizations.

Through their way of naming their children, their verbal exchanges with their daughters, and their insistence on circumcising their sons, they mark their differ- 8 RECASTING THE COLONIAL GAZE ences from a French culture to which they refuse to assimilate. At the same time, they loosen the constraints of traditional Maghrebian culture while maintaining their affective bond with it. In the pages that follow, I hope to problematize further the stark oppositions between French and Algerian politics and culture without losing sight of France's power and privilege in the colonial and postcolonial contexts.

Enjeux politiques," 277) The Feminization of Algeria in Culture and Politics The cultural record makes clear that women embody Algeria not only for Algerians in the days since independence, but also for the French colonizers who conquer them militarily, control them administratively, study them as sociologists, ethnographers, and historians, and represent them in both high and popular forms of art and literature. In the colonialist fantasy, to possess Algeria's women is to possess Algeria. Mostefa Lacheraf has disclosed the "colonial perversion" infusing the official and unofficial writings of the military officers who "pacify" the country between 1830 and 1870.

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