Feminism for me has come to be the recognition of oppression and privilege. What one does with this knowledge of oppression and privilege is that person’s version of feminism. After reading Tong (2009) on various feminist theories, I have come to see the different feminist theories in a continuum of the feminist movement. Therefore, these theories cannot be boxed into clear-cut categories that share nothing in common with each other. I will attempt to formulate my own feminist theory using the previous works of feminist scholars as my foundation. In order to explain the application of this theory, I will illuminate a feminist issue. Further, I will present ways to tackle the problem and provide limitations of my theory.
My feminist theory draws influences from a variety of ideas I have come across during the course of this semester. My theory is rooted in radical-socialist feminism with a postcolonial approach. Postcolonial/transnational feminism, unlike other theories we have encountered in this course, does not explain a unique cause of women’s oppression but presents how oppression plays out differently depending on geography and culture. It also demonstrates the ways through which we can try to overcome women’s oppression globally.
As an international student from India who is acquiring her education from a “First World” university, I can often hear the difference in the way oppression is talked about. My perspective is rooted in the knowledge I gathered for twenty years of my life where issues like dowry, female feticide/infanticide, honor killings and everyday sexual harassment were very pertinent to me. By examining radical-socialist feminist theories, I could try to understand the root of women’s oppression even if the original thinkers of radical feminist thought were not pondering over the issues faced by women in developing countries.
It is essential to recognize the cause of the issue to respond to the problem. I believe that women are oppressed because patriarchy controls women’s sexuality and dictates their sexual roles. Men, as players in the system of patriarchal capitalism, control women’s reproduction. Through colonization and globalization this system of domination seeks to convert the more egalitarian societies. An example of this spread of domination is the white settler’s attitude towards conquering and taming the nature, which was forcefully embedded in the Native American culture. I am interested in exploring how the foundation of the issue, which is tied to women’s sexuality, plays out in the colonial context. To examine this, I will look at the institution of marriage and prove that it is a form of patriarchal colonization of women. When I talk about colonization of women, the colonizer is not the “western world” but patriarchy. However, to make connections with colonization, I frequently use the example of White-Western colonizers (Europe) against the dark skinned “Third World” dwellers (Americas, Africa, Asia and...