The Global Feminist And The Transnational Feminist

1217 words - 5 pages

Academic discourse is the means by which new and old theories may be applied to a topic in order to reach a better understanding or challenge a notion raised within the field. It is through discussing and analyzing these concepts that individual voices may be applied to an academic community, allowing for a wider lens of thought to be picked up and further discussed. Grewal participates in this discourse in her article “'Women's Rights as Human Rights': Feminist Practices, Global Feminism, and Human Rights Regimes in Transnationality”. This paper shall analyze and discuss how Grewal applies previous theoretical concepts related to feminist discourse in order to offer a Transnationalist Feminist critique to the Global Feminist notion of Women's Rights as Human Rights.
First and foremost, what are the concepts of Global feminism and Transnational feminism? Charlotte Bunch explains Global Feminism as something which “has...a way of describing the growth of feminism(s) around the world...” (Bunch 129). The core concept of Global Feminism is that women around the world are united amongst the overarching issue of patriarchy. In this view of feminism, it can be argued, such as theorists Mendoza, Said and Spivak do, that global feminism suffers from a Western perspective, or as Mendoza says, it “produces a global feminism whereby First World feminists are positioned as saviors of their poor Third World sisters” (Mendoza 319). Transnational feminism, as described by Mendoza, can be understood as a view where “the term...points to the multiplicity of the world's feminisms and to the increasing tendency of national feminisms to politicize women's issues beyond the borders of the nation state...the position feminists worldwide have taken against the processes of globalization of the economy, the demise of the nation state and the development of a global mass culture as well as pointing to the nascent global women's studies research into the ways in which globalization affects women around the globe” (Mendoza 314). This is to say that transnational feminist discourse is concerned, at its core, with the same goals as global feminism, but is also acutely aware of the boundaries that separate women on several levels and actively questions such assumptions as women being unified by the very definition of “woman”. Transnational feminism is no more perfect than, but critical of global feminism, due to these inherent differences in perspective.
The discourse of Women's Rights as Human's Rights arose out of United Nations World Conference, taking place in Vienna in 1993 (Grewal 337). The idea behind this movement is to acknowledge that many crimes which are perpetuated against women, particularly those related to the issue of gender-based violence, should be seen as crimes against their basic human rights (lecture 5). The global feminist Charlotte Bunch advocates Women's Rights as Human Rights because she believes that “by applying feminist concepts and gender...

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