Western Feminism Is Promoting Colonialism In The Third World

1678 words - 7 pages

Chandra Mohanty argues in her essay “Under Western Eyes: Feminist Scholarship and Colonial Discourses” that many Western feminists write about women in the Third World as if they were a homogenous mass. She argues in her essay that the Western feminists need to see the variety among women in the Third World. While at times she falls into the same generalization trap that she accuses the Western women of making, she ultimately proves that the feminist believe that Third World societies oppress all women elevates the Western world view as the superior one again and is similar to the colonialism of previous times.
Mohanty writes that feminists in the US and western Europe act similarly towards women in the Third World. She asserts, “The definition of colonization…is…focusing on certain mode of appropriation and codification of ‘scholarship’ and ‘knowledge’ about women in the third world…as they have been articulated in the US and western Europe” (Mohanty 694). Invoking the word colonization connects everybody in the US and western Europe with the historical and still prevalent belief that Eurocentrism is the predominantly superior culture. She makes the claim saying that colonization still interests the West. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, colonization’s definition is, “The action of colonizing or fact of being colonized; establishment of a colony or colonies”; or “To settle (a country) with colonists; to plant or establish a colony in” (“colonization”). Feminism seeks “Advocacy of equality of the sexes and the establishment of the political, social, and economic rights of the female sex” (“feminism”). Mohanty’s statement that the Western feminists seek to settle their perceived knowledge over women in the Third World would therefore be in contradiction to the goal of equality. After all, if the feminists push their preconceived opinion onto Third World women, since they generalize the whole region, they are not establishing equal rights, but place their Western preconceived notions on the women, and in extension on the men, as well. However, Mohanty falls in the same mode of thinking, since no general truth encompasses all of Western thinking, under which she summarizes feminism.
Western feminism thinks that all people of Third World countries are alike and the mainly white female feminists of all places try to prove this using similar research. In order to prove that white feminists generalize people of different races and cultures, Mohanty writes, “I would like to draw attention to the remarkably similar effects of various analytical categories and even strategies which codify their relationship to the Other in implicitly hierarchical terms” (Mohanty 694). “The Other” are a group or a people who are outside of one self’s circle and are usually marginalized and seen as different from oneself. Mohanty uses “The Other” to speak about the women in the Third Word, but she also includes “working-class and feminist women of color...

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