Journal Article — Global Feminism: Feminist Theory’s Cul-de-sac — by Elora Halim Chowdhury

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Abstract

Global feminism has been critical of the earlier notion of “global sisterhood” and its uncritical attachment to commonalities of women’s oppression around the world. However, in this article I argue that global feminism curiously remains inadequately accountable for its differential attitude toward issues of difference and inequality among communities within the U.S. versus those alleged differences and inequalities across the U.S. borders. Consequently, global feminism, using a universal human rights paradigm, constructs for itself the role of the heroic savior, reminiscent of colonialist civilizing mission (Abu-Lughod 2002) and in line with current U.S. imperialist interventions. Strategies for countering this newly proliferating global mission of feminism can be found in the intertwining of the rich efforts of U.S. anti-racist/Third World feminisms and Third World/transnational feminisms. These discourses can offer a conceptual framework that make central the twin projects of simultaneous undoing of race and nation, and interrogating intra-national and international–within and outside the U.S. nation–hierarchies in order to forge more equitable global connections across multiple borders.

Recommended Citation

Chowdhury, Elora Halim. 2006. “Global Feminism: Feminist Theory’s Cul-de-sac291-302.” Pp. yyy in Re-Membering Anzaldúa: Human Rights, Borderlands, and the Poetics of Applied Social Theory: Engaging with Gloria Anzaldua in Self and Global Transformations (Human Architecture: Journal of the Sociology of Self-Knowledge: Volume IV, Special Issue, 2006.) Belmont, MA: Okcir Press (an imprint of Ahead Publishing House).

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