Western Feminism

Submitted By nayners92
Words: 1297
Pages: 6

Western feminism underestimates and undermines global women and their abilities to develop in western society. It begins so by constructing the idea that women involved in feminism must be wealthy, college educated and white. To be dismissed by one or all the criteria a woman may be seen as a voiceless woman. Mohanty explains ”assumptions of privilege and ethnocentric universality on the one hand, and inadequate self-consciousness about the effect of Western scholarship on the “third world” in the context of a world system dominated by the West on the other, characterize a sizable extent of Western feminist work on women in the third world” (335). She emphasizes that many collegiate works are hence very biased and do not view global woman correctly giving the power of western feminist to define these women. This power struggle contextualizes and places a struggle within feminism that causes oppression to women of color, immigrants and global woman.
Western society then does not value these women and so forth stigmatizes them as struggling victims with a poor value system and no sense or direction for a future. I argue that third world women have more gratitude than their western counterparts. The third world woman prides herself on her household and family in a way many ways western woman do not. Third world women takes job opportunities given to them and do not see service jobs as degrading but essential. Lastly western feminist believe that third worlds woman priority is to find and care for a husband, I argue that is also is not always the case.
Before I explain further I must note that though many of the readings use the term third world woman I feel it is condescending and counterproductive of my argument. For this reason I will revert to the term global woman. As I feel it better assimilates with the notion that these women are globally aware of the world and multiple cultures. The term will refer to immigrant women, and women from other countries (women who do not fit the criteria of the western woman). However I am aware such authors as Mohanty use it as a term to signify the oppression of these women.
The interviews in this essay our personal and reflective. I interviewed women of different cultures, lifestyles and ages. All the women had worked in a the service industry whether from assembly line work to daycare. The names of some women are to be anonymous and are therefore changed.
Western Feminist views on motherhood are problematic. The views on motherhood constitute the idea that women give up a sense of empowerment once they become mothers. http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=KevIAAAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PP1&dq=feminism+and+motherhood&ots=ekddvvjMp0&sig=98ozsqPZtJfSQDFCgmgLc6zBaRU#v=onepage&q=feminism%20and%20motherhood&f=false. Allen addresses the shift in women’s ideals on mother hood in the book Feminism and Motherhood in Western Europe, 1890-1970: The Maternal Dilemma. She states “Most reputed maternalism and aggressively refused to acknowledge motherhood as a universal female vocatio, moral mission or duty of citizenship...In 1872 young activist of the liberation movement called upon women to free themselves from the ancient yoke “the only rational atitude toward what society has made of motherhood is to refuse it” stated in one of there many manifestos. The context of motherhood is now seen as a threat to modern feminism and through the years has been looked down upon as a means to “cheat” the system by overusing welfare and other government funded programs aimed to help woman of very low income. Rather than feel empathy for struggling mothers many people critisiza these woman and thier children for using such programs. Many woman who use these programs are of course immigrant woman who are still adjusting to western society and are unable to fully provide for their families.
The value of family is then equated as a weakeness by western feminist. What I found through the interviews