A Brief Note On Transnational Solidarity Among Feminists Essay

A Brief Note On Transnational Solidarity Among Feminists Essay

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Transnational solidarity among feminists has often been a difficult goal to achieve because of the continued dominance of Western feminism, the lack of self-reflexivity on the part of feminists, and the lack of an approach that addresses both the complexities and nuances of lived gender experiences as well as the ways in which imperialism continues to structure the lives of millions around the world. In this article I want to address the points of convergence between intersectionality and decolonial theory and suggest that combining these two approaches can help in developing a non-exclusionary transnational solidarity.
Transnational feminism is a theory and commitment to practice which recognizes differences and borders while building solidarity and transcending those borders. It critiques Western mainstream feminism for using itself as a referent for communities of color, and calls for a decentering from hegemonic Western discourse. Antiglobalization and anticapitalism are central components of this decentering, decolonizing project. Transnational feminism requires caution when speaking for others. Speaking, to be understood in a nexus of listening, responding and interpreting, is only available to those who will be heard in institutions of power. Academics and activists must engage in self-conscious discourse and activism which empowers the speaking of the oppressed recognizes their specific dynamics and histories and creates conditions for their voices to be heard. Otherwise one risks engaging in what Chandra Talpade Mohanty refers to as “discursive colonization.”

Angela Davis’ essay on her trip to Egypt in 1985 is a seminal work on the subject of transnational feminist solidarity. The essay contains reflections on the diff...

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...ith contradictions between a western universal project and the complex nature of contextual particularities. A decolonial approach that is intersectional and unapologetically subaltern will allow use to approach the intersections of categories that emerge from the given context and that are defined by those who experience the realities of those intersections. This may mean that categories such as class, race, sexuality, and even gender don’t mean what intersectionality theorists think they mean, or don’t intersect in the ways previously assumed, and this is precisely where self-reflexivity comes in. In other words, we should all, as feminists committed to knowledge production, have our Angela Davis moments and ask whether we have really decolonized our own knowledge and whether our interventions are impositions rather than attempts to create transnational solidarity.

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