Blogging the Theoretical

The Solution-Mohanty by ahvang08

October 7, 2011 · 3 Comments

In order to understand Chandra Mohanty’s goal for feminism you must be able to understand her vision. In the opening chapter she explains the two projects that need to be addressed by feminist: “the internal critique of hegemonic Western feminisms and the formulation of autonomous feminist concerns and strategies that are geographically, historically, and culturally grounded (Mohanty, 17).” She elaborates the first deals with the deconstruction and dismantling of this Western feminist notion and the ability to build and construct an autonomous feminist understanding. Mohanty emphasizes the importance of transnational feminist solidarity and the fact that if Western feminism and Third World feminism are divided, it only further instates the oppression of Third World women. “The hegemony of the idea of the superiority of the West produces a corresponding set of universal images of the Third World woman, images such as the veiled woman, the powerful mother, the chaste virgin, the obedient wife and so on (Mohanty, 41). These images exist in universal, ahistorical splendor, setting in motion a colonist discourse that exercises a very specific power in defining, coding and maintaining existing First/Third World connections (Mohanty, 41).”

The world has turned in to a capitalist economy, establishing producer and consumer discourses that continuously oppress those who are unable to fall into either or. This capitalist ideology is reinstated in the work force, in politics, and even in our education system. Mohanty describes this struggle on page 146, “The material, cultural, and political effects of the processes of domination and exploitation that sustain what is called the new world order are devastating for the vast majority of people in the world—and most especially for impoverished and Third World women.” Mohanty believes the solution for resolving the oppression of Third World women is the ability to mobilize, organize, and solidify transnationally (140). She explains the greatest challenge feminist face is the task to recognize and undoing the ways in which we colonize and objectify our different histories and cultures, thus colluding with hegemonic processes of domination and rule (125).  A quote by Irma, a worker in the Silicon Valley, really resonates with Mohanty’s focus and that is, “Tell them it may take time the people think they don’t have, but they have to organize!…Because the only way to get a little measure of power over your own life is to do it collectively, with the support of other people who share your needs (139).” It is the push to decolonize the educational system, to demystify the ideology of the masculinized worker, and to have an active, oppositional, and collective voice that comes as a result of one’s location (Mohanty, 216).

 

Chandra Talpade Mohanty (2004) Feminism Without Borders: Decolonizing Theory, Practicing Solidarity. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

Categories: Abby · Chandra Mohanty · Group One



3 responses so far ↓

  •   janico08 // Oct 9th 2011 at 10:57 am

    Abby,

    Awesome start! I wouldn’t mind seeing maybe a specific example of how Third World women are practicing solidarity. I think you can find some in Chapter 6 with the women workers. You have a great quote by one of the Silicon Valley workers, but it may be a good idea to analyze that situation a little more in depth in regards to a solution.

    Jenae

  •   rcrich09 // Oct 9th 2011 at 10:38 pm

    Abby,
    Great start, I’m with Jenae on more examples but it’s very well organized; however, I feel like the end needs a better summarization of your points. I can see where you are going but I would like to see a more distilled “Mohanty’s solution.” Great work so far though!

  •   jmmore09 // Oct 10th 2011 at 2:11 am

    Abby,
    This is a great blog! I feel like you brought out a lot of good points here and it was right of point. I think the only suggestion I have is the elaborate a bit more on your quotes and maybe a sentence or two for the closing of your blog with an overall conclusion on the arguments/points in Mohanty.

    Jennifer

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