Blogging the Theoretical


October 7, 2011 · 7 Comments

Alexandra Troli

Knowledge is power and individuals need to begin decolonizing it in order for radical change to take place, “not just working (or waiting) for a revolution” (Mohanty 4). One aspect of Mohanty’s novel is based on the marginalization of “Third World Woman”. Individuals in the West need not to classify “the production of the Third World Woman as a singular, monolithic subject” (Mohanty 17). Even when women share the same culture, they are still different in their own way, for Mohanty stress’ that “our most expansive and inclusive visions of feminism need to be attentive to borders while learning to transcend them” (Mohanty 2); hence feminism without border’s.

The presence of borders in one’s life can be both a positive and negative experience. These borders shape the way we see and experience the world around us. They can be both “exclusionary and enabling” (Mohanty 2). For example, in chapter eight Mohanty addresses the struggles she faces when she returns home when her own Hindu family dismisses her because her “nonresident Indian” status makes her unable to possibly understand the “Muslim problem”. However, that “same green card has always been viewed with suspicion by leftist and feminist friends, who demand evidence of her ongoing commitment to a socialist and democratic India” (Mohanty131). Another example involves the borders set in place for the Western woman. These borders allow the world to see her as “educated, modern, having control over their own bodies and sexualities, and the freedom to make their own decisions” (Mohanty 22). Contrary to the American women, border’s in place for the Third World Woman has allowed the world to view them as a homogeneous unit. “These women lead an essentially truncated life based on her feminine gender and her being Third World”(Mohanty 22) allowing some them to be viewed as “ignorant, poor, uneducated, tradition-bound, domestic, family oriented, and victimized” (Mohanty 22). Unfortunately some of these borders are created from Western national and capitalist domination creating the assumption that the U.S corporate culture is the norm. This is why decolonizing knowledge is crucial. Decolonizing involves “profound transformations of self, community, and governance structures”(Mohanty 7) that will result in “not only the creation of new kinds of self-governance but also the creation of new men and women” (Mohanty 8).

Borders come in many disguises, for they are lines drawn through “nations, races, classes, sexualities, religions, and disabilities. Feminist with out borders must envision change and social justice to work across these lines of demarcation and division” (Mohanty 2). After all, there is a commonality of struggle for women around the world regardless of the borers that “define” them.

Works Cited

Mohanty, Chandra Talapade. Feminism Without Borders: Decolonizing Theory, Practicing Solidarity. Durham: Duke University Press, 2003. Print.


Categories: Chandra Mohanty · Group Two · Troli

7 responses so far ↓

  •   bphess09 // Oct 8th 2011 at 10:40 am


    I really liked your analysis of how knowledge correlates to the title of the book but in your next post I would be interested to see your expansion on knowledge as power to promote decolonization because you did a great job initially stating the significance, especially pointing out chapter 8. You used a lot of quotations for textual support but I think you should revisit a few to make sure they are the best quotes to exemplify your argument.

    Really think about how deconstructing the boarders evokes solidarity among Third World women and promotes transnational feminism. How does this idea function in terms of knowledge for Third World women? Just some things to think about for your next post but you did really well with an abundance of textual support and have a good foundation.

  •   emseav09 // Oct 8th 2011 at 8:52 pm


    I really enjoyed reading your post. You did an excellent job bringing in a lot of textual evidence through great quotes for excellent support and justification in your argument. I really enjoyed how you deconstructed the title of Mohanty’s book to how it relates to the “Third World Women”.

    Your textual support is great but maybe you should revisit the sections you looked at with third world women and see if the quotes are the best for what you are trying to say and if you want to stick with them, you might want to try to tease them out abit more so you get all you can out of what Mohanty is trying to say.

    Great Job Troli! I always love reading your posts.

  •   emseav09 // Oct 8th 2011 at 8:53 pm


  •   jmrodr09 // Oct 9th 2011 at 6:02 pm


    Good work. The use of examples from Mohanty really helped to make your thesis stand out. However, I would try to dissect your quotes more and look for more specific details. I would concentrate on portraying knowledge through capitalism and the educational system. I think it would make your thesis stand out, especially if you give some examples on how women and education are bordered to a certain spectrum.

    But overall, good work!

  •   jmrodr09 // Oct 9th 2011 at 9:15 pm

    ^^^^- Jennifer R.

  •   kaasel09 // Oct 9th 2011 at 9:46 pm

    You have provided a solid analysis of Mohanty’s arguments concerning the nature of power. I thought your discussion of borders was very thought provoking and added an interesting level to Mohanty’s argument. I also liked that you incorporated Mohanty’s discussion of her personal experiences. Since you are talking about power, I might dedicate a section to a more in depth analysis of Mohanty’s feelings about capitalism and how it perpetuates an iniquitous system. Why do Western discourses seem to have all the power? Also, a minor detail, but “Feminism Without Borders” isn’t a novel, just something to adjust when you revise!
    Good Job!

  •   ogmcma08 // Oct 9th 2011 at 11:20 pm


    You have provided a great start to deconstructing Mohanty’s argument on the power of the decolonization knowledge. I enjoyed your use of quotes from the beginning of the book, and especially your discussion of borders as an influence to the self-definition of the third world feminist. To make your argument even stronger, I would suggest that you expand on issues of home, and position within ones society. Using Mohanty’s discussion of genealogy, you can demonstrate how she has trouble decolonizing her own feminist identity.

    Overall great start!


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