Lesson 13 - The womens movement has long been criticized as...

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The women’s movement has long been criticized as being dominated by a homogenous group of women who are white, educated, middle class, heterosexual, able-bodied AND who lived in the United States or in other similarly industrialized countries. If we look back to how the women’s movement was started, we can see racism, sexism, and other forms of oppression throughout the history of feminism. Until feminists are able to look outside of their own experiences, feminism will likely still be labeled as a “white women’s movement”. Third wave feminism is taking up this struggle to be more inclusive, less hegemonic, and more global. In fact, global feminism is a very popular field of study today. We’ve read about how women’s experiences may differ based on their identities as we’ve talked about various issues throughout the semester, but this week we focus solely on women around the globe. How do women fare internationally? Examining Our Own Perspectives First, it’s important for us to recognize that women in the United States are not necessarily any more advanced than women in other countries! Often times, women in this country like to think of ourselves as better than (or better off) than women in other countries. The fact that we may use terms like “more developed” or “less developed” and “first world” versus “third world” illustrates our (perhaps unconscious) oppression of women around the world. We tend to hear about customs or rituals that women and girls participate in and we judge them without fully understanding the cultural context in which such practices occur. For instance, you may have heard of female circumcision (also called female genital mutilation). Western women have a tendency to criminalize this practice without adequately
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This note was uploaded on 02/03/2010 for the course WMNST 001 taught by Professor Jenniferbeindorf during the Spring '07 term at Pennsylvania State University, University Park.

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Lesson 13 - The womens movement has long been criticized as...

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