Anyone else confused by this essay as well?

February 8, 2012 § 4 Comments

First off, while reading “Under and (Inside) Western Eyes: at the Turn of the Century,” by Chandra Talpade Mohanty, I am not sure if it was just me, but when I was getting into the third page I still did not have a clear understanding of what this woman was even talking about. Yes, I understand that feminism has been changing throughout the ages and what not, but just her style of writing is confusing to me. After all, on page 90, one of her sentences is six lines long. But I am trying to get past this never the less.

When I finally began to understand just a little bit of what she was saying (even though I still do not like her writing style), I have to say that I agree. At the end of page ninety, she begins to talk about envisioning a “democratic society capable of treating all its citizens fairly.” I am not going to lie, that sounds pretty amazing to me, and she begins to talk about this with the “disenfranchised communities of women in the world.” After having my roommate read this whole entire idea of hers, he said that it is the way of making her point by setting up a hypothetical situation, but I believe that this is just an ass-backwards way of putting it. Mohanty probably had some really good points to make in this essay, but with the way that she is trying to explain and narrate everything, her point is just not getting across clearly.

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§ 4 Responses to Anyone else confused by this essay as well?

  • smschutt says:

    I just want to say that I was relieved when I saw your post saying this essay confused you. I too felt like the pages were covered with words but saying nothing. I keep rereading sentence after sentence trying to figure out what this essay was even talking about. I was so frustrated that I had to put the book down a few times.
    After muddling my way through his essay, I still am unsure if I am grasping what she is trying to say, or even taking the right things away from this reading. What I did find interesting was that one of the world’s largest economies just so happens to be a corporation and now they include corporations in the Amnesty International reports. At the end of page 89 she states that the link between political economy and culture remains crucial to any form of feminist theorizing, my interpretation being that she is trying to tell use how we colonizing gender, in particular its color class and gender. Later she writes “ the space of privileged communities our visions of justice are more likely to be exclusionary because privilege nurtures blindness to those white the same privileges”. I find this very true, though I find there an easier of way to say this. We, who are privileged, don’t look at ourselves as privileged unless it is directly pointed out to us. All in all this essay was very hard to decipher what she was trying to convey.

  • colekulina says:

    Yeah with your quote, I thought the same thing. That was probably one of the only things that I understood from this essay and well, since we have covered this before, I feel like finally I understood something. But everything else from her…yeah.

  • She was basically talking about the paradox that exists in “progressive” thought movements. Her points are

    1) Change happened since we have women’s studies now.
    2) We haven’t really changed enough; now white women can gain equality but it’s still hard for minorities. She lists off the reasons.
    3) Capitalism is hurtful for minorities in third world countries. We outsource businesses to places that do not follow safety regulations, and take advantage of workers.
    4) We don’t have the right to talk about how progressive we Americans are since we clearly have a privileged standpoint.
    5) There is still quite a bit of work to do.

  • erikaostrom says:

    I felt as though this essay was difficult to read as well. I got the main points out of it like Rachel mentioned. I thought it was interesting that she talked about how now that women studies is present things have happened to better the rights of women. Even though it has changed it hasn’t changed enough so I feel like it contradict itself in a way. It was hard to read this when it contradicted the issue.

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