Response Paper #4: “Under Western Eyes” Revisited: Feminist Solidarity Through Anticapitalist Struggles

February 10, 2012 § 1 Comment

Author Chandra Talpade Mohanty analyzes the paradox that exists between progressive shifts in thought with traditional perspectives. She explains in depth her stances on the dangers of capitalism and the hostile economic conditions it creates. Capitalism enables the dramatic division that occurs between privileged American people and impoverished nations.

I find Chandra’s commentary on the distinction between “Western” and “Third World” feminist practices fascinating. Racial divisions still occur even under the promotion for gender and cultural solidarity. Globalization and outsourcing from industries produces toxic environments for minority groups. And all the while in the U.S. we are touting how “progressive” we are.

Do you think current feminist issues focus enough on globalization practices? Are we reaching out to minority groups or retaining a privileged lens? I personally think there are still many issues we could handle better, such as responsibility for outsourcing disasters.

§ One Response to Response Paper #4: “Under Western Eyes” Revisited: Feminist Solidarity Through Anticapitalist Struggles

  • ebestrom says:

    I think it is difficult to approach the issue of global environmental discrimination when the United States has such a robust history of poor minority groups bearing a disproportionate burden of the cost of pollution within our own boarders. The poor do not have the resources to influence zoning decisions or force change in environmental rules.

    Industry has always shifted their strategies to make use of the least empowered workers and bypass environmental restrictions. Earlier in the 20th century this involved controlling the regulations and importing workers. Gary, Indiana and U.S. Steel are one of the archetypes of this strategy. When one minority group began to become more empowered they were simply replaced by a new group who had less leverage to fight poor conditions.

    So capitalism may be the disease and the cure. If consumers preferentially buy from companies that provide higher worker standards it can influence change across the board. Once this become pervasive enough some countries may even begin to regulate for the sole purpose of attracting companies who want to take advantage of the culture of improving worker conditions.

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