Chandra Talpade Mohanty (born ) is a Distinguished Professor of Women’s and Gender As well as reprinting “Under Western Eyes”, in the final section, ” Reorienting Feminism”, Mohanty offers a response to criticism of the essay, and. In Under the Western Eyes, Chandra Talpade Mohanty criticizes homogeneous According to Mohanty, these writers draw attention to the. Free Essay: In her essay, “Under Western Eyes: Feminist Scholarship and Colonial Discourses,” Chandra Talpade Mohanty explores the simplified construction.

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Skip to main content. Log In Sign Up. Feminist Scholarship and Colonial Discourses,” which was originally published in This widely cited and many times reprinted essay was hugely influential to wetsern engaged in cross-cultural feminist scholarship. The essay demonstrated that many researchers, particularly those trained and inserted within Western feminist scholarship, have tended to produce monolithic, universalizing, and essentializing constructions of women in the Third World.

Chandra Talpade Mohanty – Wikipedia

Mohanty begins by pointing out the fact that even if the process of colonization may appear to be sophisticated, it includes a suppression of the heterogeneity of the subjects. She admits that even the western feminist discourse and political practice is not singular and homogenous. But she attempts to draw attention to certain effects of various textual strategies used by particular writers that codify Others as non- Western and themselves as Western.

As a cultural and ideological composite Other constructed through diverse representational discourses like science, cinema, judiciary, language, literature etc.


As real, material subjects of their collective histories. The relationship between these two dimensions of the term is what the practice of feminist practice seeks to address.

This relation is an arbitrary relation set up by particular cultures. Of certain assumptions of privilege and ethnocentric universality 2.

Feminists We Love: Chandra Talpade Mohanty – The Feminist Wire

First World and Third World Women Mohanty exposes certain principles which western scholarship employs for the overgeneralization of women into Western and Third World. The assumption that women are an already constituted, coherent group with identical interest and desires, regardless of class, ethnic or racial location.

The model of power which the West puts forth; namely, the humanist, classical notion of men as oppressors and women as oppressed. Mohanty uncovers ethnocentric notions that ignore the diversity among third world women belonging to a large geographical spectrum and critiques their grouping under the universal identity as victims.

This overgeneralization tends to damage the solidarity among women by dividing them into aestern opposite groups- Western Women universally liberated, enjoying talpadee, having control over their own bodies and sexuality, superior, intelligent, educated, secular, free minded and Third World Women universally uneducated, victimized, sexually battered, religious, family oriented, weak, powerless and domestic.

The Western feminist discourse categorizes third world women as a coherent group with identical interests, experiences and goals prior to their entry into the socio-political and historical field.

The attitude of white feminists towards third world women is very paternalistic; economic, religious and familial structures are all judged by Western standards. Mohanty enhances her argument by bringing examples from various sources.


Roots of Oppression — Cutrufelli generalizes in this book that since all African women are economically dependent, their main source of income is prostitution.

The concept of veiling in Iran, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Pakistan, and India- this was looked upon as a way of sexual control over women. jnder

Under Western Eyes: Feminist Scholarship and Colonial Discourses

But evidences suggests that other than the patriarchal and religious enforcement of veiling, there were other reasons too, like the woman who used veil as a means of solidarity with their working class sisters in Iran during the Revolution of Mohanty critiques Minces view, which assumes a singular kinship system to be the effecting factor of the oppression of women and it also fails to consider the class and cultural differences that exist between these societies.

This sort of worldview of women in Muslim society victimizes all Muslim women and undermines their ongoing struggles, efforts and achievements.

Here, she is only putting forth her hypothesis that secularization may have played a pivotal role in the becoming of a white Western feminist consciousness, but this may certainly not be so for women, globally.

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