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Global feminism by Amy Littlefield

July 7, 2010

This post is a part of the Global Feminism series, where each GAB editor is sharing her/his own definition of global feminism. What does global feminism mean to you? Discuss this definition and your own definition in the comments below, and join the GAB editorial board and fellow readers for a live chat discussion about global feminism on Monday, July 19 at 8pm CST.More info about the live chat here

GAB reader Sarah Ganley said the following in response to our call for definitions of Global Feminism:

I think it is important to recognize the diversity of experience, resistance, and context.  I advocate for a title change!  Global feminisms is much more representative of the diversity of womanhood.

I agree with the idea that there is more than one global feminism; one could argue that there are as many global feminisms as there are women in the world. The multiple layers of oppression that affect women’s lives — from economic marginalization to racism to imperialistic domination and violence perpetuated by powerful countries and forces like the United States — make defining a single “global feminism” impossible for me. Despite historical attempts by U.S. feminists to define feminism for women in other countries and cultures, each movement for gender equality must define itself. I see my own global feminism as a commitment to standing in solidarity with movements for gender equality everywhere. On a small scale, it means bringing women’s stories to attention through my work as a writer, and working at a clinic that provides safe abortions to women. On a global scale, it means voicing my opposition to capitalistic exploitation, racism, violence, poverty, militarization, and other forces that do harm to people everywhere.

  1. Maria Guzman permalink*
    July 7, 2010 1:54 pm

    Fantastic point, Amy! I also agree that successful wide-scale philosophies are successful because they can function and contribute to independent yet collaborative groups that care about similar issues. Like the bipartisan views of American politics, there seems to be a bipartisan approach to feminism, and this rests upon an “in” or “out” assessment. This is why men feel hesitant to call themselves feminists, even if their favorite artist is female or they work at a domestic violence center and work primary with female victims.

    Before I get too tangential, I would like to mention another topic that is both universal yet distinct in each cultural personification-motherhood. As we saw in the film, “Babies” this year, cultural nuances distinguished the parents and evoked dialogues about the positions of each subject in the film.

    Maybe belief systems are tougher to think of in a similar manner due to the biological “cred” that motherhood possesses. How can we get around that or apply it to feminism in an illuminating manner?

  2. July 7, 2010 3:24 pm

    Great post, I love the diversity that is embraced by GAB!


  1. Intro to the Global Feminism Series « Gender Across Borders

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