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WMST 1000 Lecture Notes - Cultural Imperialism, Gender Equality

Women's Studies
Course Code
WMST 1000
Andrew Robinson

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Woman’s Studies Lecture 5 Oct. 31/11
Third World Women
Discourse-how we represent and talk about something
Two features of world women
Self-reifying(making real): reinforce a positive, self-aggrandizing image of the
West Paternalistic-treat others as lacking agency and being dependent. We act
towards them as if we were parents or a father.
Development projects
“savior” complex-need someone else to step in and help them out or do things for
them. Charity work vs. Solidarity(whats the problem? How can we address the issues?)
work-they need to depend upon us and that makes solidarity impossible.
Failure to meet the needs of communities and individuals.
What is our relationship to power, colonialism, and cultural imperialism?
What are the effects of the representations of third world women that are not grounded
in historical, political and local contexts?
Chandra Mohanty
Discursive colonization
A relation of structural dominance
A suppression of the heterogeneity(expression of things being different)
Western feminist discourses
Create dichotomies or binaries(developed/underdeveloped)
Woman/women binary
3rd world women=a single, monolithic Woman
Western women=individuals or “women”(plural)
Third world difference
3rd world nations are: impoverished, underdeveloped,
Women in the 3rd world are:
Subservient to their fathers and husbands
Sexually constrained or ignorant
Self-reification: “the west is the best”
Model of development and progress(notion of progress is culturally
specific) Centre of individual freedom and democracy
Gender equality
This creates the “Western Women”
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