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Leela Gandhi discusses the relationship between postcolonial feminism, the third world woman and the feminist as an imperialist her article “Postcolonialism and Feminism�. In this piece I believe she tries to explain the different views surrounding current feminism. Gandhi delves into the idea of an area of controversy in regards to the feminist-as-imperialist. The feminist as an imperialist is the idea that second wave feminist writing has a totally disregard for other cultures and their unique histories, thereby creating a hegemotic way of view women of the third world. It was the notion that we knew better than they did, that they must be saved not only from the men of their culture but also from their own limited understandings. Gandhi references Mohanty to explain the imperial feminist. Controversy is created because western feminists take an ethnocentric view of society and attempt to apply it to all thereby marginalizing other. In other words, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. These women want to help but go about doing it in the wrong way.
I think that one can look at the feminist imperialist another way as well. Generally, the imperialistic feminist is from the west. I believe that many western feminist theorists are assumed to using discursive colonial messages in their rhetoric, but that is not the case. I think that much like one needs to examine the distinct story of a woman from a third world country, one must do the same with an western feminist. Also, I find it troubling to deter women from writing about injustices in other nations. One need to not speak for, like Linda Alcoff describes but to speak with them. What are their feelings about a given situation? What is the history and culture driving their current situation? Alcoff discusses in her article that doing nothing and not speaking is just as bad as speaking for someone. To sit by and watch something wrong happen for the sake of maintaining correctness is something that Alcoff disagrees with. At the very least, second wave feminist misconceptions got current feminist thinking and evolving the field.
Finally, I found this article very challenging to read. I found Gandhi’s argument to be lost in her quotes and theory that is drawn upon from other theorists and lost her voice.