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"the feminist-as-imperialist" Gandhi

In "Postcolonialism and Feminism" Linda Gandhi describes three "areas of controversy" in the debate surrounding the "third world woman" which breaks apart the possible unity between postcolonialism and feminism. For the area of controversy of "the feminist-as-imperialist," Gandhi gives examples of authors who have written on the subject of the third world woman in which their focus is not really on the lives of women but instead is a reflection upon their own lives and culture. These authors are looking at other countries and, without talking to the women there, making judgments of their oppression based on their own culture. This analysis does not take into account the histories of the women and does not allow them to speak for themselves. By claiming that they cannot speak for themselves and that they are more oppressed allows the imperialist feminist to separate the "first" and "third" world woman. Thus the feminist-as-imperialist is attempting to extend their cultural values over the "third world woman" without understanding the histories of the women or allowing them to speak for how they feel about how they are oppressed.