Academic journal article Tamara Journal of Critical Organisation Inquiry

Boje Feminism: Parallel Storyability of Male Vietnam Veteran and Female Sweatshop Body Traumas

Academic journal article Tamara Journal of Critical Organisation Inquiry

Boje Feminism: Parallel Storyability of Male Vietnam Veteran and Female Sweatshop Body Traumas

Article excerpt

ABSTRACT:

Boje feminism is an alternative to Foucault feminism. One difference is Foucault feminism is discursability formation, whereas Boje feminism is storyability formation of the body, its discipline, and the power/knowledge relationship. A second difference is where as Foucault Feminism is about micropolitics of power/knowledge, Boje Feminism is far wider focus on macropolitics, even global sociopolitics of late modern capitalism. This parallel storytelling develops the differentiation between collective memory groups (gender, race, socioeconomic, class, etc) construct out of direct experience, and what Hirsch (1999) calls 'postmemory,' such as the trauma children of survivors of Holocaust live with. My feminism enters into investigation of trauma events women endure in sweatshops is possible for me, because of its resonance with my own trauma as a soldier in the Vietnam War. I explore here why this is so for me.

This article is presented in left and right column, my column and her columns. After a bit of standard introduction, the columns are meant to intervibrate, to resonate, to interpenetrate, one another, as two voices, as many voices within me and her.

STANDARD 2 column INTRODUCTION

As storyteller Catherine Conant put it, "David Boje discussing feminism? Is that a little like Donald Rumsfeld discussing life as a Quaker?" Conant continues:

As I understand it a feminist is someone who believes that there should be political, economic and social equality for men and women. Even though I haven't seen you in more than a decade, I'm happy to confer upon you the title of feminist and all the benefits inherent, including still only earning $.76 for every dollar a man earns. But here, just when I'm sending you kudos for your insights and courage I see where you say you saw the Virginia Monologues...............oh dear, I'm sorry, your Freudian slip is showing and you're out of the game... -Catherine Conant

This is all about women's work in sweatshop. It is post-memory, because I have not been allowed in sweatshops, and have only interviewed women about their experience. Still I now have a certain amount of sweatshop trauma. It is how I seek to understand the trauma in sweatshops.

Conant worked with me to cultivate my personal story using certain rules (Feb 13, she gave me this advice):

1) Know why I am telling you the story of my PTSD

2) Know what the story means to me, so that I can tell it with balanced counterstories.

3) Understand the catalytic moment of my transformation, where I go on a new life adventure because as the bottom falls out of my life, I discover the macropower of exploitation.

4) Tell it in a way the personal respect for the public, so they do not want to rescue me the victim of war tragedy, but instead think reflectively of their own personal story.

5) Find my voice in the process of preparing my personal story for public telling.

6) Out of the whole ghastly horror of war and sweatshop collective memory and postmemory story the redemptive quality, the moment where I dedicated myself to stop sending any young man or woman to war.

7) As I make myself vulnerable, and share a personal story that moves me, be a little kinder to the boy whose life was changes forever by Vietnam, who left as a soldier, and came back as a peace activist, and started becoming feminist.

Sweatshop Feminism

Why am I telling you stories of women in sweatshops of Vietnam, China, and Mexico? I have only postmemory of women's work in sweatshop. It is post-memory, because I have not been allowed in sweatshops, and have only interviewed women about their experience. Still I now have a certain amount of sweatshop trauma. It is how I seek to understand the trauma in sweatshops.

In my twenty years of studies of sweatshop feminism, the woman's body is an effect of modernist disciplinary power, a strategy that oppresses the female body, and often child's body, especially in the garment and sneak industry, in a pathological regulation, control, and discipline that is sadomasochistic corporeal reality. …

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