Multicultural and Global Feminism
MULTICULTURAL AND GLOBAL FEMINISTS share with postmodern feminists a view of the self as fragmented. However, for multicultural and global feminists, the roots of this fragmentation are primarily cultural, racial, and ethnic rather than sexual, psychological, and literary. There are many similarities between multicultural and global feminism. Both challenge "female essentialism," the view that the idea of "woman" exists as some sort of Platonic form each and every flesh-and-blood woman somehow fits; and both disavow "female chauvinism," the tendency of some women, privileged on account of their race or class, for example, to presume to speak on behalf of all women.
Despite the important similarities that link multicultural and global feminists, there are nonetheless some major differences that distinguish them. Multicultural feminism is based on the insight that even in one nation--the United States of America, for instance--all women are not created or constructed equal. Depending on her race and class but also on her sexual preference, age, religion, education attainment, occupation, marital status, health condition, and so on, each and every woman in the United States will experience her oppression as an American woman differently. Adding to the insights of multicultural feminists, global feminists further stress that depending on whether a woman is a citizen of a First World or a Third World nation, an advanced industrial or a developing nation, a nation that is colonialist or colonized, she will experience oppression differently.
Because my experiences are those of an American woman, in this chapter I write about multicultural feminism in the United States. Moreover, I