Reading Response Paper 2
In Uma Narayan’s article “Contesting Cultures, Westernization, Respect for Cultures, and Third-World Feminists,” she uses her own cultural experiences as the basis for her feminist identity as well as her identity as an Indian woman. She then makes use of this definition of identity as a support for the existence of her Third-World Feminism as unique and separate from that of Western Feminism. She illustrates the challenges of defining yourself as a Third-World feminist. Many third world feminists are said to have been influenced by “westernization”. Narayan in her reading wants to expose the problems in these accusations of westernization and to understand what causes them. She goes on to mention how she was born in India moved to Uganda then back to India and now in the US for the past dozen years. When Narayan says Third World Feminist in her reading she means feminists living in third world countries who have feminist views and she’s trying to show that feminist perspectives are not unknown in third world national contexts. She is concerned with the charge of being westernized towards feminists in the third world countries. She compares Indian feminists being charged with being westernized to Blacks and Chicanca feminists to being charged with in authenticity.
In detailing the reasons for her label as a Third-World feminist, Narayan cites the ways her reality and consciousness is shaped by her Third-World nationality. Narayan attempts to trace how her feminism is in response to the problems and history of her culture. She rejects the notion that her politics are copies of Western feminism. We see all the time how women of color in the United States have felt both alienated by the women’s movement because of its reluctance to join the movement because of the misunderstanding involving turning to women for support while turning away from their heritage. It’s common that many feminists from third world countries have to...