In this essay, the analysis is based upon Chandra Mohanty’s “Under Western Eyes” and Gayatri Spivak’s “Can the Subaltern speak?” which discusses western feminist’s representation of Third World women. The purpose of this descriptive study is explicate intersectionality and economical changes from the eras preceding it and following it as well as including a strong focus on transnational feminist theory. Additional objective was to portray a woman as homogenous oppression in that sense which linked the ideas of Mohanty and Spivak’s western feminism theory.
In Under Western Eyes: Feminist Scholarship and colonial discourses, Mohanty trying to demonstrate that, western feminism is used to treat women from the third world as a homogeneous group. In other words, all third world women are basically the same for western feminist scholars (Mohanty 56).
In western feminist discourse, Mohanty argues that this homogenous approach to non-western women is an act of imperialism. (Mohanty 56). These women can be grouped under one single category which applies to all non-western women in general. This create a unique idea of the average women of the third world and ignore the diversity of the experiences within this group (Mohanty 56). Such average women are portrayals that are based on their feminine gender, sexually oppressed, ignorant, weak, conventional, domestic, uneducated and victimized. The ‘Third world women’ represent as the ‘other’ to Western women.
In comparison, the western women represented themselves as well as traditional, educated, modern, controlled their own bodies and the freedom of choice. Because the homogenous third world group of women is largely defined by patriarchal injustice, according to Mohanty, Western feminists therefore need to save them.
Mohanty seeks to select the key strands in the “Third World” women’s representation. She says that the monolithically subject “Third World Women” constitutes six different feminist discourses. In brief, “Women in the third world” are defined as victims of male violence, colonial process, familial systems, development processes, the religious ideologies as well as women as universal dependents.