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Abstract

Feminism, despite being a lens through which we are meant to deconstruct oppressive assumptions, is all too often complicit in the Othering thinking that subjugates non-white and “Third World” peoples. The third-wave term “white feminism” addresses this white- and Western-centricity, critiquing the discourse’s tendency to, while liberating women of the white middle class, perpetuate the subjugation of women of colour in the West and across the globe. This literature review summarizes “Difference: A Special Third-World Women’s Issue” (1987) by Trinh T. Minh-Ha and “Under Western Eyes: Feminist Scholarship and Postcolonial Discourses” (1988) by Chandra Talpade Mohanty, two foundational postcolonial texts that discuss Western feminist discourse’s tendency to speak for and, in doing so, silence women of colour. The review provides modern-day examples of racism within mainstream Western feminism and calls upon white feminists to listen to women of colour, not speak for them, in order to build an inclusive, justice-based movement.

SHERRI LISKA is an English Major, writing tutor, and the Literary Society president at Huron University College. Her scholarly interests include postcolonial and feminist literature, but cats are her first love; she patiently awaits Huron’s ratification of a Cat Lady Master’s program.


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