Panel 09 Feminism in a Global Context

Event Title

Feminism in a Global Context

Start Date

14-2-2015 2:00 PM

End Date

14-2-2015 3:20 PM

Panel

Feminism in a Global Context

Paper/Panel Track (if known)

Ideoscapes

Abstract

This panel considers the cultural, national, and international contexts that feminists operate within, and how these complicate the expression of their goals. Looking at feminist projects in Ireland, Nigeria, and Poland, the presenters explore the complicated dynamics that occur between feminists and other local actors, and how feminists engage with and are affected by national and international discourses that attempt to align with or discredit feminism.

Mary Maxfield: “History Retweeting Itself: Imperial Feminist Appropriations of ‘Bring Back Our Girls’”: Racist and imperialist narratives continue to underpin U.S. representations of the African continent and of people of color. This essay considers that history of transnational representation and exploitation in the context of feminist collaboration. By examining this thread of feminist history, and placing a current campaign -- the Nigerian “Bring Back Our Girls” movement -- in its context, the project challenges perceptions of digital campaigns as technologically determined or ‘outside history.’ It draws on textual and historical analysis to consider variations within “Bring Back Our Girls”– the online campaign to locate and return 276 abducted high school students – between “Western” and “Third World” activists, and ultimately reconsiders that discourse in light of anti-racist and anti-imperialist critiques.

Erin Mulligan: “Dismantling the Capitalist-Meat-Patriarchy: Intersectionality in Feminist and Vegan Activism”: This paper looks at the activist work of the Vegan Information Project, a vegan activist group based out of Dublin Ireland. VIP's activism is examined to reveal the various ways vegan activism incorporates feminist thought. This includes intersectionality, the feminist care ethic, and ecofeminism. Conversely, VIP is also reveals some of the ways veganism can be understood as a feminist action by itself. This includes the rejection of meat as a symbol of patriarchy and the value placed on caring, cooperation, and community. This paper puts feminism and veganism in conversation in order to better understand their connections.

Dinah Tetteh: “Feminism, Breast Cancer Support, and the Cause for Women’s Health: The Case of the Polish Amazons”: The Amazons is a self-help support group in Poland aimed at providing emotional and practical support for women affected by breast cancer. It draws on the experience of breast cancer survivors to help those currently dealing with the disease; through its activities, the group has been instrumental in helping improve the quality of life of women who have undergone mastectomy. The Amazons, however, does not identify as feminist or as working to empower women. I draw from the work of feminist scholars including Alice Echols, Simone de Beauvoir, Robin Morgan, and the history of the feminist movement in the United States to draw parallels between issues that led to challenges faced by the early feminist movement in the U.S. and the limitations of the operations of the Amazons. I argue that the Amazons is reinforcing traditional gender norms and views of women by failing to take up issues that affect the totality of women’s lives in Poland. I note further that the Amazons may be projecting a distorted notion of the lived experience and reality of breast cancer, projecting a normative experience and narrative of the disease, and thus may be hampering the cause for women’s issues and health in Poland. I also discuss ways that the Amazons can learn from and collaborate with their counterparts in the U.S.

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Feb 14th, 2:00 PM Feb 14th, 3:20 PM

Feminism in a Global Context

This panel considers the cultural, national, and international contexts that feminists operate within, and how these complicate the expression of their goals. Looking at feminist projects in Ireland, Nigeria, and Poland, the presenters explore the complicated dynamics that occur between feminists and other local actors, and how feminists engage with and are affected by national and international discourses that attempt to align with or discredit feminism.

Mary Maxfield: “History Retweeting Itself: Imperial Feminist Appropriations of ‘Bring Back Our Girls’”: Racist and imperialist narratives continue to underpin U.S. representations of the African continent and of people of color. This essay considers that history of transnational representation and exploitation in the context of feminist collaboration. By examining this thread of feminist history, and placing a current campaign -- the Nigerian “Bring Back Our Girls” movement -- in its context, the project challenges perceptions of digital campaigns as technologically determined or ‘outside history.’ It draws on textual and historical analysis to consider variations within “Bring Back Our Girls”– the online campaign to locate and return 276 abducted high school students – between “Western” and “Third World” activists, and ultimately reconsiders that discourse in light of anti-racist and anti-imperialist critiques.

Erin Mulligan: “Dismantling the Capitalist-Meat-Patriarchy: Intersectionality in Feminist and Vegan Activism”: This paper looks at the activist work of the Vegan Information Project, a vegan activist group based out of Dublin Ireland. VIP's activism is examined to reveal the various ways vegan activism incorporates feminist thought. This includes intersectionality, the feminist care ethic, and ecofeminism. Conversely, VIP is also reveals some of the ways veganism can be understood as a feminist action by itself. This includes the rejection of meat as a symbol of patriarchy and the value placed on caring, cooperation, and community. This paper puts feminism and veganism in conversation in order to better understand their connections.

Dinah Tetteh: “Feminism, Breast Cancer Support, and the Cause for Women’s Health: The Case of the Polish Amazons”: The Amazons is a self-help support group in Poland aimed at providing emotional and practical support for women affected by breast cancer. It draws on the experience of breast cancer survivors to help those currently dealing with the disease; through its activities, the group has been instrumental in helping improve the quality of life of women who have undergone mastectomy. The Amazons, however, does not identify as feminist or as working to empower women. I draw from the work of feminist scholars including Alice Echols, Simone de Beauvoir, Robin Morgan, and the history of the feminist movement in the United States to draw parallels between issues that led to challenges faced by the early feminist movement in the U.S. and the limitations of the operations of the Amazons. I argue that the Amazons is reinforcing traditional gender norms and views of women by failing to take up issues that affect the totality of women’s lives in Poland. I note further that the Amazons may be projecting a distorted notion of the lived experience and reality of breast cancer, projecting a normative experience and narrative of the disease, and thus may be hampering the cause for women’s issues and health in Poland. I also discuss ways that the Amazons can learn from and collaborate with their counterparts in the U.S.