Saba Mahmood’s Transnational Feminist Framing of The Women’s Mosque Movement
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Type of Work23 pages
DepartmentCenter for Geographies of Justice
ProgramWomen and Gender Studies
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The notion of a “global sisterhood” of women has been in prominence since the 1960s, largely circulated in “global” and “international” feminisms and framed in “comparative approaches to women’s issues in the Global South” (“Transnational Feminism,” emphasis added). The latent assumption in such “global” feminisms, as alluded to in its’ description as a comparative framing, is that a specifically Western model of feminism is the norm to which all other feminisms should aspire. Postcolonial scholars and feminists of color were understandably critical of this monolithic rendering of “global sisterhood,” and argued that it “presume[s] a white, middle-class feminist subject located in the Global North” and “ignore[s] the meaningful differences between women both locally and globally” (“Transnational Feminism”). Transnational feminism, then, offers a counter narrative to “global sisterhood” by making central to its’ analysis the lifeworlds of those excluded from the politically prescriptive project of secular-liberal feminism, and by questioning how we might begin the radical work of reconstructing feminist politics.