Sisterhood, Coalition, and the Politics of Location

“State of
Urgency”Feminism Without
Coalition, and the Politics
of Location”
Presented By:
Crystal Hsu and Jillian Robards
Chandra Mohanty
Question: How does the
politics of location in the
United States of the late
twentieth and early twentyfirst century determine and
produce experience and
difference as analytical and
political categories in feminist
"cross cultural work?“
(Mohanty, 106)
“The Politics of Location”
By the term "politics of location" I refer to the historical,
geographical, cultural, psychic, and imaginative
boundaries that provide the ground for political definition
and self-definition for contemporary U.S. feminists.“
(Mohanty, 106.)
The problem of individualized identity
The universality of gender oppression is problematic, as it
is based as it is on the assumption that that the categories
of race and class have to be invisible for gender to be
Why does Mohanty pose the encounter between:
Robin Morgan’s Planetary Feminism: The Politics of the
21st Century
Robin Morgan’s Coalition Politics: Turning of the Century
From Sisterhood to
For the class….
What is “the feminist Osmosis thesis?"
Females are feminists by association and
identification with the experiences that constitute
us as female.
Being female is thus seen as NATURALLY related to
being feminist, where the experience of being female
transforms us into feminists through osmosis.
"Feminism is not defined as a highly contested
political terrain; it is mere effect of being female“
Where we are now…
“But the moment we attempt to articulate the operation of
contemporary imperialism with the notion of an
international women's movement based on global
sisterhood, the awkward political implications of
Morgan's task become clear. Her particular notion of
universal sisterhood seems predicated on the
erasure of the history and effects of contemporary
imperialism (Mohanty, 110.)
Mohanty critiques of
•notion of experience is anchored firmly in the notion
of the individual self specifiable constituent of
European modernity limited bourgeois ideology of
•That women are unified by their sameness of their
oppression, struggles, and goals (betterment of
humna beings)
Discussion Terms
Reagon’s “barred room”
Nonsynchronous temporality
For Reagon, shared oppression doesn't bring unity, she
explained coalition as the basis to talk about crosscultural commonality of struggles, identifying survival.
What women thinks is home doesn't feel like home any
more. The experience of being an woman created an
illusory unity.
Drawing Connection…
“Decolonizing Feminism”
State of War- Rosca
State of Emergency- Reyes
State of Urgency- Mohanty
1) A state of armed conflict between different nations or states
or different groups within a nation or state.
2)A serious, unexpected, and often dangerous situation
requiring immediate action
3) An earnest and insistent necessity.
Pinay poetry & feminist solidarity
the goals of this class
“What I am really saying here: in classrooms full of a majority of
white folks with little to no experience with post-colonial and
ethnic studies, with literary traditions of people of color in
America, in classrooms full of a majority of white folks who
held a certain reverence for the great Modernists (some of
whom I indict as Orientalists in my work), I was learning a
certain fineness of language and form such that typical
resistance towards, say, the militant, angry woman of color
stereotype, the oppressed minority stereotype was
generally thwarted” Reyes- Interview with Barbara Jane
Reyes and Paolo Javier by Eileen Tabios
Poetry, Pinay Literature,
“But we cannot afford to forget those alternative, resistant spaces
occupied by oppositional histories and memories” (Mohanty,
Poeta en san francisco Barbara Jane Reyes
Orient. Dis-orient. Re-orient
“It is this process, this reterritorialization through struggle, that allows
me a paradoxical continuity of self, mapping and transforming my
political location. It suggests a particular notion of political agency,
since my location forces and enables specific modes of reading and
knowing the dominant”
Feminism Without Borders- Mohanty
and Poeta en San Francisco
“What I hope and struggle for, I garner as my
knowledge, create it as a place from where I seek to
know (Mohanty, 123.)
Women's struggles, oppressions and experience
became what defines them and bring them together.
In Poeta en San Francisco, geography and body are
sites of cultural collision for woman identity.

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