Saturday, 20 February 2016

Types of Feminism - Transnational

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Types of Feminism:
Libertarian and Egalitarian Feminism:
Liberal and Marxist Feminism:
Radical and Socialist Feminism: 
Intersectional Feminism:
International Feminism: This article
Other Types of Feminism:

Author: Blaise Wilson

Name: Transnational Feminism

Alternative names: Global, International, World, Cosmopolitan, Third World, Third Wave

While other forms of feminism concentrate on First World problems, Transnational Feminism captures those from the Third World using a global network, but filtered through a local lens that considers the unique manifestations of patriarchal oppression of each locality due to their history and local traditions [2, 3, 4, 5].

Transnational Feminists work closely within ingrained local traditions and often use gradual changes, working with local men to influence local communities by improving living standards for their families and the community [3].

Due to the wide range of challenges Transnational Feminism faces by taking on local issues on a global scale, they do not have a single ideology but are made up of many [2], however there are some running themes, starting with their roots from Intersectional Feminism.

There are links between Intersectional and Transnational Feminism in that they both consider gender to be a social construct, and they consider the combined oppression of characteristics such as race, gender, and sexuality of economic exploitation caused by a global capitalist market. This also makes them take on a range of challenges facing different characteristics such as homosexual rights. As such it is considered part of Third Wave Feminism [2, 3, 4, 5, 6].

Another similarity between Transnational and Intersectional Feminism is they both emerged from a backlash to Second Wave Feminism which considers all women suffer from the same form of oppression and need the same solutions [1, 3]. However, Transnational Feminism highlights that the First World and Third World have very different challenges. For example Third World women struggle with basic necessities such as access to education, minimum wage jobs, basic housing, preventing female infanticide, anti-dowry legislation, putting an end to child marriages, and so forth whereas Intersectional Feminism concentrates on language and the portrayal of women [5, 7]. Every locality strives for the next level of need, but each locality sites on a different part of that scale and Transnational Feminism recognises this and supports local change using a global network [5].

One of the areas Transnational Feminism concentrates on is immigration, and the oppression that non-nationals face within a country such as not having the same access to the national domestic services as the local citizens [4].

Definition of Equality:
Various, but has strong links to Intersectional Feminists outcome equality for the collective based on a hierarchy of oppression due to identity politics but on a global scale.

Gender is a 100% social construct.

Root cause of problems:
Capitalism, local history, and local traditions.

Third Wave Feminism, from the 1980s.


Transnational Feminism grew out of the opposition to Second Wave Feminism [1, 3], having similar links to Intersectional Feminism in the 1980s. It emerged from Western Feminism taking on Third World problems [2].

It is considered part of Third Wave Feminism [5].

Transnational Feminism has been criticised for having to work with local men to accomplish change in a community. This not only due to many women in less developed countries depending on men for a transfer of resources to meet basic needs, but also because the women in the local area identifying as part of their community, rather than as part of the feminist sisterhood and the men are often the ones empowered to create the community changes [5].

With their concentration of gendered issues, Transnational Feminism could easily be seen as unpopular in the local community as they come in from the outside and inform local women they are oppressed. Getting support to change community way of life would be challenging [0].

Some feminists may be disappointed by the slow pace of change brought forth by Transnational Feminism [0].

Trying to appease local populations while simultaneously maintaining a unified global front can be tricky and full of conflict. This makes Transnational Feminism appear as an unorganised mass struggling to get funding from First World countries to support change in Third World counties. Those in the First World may not agree with the changes, and the problems don’t impact them directly [0].

One of the biggest criticisms of Transnational Feminism is their rejection of Human Rights, which they claim are the rights of the individual and can be problematic to collective groups. They also contend that Human Rights are often masculine in nature and don’t take other characteristics into account, such as the experiences of women, coloured, poor, rural, disabled, and homosexual viewpoints [2].

By spreading themselves too thin, Transnational Feminism could be accused of ‘trying to boil the ocean’ by not only taking on multiple locations due to their local perspective, but also additional plights of other oppressed issues such as race and sexuality rather than keeping to women’s problems. By combining them it would be difficult to make any real headway without breaking down the problems into smaller parts, which might compete with each other to be solved [0].

Due to their collective and Marxist roots Transnational Feminism suffers many of the same critiques as Socialist and Intersectional Feminism.

Allies and enemies:
Transnational Feminism is one of the few forms of feminism that actively targets Third World issues rather than concentrating on First World problems. This gives them a lot of praise and support [0].

However, due to their underlying collective and identity politic ideology not everyone, especially other types of feminists, will agree with their methods or the message they send to Third World women, such as informing them they are oppressed [0].

[0] Author assertion.

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