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Reclaiming the Voice of the ‘Third World Woman’

Grewal, Kiran. 2012. Reclaiming the Voice of the ‘Third World Woman’. Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies, 14(4), pp. 569-590. ISSN 1369-801X [Article]

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Abstract or Description

While conservative Somali writer Ayaan Hirsi Ali has become a widely recognized and acclaimed figure in the West, she has generally been ignored or derided by postcolonial feminists. This has largely been due to her extremely provocative and often offensive statements regarding Islam and Muslim immigrants in the West. While Hirsi Ali is clearly problematic, in this essay I argue that engagement with her is both necessary and useful. On the one hand, an examination of Hirsi Ali's success shows the implication of a particular discourse that postcolonial feminists have unwittingly endorsed: namely an essentialized and overly celebratory positioning of the authentic ‘Third World woman's voice’. On the other hand, I argue that critical engagement with Hirsi Ali also opens up interesting sites of rejuvenation for postcolonial feminism and a means of developing a more nuanced and truly decolonized anti-racist, feminist politics.

Item Type:

Article

Identification Number (DOI):

https://doi.org/10.1080/1369801X.2012.730861

Keywords:

postcolonial feminism, postcolonial habitus , testimonial literature

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Sociology

Dates:

DateEvent
12 November 2012Published Online

Item ID:

22134

Date Deposited:

07 Nov 2017 12:05

Last Modified:

07 Nov 2017 12:05

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.

URI:

http://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/22134

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