Responding To Orientalist Feminism

Routledge Journals, Taylor & Francis Ltd
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Journal Article
Australian Feminist Studies, 2010, 25 (66), pp. 433 - 439
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As Hester Eisenstein shows in her essay in this issue, the sudden concern for women has come from neo-conservatives like George W. Bush, who are not known for their support for feminism. Yet feminism is `essential to the war on terror, Eisenstein writes, enabling Islamic societies to be condemned as `uniquely oppressive to women (Eisenstein this issue). I explore this appropriation of feminism as Orientalist feminism, a feminism that is ultimately about constructing a binary opposition between a civilised West and an uncivilised East. My main goal is to explore how feminists can respond to this discourse.
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