Friday, November 05, 2004

Summary: Transnational Practices Against the War

Transnational Feminist Practices Against War
Paola Bacchetta, Tina Campt, Inderpal Grewal, Caren Kaplan, Minoo Moallem, and Jennifer Terry (October 2001)

This is a crudely condensed version of the document, which outlines a project for antiracist, globally minded feminists to critically address the US "war on terror":

1. analyze the thoroughly gendered and racialized effects of nationalism... an analysis that elucidates the repressive effects of nationalist discourses
2. views the impact of war and internal repression in a larger context of global histories of displacement, forced migrations, and expulsions.
3. comment on the extent to which domestic civil repression is intrinsically linked to the violence of war .... practices that will further subordinate communities (especially non-white groups) in the US.
4. call for an analysis of the stereotypes and tropes that are being mobilized in the current crisis.
5. recognize the gendered and ethnocentric history of sentimentality, grief, and melancholy that have been mobilized in the new war effort, ... a massive deployment of therapeutic discourses...
6. a detailed critical analysis of the role of the media especially in depictions that include colonial tropes and binary oppositions in which the Islam/Muslim/non-West is represented as "uncivilized" or "barbaric."
7. call for a deeper understanding of the nature of capitalism and globalization as it generates transnational movements of all kinds. ... in particular that religious and ethnic fundamentalisms have emerged across the world within which the repression of women and establishment of rigidly dichotomized gender roles are used both as a form of power and to establish a collectivity.
We refuse to utilize the binaries of civilization vs. barbarism, modernity vs. tradition, and West vs. East. We also call for an end to the racist scapegoating and "profiling" that accompanies the stepped up violations of civil liberties within the territorial boundaries of the US. We urge feminists to refuse the call to war in the name of vanquishing a so-called "traditional patriarchal fundamentalism," since we understand that such fundamentalisms are supported by many nation-states. ... Nationalist and international mobilization for war cannot go forward in our name or under the sign of "concern for women." It is our contention that violence and terror are ubiquitous and need to be addressed through multiple strategies as much within the "domestic" politics of the US as elsewhere.


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