Yet even when large numbers of feminist activists adopted a perspective which included race, gender, class, and nationality, the white “power feminists” continued to project an image of feminism that linked and links women’s equality with imperialism. Global women’s issues like forced female circumcision, sex clubs in Thai- land, the veiling of women in Africa, India, the Middle East, and Eu-
rope, the killing of female children in China, remain important concerns. However feminist women in the West are still struggling to decolonize feminist thinking and practice so that these issues can be addressed in a manner that does not reinscribe Western imperialism. Consider the way many Western women, white and black, have confronted the issue of female circumcision in Africa and the Middle East. Usually these countries are depicted as “barbaric and uncivilized,” the sexism there portrayed as more brutal and dangerous to women than the sexism here in the United States.
A decolonized feminist perspective would first and foremost examine how sexist practices in relation to women’s bodies globally are linked. For example: linking circumcision with life-threatening eating disorders (which are the direct consequence of a culture imposing thinness as a beauty ideal) or any life-threatening cosmetic surgery would emphasize that the sexism, the misogyny, underlying these practices globally mirror the sexism here in this country. When Issues are addressed in this manner Western imperialism is not reinscribed and feminism cannot be appropriated by transnational capitalism as yet another luxury product from the West women in other cultures must fight to have the right to consume.
bell hooks, Feminism is for everybody : passionate politics, South End Press, 2000, p. 47