Khader, Serene J.. Decolonizing Universalism: A Transnational Feminist Ethic
2018, OUP USA
Added by: Suddha Guharoy and Andreas Sorger
Decolonizing Universalism develops a genuinely anti-imperialist feminism. Against relativism/universalism debates that ask feminists to either reject normativity or reduce feminism to a Western conceit, Khader's nonideal universalism rediscovers the normative core of feminism in opposition to sexist oppression and reimagines the role of moral ideals in transnational feminist praxis.
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Comment (from this Blueprint): The book is a prescription for feminist praxis in lands and cultures which have histories different from that of the vanguards of the (‘Western’) world. It challenges both the ‘progressive’ ideals of the Enlightenment, which (according to the author) are ethnocentric in many ways, and their universalizing tendencies. It recognizes, and is apprehensive of, the fact that Enlightenment values operate as background assumptions in the works of many Northern and Western feminists, all the more when they are concerned with advancing women’s rights in ‘other’ cultures. The author rejects such tendencies and proposes a different approach to the understanding of normativity and universalism.