chapter  1
Oppression
Pages 32

Feminists responsibilities lie in understanding the bases of womens oppression and opposing positions and practices that support or contribute to that oppression. Feminists stand for challenging male bias in socioeconomic opportunities and understandings of embodiment, desire, linguistic usage, knowledge-making and other conceptual practices. The unmasking of flawed generalizations by women of colour and other minority groups lower-class women, lesbians, disabled women, older women and so on and poststructuralist suspicion of universal categories, norms and identities have engendered considerable wariness about ideals of gender justice and responsibility. The many feminists, poststructuralist and postmodern themes have had dubious effects in mainstream culture on notions of feminist responsibility. The effects of this cluster of tensions in feminist thought particular universal, theoretical practical, cultural material, individual collective are particularly troubled in relation to global feminism. It is a familiar complaint that most feminist theory does not include women from outside the developed west. Poststructuralist insights are crucial to feminist projects.