The Limitations of U.S. White Middle-Class Feminism in the Middle East
Kholod Sendi

Feminist movements have long histories in the majority of the world’s nations. These movements called for women's rights, but in different ways with unique ideologies. However, Western feminism, and more specifically U.S. White middle-class feminism, is the most dominant movement that affects women’s identities worldwide. This paper included discussion of the hegemony of U.S. White middle-class feminism. After presenting a very brief overview of the history of U.S. feminism, this paper included further examination of seven limitations that make U.S. White middle-class feminism inapplicable in non-Western societies, and specifically in Middle Eastern countries. These limitations include (a) ignoring the cultural, historical, and political systems that shape women in the Middle East; (b) misinterpretation of some religious practices; (c) generalizing women's conditions; (d) universalizing Western values; (e) playing the role of the savior; (f) ignoring the influence of Western imperialism; and (g) ignoring women's strengths and actual needs. Finally, this paper included suggestions that can be taken into consideration to reduce the gap between U.S. White middle-class feminism and other types of feminisms in the Middle East.

Full Text: PDF      DOI: 10.15640/ijgws.v5n1a11