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Challenges of Global Feminism

In writing about global feminism, I will first situate myself in the realms of identity and global politics. I am from the United States, English-speaking, Caucasian, educated, middle class, female. I identify as queer, but my appearance and public behaviors are heteronormative. I am a feminist, reproductive rights activist, advocate for economic justice, and slow food movement enthusiast. I am spiritual, but not adherent to any religion; a believer that kindness and love are the keys to true understanding, peace and justice. These identities and their associated values and beliefs are important to me – they make me who I am and they guide my life decisions as well as my daily interactions.

I am working in a rural Kenyan village as a public health program coordinator for a microfinance organization. This situation has forced every single one of my identities and values into public and personal scrutiny; causing me to struggle with their meaning and their collision with Kenyan realities. My identities are intersecting in ways I have never dealt with before, but must be wrestled with in order to understand my role as a global feminist. I will explore the specific ways that my feminism has come into contrast with the conservative values of this community and how I negotiate those collisions while being aware of my role as an outsider who does not want to reproduce and validate the power dynamics of Western imperialists that have caused the injustices I am ...