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16 Harv. Women's L.J. 189 (1993)
Toward a Feminist Internationality: A Critique of U.S. Feminist Legal Scholarship

handle is hein.journals/hwlj16 and id is 195 raw text is: TOWARD A FEMIMST INTERNATIONALITY:
A CRITIQUE OF U.S. FEMINIST LEGAL
SCHOLARSHIP
VASUKI NESIAH*
In the context of the West's hegemonic position today... Western
feminist scholarship cannot avoid the challenge of situating itself
and examining its role in [the] global economic and political frame-
work. To do any less would be to ignore the complex intercon-
nections between first and third world economies and the profound
effect of this on the lives of women in all countries.'
Factories operated by transnational corporations (TNCs)2 in Third
World'3 countries have been a crucial avenue for the appropriation of
* J.D., Harvard Law School, 1993. I would like to thank my editor, Wendy Patten, for
the enormous amount of thought and time she devoted to rescuing my piece from the
chaos of its first draft. My thanks to S. Nanthikesan for the numerous discussions that
helped clarify and push my thoughts in relation to this piece, and also more broadly.
Thanks also to Kumanan for help in the title search and for bournvita. I dedicate this
Essay to my parents, Anita and Devanesan Nesiah.
I Chandra T. Mohanty, Under Western Eyes: Feminist Scholarship and Colonial Dis-
courses, in THIRD WORLD WOMEN AND THE POLITICS OF FEMINISM 51, 54 (Chandra T.
Mohanty et al. eds., 1991).
2 1 use the term transnational corporation rather than multinational corporation.
The transnational corporation is defined as
a designation adopted by the United Nations mid-way through its intensive ex-
amination of what had earlier been referred to as multinational corporations. The
latter terminology still remains the preferred choice among spokesmen for TNCs,
writers in American business publications, and most American (and European)
academics. Certainly the designation transnational [sic] in contrast to multinational
[sic] carries a definitional dimension that challenges the ideological pretensions of
American-based TNCs, i.e. that they are truly global (in all levels of management,
in ownership, etc.).
Robert B. Stauffer, TRANSNATIONAL CORPORATIONS AND HOST NATIONS: ATTITUDES,
IDEOLOGIES AND BEHAVIOURS 39 n. I (University of Sydney Transnational Corporations
Research Project Research Monograph No. 9, 1979).
3 1 am uncomfortable with the use of terms such as Third World, First World,
underdeveloped and developed. Historically, the term Third World has often been
used within paradigms that invoke orientalist conceptualizations of the countries or re-
gions to which they refer. They have negative essentialist connotations that imply a bi-
polar, adversely hierarchical relationship between the developed First World and the
underdeveloped Third World. They group together a number of countries as if they
were homogeneous with no regard to their diversity and complexity. The terms North
and South, although not as hierarchical, are equally homogenizing. Moreover, even a
work that speaks critically of Third World resistance runs the risk of implying untenable
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