Countering Western Feminism: A Pakistani Feminist Perspective in Shandana Minhas’ Tunnel Vision and Uzma Aslam Khan’s Thinner than Skin
Shandana Minhas’ Tunnel Vision and Uzam Aslam Khan’s Thinner than Skin are rich literary texts which negotiate the tension between Western feminist discourses and third world women. Western feminism deems itself as universal which claims that it encompasses the ordeals and the voices of all the women in the world. It takes women as homogenous category regardless of their race, color, nationality and religion. It assumes third world women as the victim of male dominance, dependent upon men, uncivilized and un-cultured, and moreover lacking in education and awareness regarding their due rights. Many feminists in the West see Pakistani females still fighting for basic human rights within an oppressive, religious,and male-dominated culture. However, Pakistani female Anglophone fiction writers like Shandana Minhas and Uzma Aslam Khan through their fictitious female characters challenge the hegemonic view of homogeneity and universality of Western feminism. They give an intellectual response to the misrepresentation of Third World women by creating female characters who are free individuals and capable of acting according to their own choice by challenging the traditional patriarchal norms of suppression and male domination. They possess human agency and their own subjectivity. Therefore, Pakistani female writers try to create autonomous female subjects. The study is qualitative in nature and relies on the interpretive analysis of the texts. It uses Chandra Talpade Mohanty’s essay Under Western Eyes: Feminist Scholarship and Colonial Discourse (1984) as a theoretical framework. The study is important because it shows that western feminism is hegemonic and tries to colonize Third World through scholarship.
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