If we take as our criteria the simple notion of well-being, who can state that the women from those societies (who know nothing of the concept of feminism as we conceive of it) are less well-off than European women? The question is important, for it humbles us, and curbs our imperialist tendencies as well as our interfering reflexes. It prevents us from considering our own norms as universal and trying to make other’s realities fit into our own. In short, it makes us locate ourselves with regards to our own particularities.
When we arrived, the organizers of the official procession started chanting slogans in support of Iranian women. We found these slogans extremely shocking given the ideological offensive against Iran at that time. Why the Iranians, the Algerians and not the Palestinians and the Iraqis? Why such selective choices? To thwart these slogans, we decided to express our solidarity not with Third World women but rather with Western women. And so we chanted:
Solidarity with Swedish women!
Solidarity with Italian women!
Solidarity with German women!
Solidarity with English women!
Solidarity with French women!
Solidarity with American women!
Why should you, white women, have the privilege of solidarity? You are also battered, raped, you are also subject to men’s violence, you are also underpaid, despised, your bodies are also instrumentalized…