Under Western Eyes
The title for this section is taken from Chandra Talpade Mohanty’s soon twenty years old but still current critique of Western feminist lines of thinking regarding women in Africa.    In her paper Mohanty pinpoints the mechanisms of Western thinking as ‘othering’ Third World women: “It is only insofar as ‘Woman/Wom – en’ and ‘the East’ [or ‘Africa7] are defined as Others, or as peripheral, that (Western) Man/Humanism can represent him/itself as the center. It is not the center that determines the periphery, but the periphery that, in its boundedness, determines the center. … Universal images of ‘the Third World woman’ (the veiled woman, chaste virgin etc.)—images constructed from adding ‘the Third World difference’ to ‘sexual difference’—are predicated upon (and hence obviously bringing into sharper focus) assumptions about Western women as secular, liberated, and having control over their own lives” (Mohanty 1991:74). Mohanty shows how in this process of ‘othering’, which is rooted in and based upon dichotomies, the self is created by means of the other.