ASA 150 E
I particularly enjoyed Judy Tzu-Chu Wu’s Radicals on the Road, because of the way the author combed through antiwar movements with a finer comb to see the threads of intersectionality that have been whitewashed by history. Along with the tensions of radical orientalism and internationalism, was especially interested in the way that she focused on the feminist movements that both galvanized and worked with the antiwar efforts.
Tensions and differences in attitudes towards feminism and internationalism inevitably existed, but instead of viewing them as solely as fragmentary forces the author also examined them as areas of possibility and discourse. In the introduction, she explains the popular criticisms of international feminism and the sense of ‘global sisterhood’. Critics have (sometimes accurately) accuse white and upper class Western female activists of pushing their own agendas on their international sisters. This lack of cultural relativism shows that “this emphasis on the degradation of non-white, working-class, and non-Western women depicts these women’s communities and cultural practices as inherently and irredeemably backward. In contrast, middle-class and elite Western society becomes the source of gender enlightenment.” (Wu, 6)
However, these differences of opinion within the movements did not always incite division. In Chapter 7, the IWC and its three Americans sponsors demonstrated the growth and collaborations that occur across identities and political goals. The differences between the “old friends,” “new friends,” and “Third World” showed the different tactics and strengths each group brought to the antiwar movement. For example, the “old friends” that identified as mothers and housewives whose desire for peace stemmed from the need to protect their families were able to form close ally ships with the VWUs through constant travel and communication. This internationalism was also prompted by the VWUs who saw all people as having a commonality as a reason to defend peace.
My question is: “Is citizen diplomacy still possible in a world charged with political warfare? Would it be even more impactful today because of the modern internet and social media? Or because of the short attention span and over saturation of bad news, would the issues requiring citizen diplomacy even resonate with the public?”
Image source: https://www.vancouverwomenscaucus.ca/key-issues/indo-chinese-womens-conference/