sprinkle: an undergraduate journal of feminist and queer studies


Shaun Soman


Writing in The Ethics of Ambiguity (1948), existential philosopher and feminist theorist Simone de Beauvoir declared that each individual’s freedom depends upon that of others. This claim was meant to motivate others to not remain complicit in the oppression of others; however, when considering the xenophobic rhetoric within Western feminists’ rhetoric about “liberating” Muslim women, one realizes that this demand warrants further scrutiny. In this paper, I apply Alia Al-Saji’s work on Western feminists’ approaches to liberating “other” women to de Beauvoir’s “we” in order to strengthen this latter concept. Overall, my aim with this work is to demonstrate that an intersectional understanding of “we” is necessary for collective resistance efforts to avoid perpetuating other forms of oppression.Keywords: “we” as legion, Western feminist rhetoric, initial hesitation