Ethiek en Maatschappij vol:8 issue:1 pages:112-128
On the 8th of March 2004 the NextGENDERation network made a public statement called ‘Not in our names!’. Involved in its making, in this article I give an account of the impulses and motivations that pushed us to produce ‘Not in our names!’ The statement is concerned with the instrumentalisation of women’s emancipation for assimilationist, racist, islamophobic and xenophobic agendas. This instrumentalisation is part and parcel both of the belligerent ‘clash of civilizations’ paradigm dominating current geopolitics and of national debates and discourses on ‘integration’ and ‘the multicultural society’ in various West-European countries (specific reference is made to the Dutch context). I also point to the colonial history of this instrumentalisation of women’s emancipation. The complicity between the instrumentalisation and parts of the women’s movement is raised, and in offering some tools to resist colonial feminism (Ahmed) and racist feminism (Lorde), I turn to the critical genealogy of Black feminism. I conclude with a note on the discussion on the headscarf in the Belgian context, characterized by a very marginal recognition for both postcolonial thought and black and migrant feminism. The headscarf debate not only presents itself as symptomatic for a crucial conflict within the women’s movement; it also provides a challenge to appropriate the struggle against racism as an integral part of the women’s movement.