The Abject Bodies of the Maquiladora Female Workers on a Globalized Border

Citation:

Taylor, Guadalupe. 2010. “The Abject Bodies of the Maquiladora Female Workers on a Globalized Border.” Race, Gender & Class 17 (3/4): 349–63.

Author: Guadalupe Taylor

Abstract:

 The topic of the body has been analyzed from a variety of perspectives. Although biology does not define women, it cannot be denied that women's bodies play a major role in determining their lives. This paper will question the universalism of materialist feminist theories to explain the violence against the bodies of female maquiladora workers. First, I will present Simone de Beauvoir and Judith Butler's conceptualizations of the female body. Second, I will analyze if the Socialist feminist theory is broad enough to encompass the bodies of maquiladora workers in its analysis. Finally, I will advocate the need for conceiving a transcultural-transnational feminist approach that includes class, gender, culture, state, globalization, free-trade agreements, and phenotype of women who work in the maquiladora industry. It seems necessary to formulate an approach that considers a broad scope of issues that affect maquiladora workers who form part of the proletariat on the border between the United States and México. Since the Mexican government exempt of taxes to US companies that opened factories on the border, NAFTA has turned Mexico in an excellent source of profits for transnational companies based on the exploitation of Mexican workers, mainly female workers. The patriarchal state and capitalism have reinserted women in a space where they have lost citizenship and where their bodies have become abject objects for the benefit of globalized industrial production. I suggest that a transcultural-transnational feminist approach is needed to explain and to foster an agenda for improving the plight of the maquiladora workers. This approach is suitable for this population because it includes class, gender, culture, State, capitalism, free trade agreements, and the phenotypes of all women.

Keywords: abject, maquiladora workers, borders, body, ethnicity, social class, patriarchy, gender, race, oppression, capitalism, feminism, materialism, Marxism, feminist theory, indigenous, praxis, disapora, transcultural, transnational, western, mexico, mexican

Topics: Citizenship, Class, Economies, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Femininity/ies, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, Globalization, Livelihoods, Multi-national Corporations, Political Economies, Violence Regions: Americas, North America Countries: Mexico

Year: 2010

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