Revolutionizing Feminism offers the first gendered analysis of the contemporary human rights crisis in the Philippines since the election of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in 2001 and the subsequent declaration of the country as the “second front” in the U.S.-led “war on terror” in 2002. During the Arroyo presidency (2001–2010) the Philippines steadily devolved into a virtual killing field with over 1,000 legal activists from across the social spectrum (peasants, union leaders, feminists, journalists, students, lawyers) murdered and hundreds more “disappeared.” Against a backdrop of instability and de facto martial law, Revolutionizing Feminism examines themes of identity, migration, militarism, and prostitution in the Philippine context. Utilizing a historical materialist analysis, this project situates Filipino women squarely within the international division of labor, making explicit the connection between the “super-exploitation” of their labor power at home and their migration abroad to over 197 countries as domestic workers, nurses, nannies, entertainers, and “mail-order brides,” marking a fundamental methodological and theoretical break from previous postcolonial and transnational feminist analyses of the subject. In contrast to the cultural turn in contemporary feminist theorizing that has steadily retreated from progressive analyses of class and class exploitation, Revolutionizing Feminism seeks to reorient prevailing modes of feminist scholarship by rehabilitating the analytical concepts of class, state, and nation to better understand the material realties of those living in an increasingly unstable, impoverished, global South.
“Anne Lacsamana shines a bright light on the continuing efforts of local feminists to make nationalist anti-militarist campaigns work for the empowerment of women. If we all take these Filipina activists seriously we'll be able to tally the true costs of the US-led ‘global war on terror.’"
--Cynthia Enloe, author of Nimo's War, Emma"s War: Making Feminist Sense of the Iraq War