ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Rejection or Critical Dialogue?

Intersectionality

Two responses to Nivedita Menon's "Is Feminism about 'Women'? A Critical View on Intersectionality from India" (EPW, 25 April 2015) appreciate the article's attempt to initiate a debate on "intersectionality." The fi rst piece takes issues with Menon on rejecting intersectionality and argues that feminists should critically examine whether the concept offers any insights into their dilemmas and challenges. The second piece criticises Menon for not clarifying the issues she problematises. This piece also takes on Menon for a not-so-nuanced representation of the women's movement.

In “Is Feminism about ‘Women’? A Critical View on Intersectionality from India” (EPW, 25 April 2015), Nivedita Menon offers a series of arguments that, taken together, amount to a rejection of the concept of intersectionality, at least for feminism in India. Given that this concept has been infrequently discussed in our context, Menon’s piece offers a welcome opportunity to examine it afresh.

In this response I suggest that instead of dismissing intersectionality, we might be better off engaging with it. This requires us to critically examine whether it offers any insights into our questions, dilemmas and challenges. Such an examination is rendered difficult by the fact that intersectionality has often been enmeshed in confusion and seems to invite misinterpretation.

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