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Some Clarifications

Struggles around Gender

This is a brief critique of some of the positions put forth in Nivedita Menon’s article “Is Feminism about ‘Women’? A Critical View on Intersectionality from India” (25 April 2015). The paper covered diverse and complex grounds, delving into each through layers of connections. In the first part of the essay, Menon goes over the terrain she has made us all familiar with—the instability of the category “woman.” She explores the terrain in the context of discussions around the contradiction between the rights of the individual and the religious community. She also tries to understand the category “woman” in the context of tension between individual political representation and group identity.

The question of relevance of universality of concepts and, their hegemony, has been addressed through a series of engagements by feminists across the globe. Such interventions have broadened the scope of postcolonial feminism, especially when “significant women’s movements and gender issues in many postcolonial nations…are linked with feminist studies in the academy there, as well as works originating in the First World…relate to women and women’s movements in the Third World” (Sunder Rajan and Park 2005: 53). Such interventions have also broadened the scope of postcolonial feminism within cultural studies or transnational feminism. This would be an interesting path to pursue the relevance of conceptual categories.

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