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Professor Serene Khader, Brooklyn College, CUNY
Individual and Transnational Feminisms
This paper asks what normative feminist theory can learn from anti-individualist critiques of two contemporary transnational practices: an international development agenda focused on “investing in” women and a shift in human rights discourse toward attempting to eradicate what have come to be known as “harmful cultural practices.” I argue these critiques suggest a need to make value for certain relational goods central to feminism. Getting clearer about what these goods are and how they relate to normative individualism is useful in a) helping feminists resist the cooptation of feminist rhetoric by neoliberal, imperialist, and patriarchal cultural forces and b) making clear that, even though feminism requires a variant of normative individualism, liberalism is not the “correct” feminist normative doctrine.
Respondents: Lisa Schwartzman, Kyle Whyte
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