chapter  10
28 Pages

The Question of Social Transformation

Feminism is about the social transformation of gender relations.Probably we could all agree on that, even if “gender” is not the preferred word for some. And yet the question of the relationship between feminism and social transformation opens up onto a difficult terrain. It should be obvious, one would think, but something makes it obscure. Those of us to whom this question is posed are asked to make clear what we already assume, but which is not at all to be taken for granted. We may imagine social transformation differently. We may have an idea of the world as it would be, or should be, transformed by feminism. We may have very different ideas of what social transformation is, or what qualifies as a transformative exercise. But we must also have an idea of how theory relates to the process of transformation, whether theory is itself transformative work that has transformation as one of its effects.