chapter  5
Repudiating Feminism: a Performative Approach
Pages 18

This chapter explains repudiations of feminism by suggesting that the association of feminism with unfemininity, man-hating and lesbianism is not merely a negative stereotype, but that it goes hand in hand with performances of gender and sexuality. It develops performative approach by exploring how racialised and classed positions are assumed in talk about feminism, and how these performances intersect with feminist dis-identification. Heterosexual femininity was frequently performed in negotiations of feminism not only through a citation of conventionally feminine markers, but also through a rejection of homosexuality. The culturally pervasive construction of feminism as anti-men did not always give rise to a rejection of feminism. The construction of feminists as unfeminine, man-hating and lesbian meant that negotiations of sexuality and femininity were prevalent in the interviews, but that they were discussed, taken up, and troubled in different ways. The research participant's positionings in relation to class and race further intersected with feminist dis-identification through awareness of multiple forms of oppression.