chapter  5
20 Pages

Theorizing Intersectionalities: Genealogies and Blind Spots

As underlined in previous chapters, many feminist researchers are in agreement that gender should be theorized as intersectional, that is, as interwoven with other sociocultural power differentials and normativities categorized in terms of race, ethnicity, class, sexuality, nationality and so on. This can be understood, fi rst of all, as an effect of Feminist Studies forming a site of resistance to hegemonic gender-conservative discourses that, co-construct gender and other sociocultural categories in such a way that sexist, racist, ethnocentric, class-privileging, homophobic, xenophobic and nationalist discourses often go hand in hand. I discussed this in Chapter 3, referring to the ways in which sciences like medicine, biology, psychiatry, sociology, anthropology and national philologies back to the eighteenth century have not only contributed to the construction of ‘universal’ and ‘naturally’ given hierarchies between women and men, but also hierarchies where other kinds of sexist, racist, ethnocentric, nationalist, colonialist and class-privileging classifi cations merged. To resist these hegemonic discourses, critical analyses of intersectionalities have been initiated. Second, in Chapter 3, I also examined the ways in which endeavors to build alliances between anti-sexist, anti-racist, antihomophobic, anti-nationalist and anti-colonialist movements called forward refl ections and mobilized theorizings of intersectionalities between key categories of the different movements. In Chapter 4, I followed up on these references to negotiations of intersections between different kinds of political movements and underlined that the question of intersectionalities in feminist theory has emerged out of tensions between movements and power-laden debates about which intersections, power differentials and normativities should be given priority in which political contexts.