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Decolonial & Intersectional Interventions against (Neo)Liberal Feminism: Reflections on Tibetan Feminisms


Abstract for Online Program Book (maximum 1200 characters including spaces)

What is (neo)liberal feminism and what are its dangers? How can decolonial and intersectional theories and praxis counteract and refuse the cooption of feminism by neoliberal ideologies promoted by nationalist imperialist governmentalities? To address these questions, I engage the emergence of Tibetan feminism with neoliberal characteristics. This particular focus will allow me to animate my argument that (neo)liberal feminism’s focus on gender as an identity category fails to consider decolonization and intersectionality. Without such analytical considerations, feminism not only loses its liberatory potential as a praxis, but can become mobilized by nationalist imperialist governmentality to serve as the basis for racialized policies that target certain citizens within state purview and justify imperial occupations abroad. While neoliberalism feminism has been correctly assessed as a strain influenced by white feminism, it is wrong to assume that only white women practice neoliberal feminism. In fact, brown women practice it too. In the following, I engage Tibetan women practicing neoliberal feminism. Thus, this post tries to contextualize (neo)liberal feminism and its potential dangers, while at the same time outline how decolonial and intersectional feminism can counteract such dangers.