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Against yin-yang: the dao of feminist universalism

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date2012
JournalAngelaki: Journal of Theoretical Humanities
Journal number2
Volume17
Number of pages24
Pages145-168
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Forcing some uneasy encounters between the universalizing feminism of Irigaray, Lacan’s concept of sexuation, the communism of Badiou and Žižek, and Daoism, this article argues that feminism is not a kind of identity politics but an entirely necessary accompaniment to any radical, that is, planetary, project of emancipation. The ancient Chinese dialectic of yin-yang, however, as implicitly discernible in Irigaray, has a complementary and harmonious conception of the sexual binary. Instead, it is the more abstract and paradoxical versions of Daoist ontology that could inspire the kind of subversive universalism capable of overthrowing patriarchal world-capitalism, which is, as we know, currently as much US- as China-made.