Doing feminisms on the ground: Challenges and opportunities for critical feminist psychologies

Thompson, Lucy; Turley, Emma L.; Frances, Tanya; Donnelly, Lois C. and Lazard, Lisa (2023). Doing feminisms on the ground: Challenges and opportunities for critical feminist psychologies. Psychology of Women and Equalities Section Review, 6(1) pp. 5–19.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.53841/bpspowe.2023.6.1.5

Abstract

Participant Authors (listed alphabetically): Simran Bassra, Celine Castellino, Danielle Christie, Katherine Hubbard, Xintong Jia, Gabby Keating, Rosemary Lobban, Taoyuan Luo, Ankita Mishra, Nikki Moore, Becky Smith.

Feminist psychological perspectives remain peripheral in mainstream psychological spaces and broader applied settings. This can make it difficult to do feminist psychological work. In this article, we discuss key challenges facing a group of feminist psychologists working in various specialist areas of theory and practice. The discussion was generated from a roundtable session facilitated by the authors at the Psychology of Women and Equalities Section Annual Conference in July, 2022 in response to the conference theme of ‘Doing feminism on the ground’. The roundtable aimed to create space for participants to discuss the challenges of doing feminist work. The roundtable also aimed to generate shared strategies for resisting these challenges. Here, we were guided by Sara Ahmed’s call to ‘stay with the difficulty’ of feminist work in order to learn from this. Challenges included professional exclusion, isolation, epistemic erasure, and self-censorship. Strategies included ‘rewriting the questions’, refusing to engage with over-simplistic requests, and (re)centering power and its implications. Roundtable participants are listed as participant authors, and their words co-construct and flow through this account. This article therefore presents a collaborative account of the challenges and opportunities facing this group in their efforts to do feminisms on the ground.

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