Sonia Turcotte

November 13, 2018

Kathryn Sophie Belle

I recently had the opportunity to hear Kathryn Sophie Belle at an event organised by Goldsmith’s Centre for Feminist Research. It was called “A Debate Between Claudia Jones and Simone de Beauvoir”.

I missed the main talk but attended the Q&A. Everything she said was golden. Here are a few of my notes.

On white feminism

If you are comparing yourself to an oppressed group without trying to also liberate them, it’s still an exploitative relationship.

White feminism is trying to get from the object to the subject by exploiting the abject.

On popularity

Terms, such as intersectionality and identity politics, can be appropriated and depoliticized. Be attentive to the context in which these ideas were generated.

On philosophy

Philosophy often speaks in the universal when it means the particular. Philosophy is not going to save us.

Who counts as a philosopher and who doesn’t is problematic. Claudia Jones spoke and wrote about Marxism, but she is not in the Marxist canon.

Instead of ignoring the canon or “throwing them out”, read them with a critical lens. Expand what is meant by philosophy and who is considered a philosophical thinker.

And question: who are you citing?