Tendencies and Possibilities
I believe that our identities are not given or reducible to our
origins, skin colour, or material locations. Identities or positions
are the product of struggle and they represent an achieved, not an
—Marjorie Mbilinyi 1992, 35
I want people to advocate feminism as a politics. Feminism is
perceived as a lifestyle, as something you become rather than
something you do.
—bell hooks, hooks et al. 1993, 38
She learns to juggle cultures. She has a plural personality, she
operates in a pluralistic mode—nothing is thrust out, the good the
bad and the ugly, nothing rejected, nothing abandoned. Not only
does she sustain contradictions, she turns the ambivalence into
—Gloria Anzaldúa 1987, 79
At this point in feminist theorizing, as at moments in the past, several interlocking, simultaneous, and sequential tendencies mark the field. One features feminism settling into its many philosophical and identity differences and defending an absence of consensus as appropri‐
I wish to thank Stanlie James for helping me think about world traveling. Colleagues in the women's studies programs at Australian National University and the University of Adelaide offered helpful comments on the article, and the editors and reviewers for Signs provided incomparably wise suggestions.