I N T R O D U C T I O N
This book is on how feminists tell stories about West-
ern feminist theory’s recent past, why these stories
matter, and what we can do to transform them. It
explores their narrative form and charts their inter-
action with other stories about feminism and social
change. It asks what might be at stake in feminist
storytelling, and most importantly it seeks to inter-
vene in these stories, to realign their political gram-
mar to allow a different vision of a feminist past,
present, and future.∞
The work starts from the assumption that how fem-
inists tell stories matters in part because of the ways in
which they intersect with wider institutionalizations
of gendered meanings. For example, stories that frame
gender equality as a uniquely Western export, as a
way to measure or enforce economic and democratic
development, resonate disconcertingly well with femi-
nist stories that place ‘‘feminism’’ as a radical knowl-
edge project firmly in the Western past. When femi-
nists celebrate the move beyond unity or identity,
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