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Book: Gender

Chapter: Rhetoric/Politics

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.31085


In this chapter, we will discuss the rationales and rhetorics behind liberalism and “open-mindedness” and the limits of these seemingly progressive politics. The impulse to dismiss as close-minded those with whom they disagree, or the desire to simply do away with labels where identity is concerned is a tempting one for students and scholars alike. However, similar problems are present with such impulses as those that would advocate for racial “colorblindness.” In the name of inclusivity, what boundaries are being drawn and what exclusions are occurring? How are those exclusions legitimated, mystified, or naturalized? How does the theoretical intervention of poststructuralism help us to confront and reckon with the universalizing “good intentions” of liberalism?

Chapter Contributors

  • K. Merinda Simmons ( - merinda) 'University of Alabama'
  • Craig Martin ( - cmartin) 'St. Thomas Aquinas College'