Presence with a Difference: Buddhists and Feminists on Subjectivity


  • Anne C. Klein


Essentialist and postmodern feminisms are often regarded as incompatible. I propose that Buddhist theories of subjectivity change the nature of the tension between them as presently construed because Buddhist traditions describe a mind not wholly governed by language, and a subjective mental dimension that is entirely integrated with the body and its sensations. A corollary is the compatibility Buddhists perceive between conditioned subjective states (akin to postmodern feminisms) and the unconditioned (akin to essentialist feminisms).