Embracing the Icon: The Feminist Potential of the Trans Bodhisattva, Kuan Yin
Article first published online: 16 JUL 2009
© by Hypatia, Inc.
Special Issue: Transgender Studies and Feminism: Theory, Politics, and Gendered Realities
Volume 24, Issue 3, pages 178–196, Summer 2009
How to Cite
BAILEY, C. (2009), Embracing the Icon: The Feminist Potential of the Trans Bodhisattva, Kuan Yin. Hypatia, 24: 178–196. doi: 10.1111/j.1527-2001.2009.01051.x
- Issue published online: 16 JUL 2009
- Article first published online: 16 JUL 2009
I explore how the Buddhist icon Kuan Yin is emerging as a point of identification for trans people and has the potential to resolve a tension within feminism. As a figure that slips past the male/female binary, Kuan Yin explodes the dichotomy between universal and particular in a way that captures the pragmatist and feminist emphasis on doing justice to concrete, particular lives without becoming stuck in an essentialist quagmire.