Psychedelic Feminism: Intersectionally contesting white androcentrism
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As a rediscovered interest in psychedelic research is developing, an emphasis on the practice of healing with psychedelics takes centre stage. One movement is embracing this intention of healing and simultaneously tries to shift the focus of psychedelic experiences away from the white male: psychedelic feminism. In this thesis, I intend to portray the discourse of psychedelic feminism through a critical discourse analysis of Michelle Corbin’s lecture. It concerns the lecture during The Women and Psychedelics Forum hosted by Chacruna on November 19th, 2018 where Corbin gave a fiery lecture under the banner of ‘The personal is political: The feminist possibilities of psychedelic praxis’. Her lecture is typified by a contestation of white androcentrism that is significant for the epistemology of psychedelic feminism as well. I am analyzing how Michelle Corbin is contesting this white androcentrism within the contemporary American psychedelic counterculture. I argue that Michelle Corbin attempts to engage with an intersectional approach to white androcentrism in psychedelic discourse but fails to sufficiently take nuance and recognition of differences into account. In my opinion, the attempt at restructuring discourse from a psychedelic feminist standpoint by contesting white androcentrism is not sufficiently engaged with the racial dimension. Corbin’s approach seems to partially blind her and allow her to reproduce imbalanced power dynamics, whilst homogenizing the differences among women and grouping together the experiences of women and POC. As becomes apparent from the critical discourse analysis, Corbin shows tendencies of ‘victimization’ framing, gender essentialism, orientalism and distancing from her privileged position as a white woman.