Tibetan Feminism: Building Strength Within The Community

When we discuss progress for Tibetans, we often do so in regard to relations with China, or relations with the West, placing the focus outside the community. What I hope to relay with this piece is the importance of turning our gaze within the community, towards improving the relations we have with each other. This is in the best interest of every Tibetan individual, as well as for the various causes we fight for because there is no doubt that a unified community is both stronger and more efficient. There are a lot of heated feelings around the word “feminism.” It’s both a taboo word and a buzzword. People sometimes fear feminism, thinking it’s an aggressive tactic to instill women’s superiority that creates more hatred towards men rather than truly aiming towards harmony. When used as a buzzword, we often label anything even remotely related to women’s empowerment as feminism. The danger of this usage is that we risk oversimplifying our current social dynamics. We reduce the meaning of feminism so that we look at only gender on a one-dimensional plane, when in actuality, so many other factors such as race, sexuality, and citizenship also intersect to shape identities in very different ways. These factors are all interconnected and cannot be examined separately from each other. This is t