International Women’s Day – Celebrate Feminist Researchers
Paul Gardner, Curtin University
In remembering International Women’s Day, WAIER celebrates the role of Feminist researchers. Many pioneer Feminist researchers drew attention to the fact that much so called ‘objective’, empirical research has been conducted by men on men. In the main, male researchers have been white and middle class, coming from the global North. Not only has male-centric research rendered women researchers ‘invisible’, it also distorts reality by excluding women’s perspectives. Such research has been justifiably critiqued as epistemologically flawed. ‘Man-stream’ science assumes ‘a detached knower’ who frames neutral questions and value-free findings and analysis (Wiggington & Lafrance, 2019). Feminist researchers, no matter their discipline, have been united around the construction of inclusive research methodologies and the promotion of women’s perspective of the world. One key theoretical perspective in feminist research is ‘standpoint theory’, which frames knowledge as being situated in one’s social position, which influences how the world is experienced. Feminist researchers have also drawn attention to the fallacy of the ‘detached’ neutral researcher, and have called on all researchers to acknowledge how their own subjective positions impinge on views of ‘reality’.
Further Reading – Britta Wiggington and Michelle Lafrance’s article which formed the basis of this piece can be accessed at:
Wigginton, B. & Lafrance, M.N. (2019) Learning critical feminist research: A brief introduction to feminist epistemologies and methodologies. Feminism & Psychology. September 2019. doi:10.1177/0959353519866058