Refusing post-truth with Butler and Honig

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This article argues that although post-truth is understood to pose a particular misogynistic threat to feminism, we cannot assume that feminists should simply oppose post-truth. The way the post-truth debate is constructed is problematic for feminism in three ways: it misconceives the relationship between democracy and truth; utilizes a questionable binary between reason and emotion; and propagates elitist assumptions about protecting democracy from the people. Recognizing the insufficiency of our understanding of post-truth, feminists have called for greater understanding of the roles of language, affect and truth in the post-truth debate. In response, I suggest that the theories of Judith Butler and Bonnie Honig can help. However, I seek to emphasise that if feminists are to intervene meaningfully in the inequalities and intensified affective flows that structure the post-truth paradigm they would benefit from a deintensifying, confrontational but nonaggressive, approach.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)218-229
Number of pages11
JournalPhilosophy & Social Criticism
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 8 Feb 2023


  • affect
  • Bonnie Honig
  • Jacques Ranciere
  • Judith Butler
  • anger
  • Misogyny
  • feminism
  • post-truth
  • Nonviolence


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