Is “gender” as a concept too simple? Does a binary approach to society do any harm and if so, what would that be? Do we need another conception of what gender is? In this podcast Floris and Karen Celis discuss how intersectionality has caused a paradigm shift in the long history of feminist thought. Intersectionality theory says that if you want to understand how gender operates in society, if you want to know how gender amplifies privileges and other generalizations, you also need to understand how it intersects with other strands of inequality like socioeconomic status and ethnicity. It seems that the only way to go about bridging the inequality gap is to put democratic deliberation at the centre of our understanding and to listen to, respect, and value the knowledge and expertise of minority voices.

“Karen Celis is research professor at the Department of Political Science and co-director Research of RHEA. She conducts theoretical and empirical research (qualitative, comparative) on political representation of groups (women, ethnic minorities, class, age groups, LGBT), equality policies and state feminism. In her more recent work she investigates the political representation of groups from an explicit intersectional perspective. Intersectionality theory calls for an understanding groups as formed by the intersection of discriminatory mechanisms such as gender, race/ethnicity, class, age, sexual understanding etc. This evidently challenges the concept and praxis of political group representation, as well as the ways to assess the quality thereof. Against this background, Celis investigates the implications of understanding women¹s interests as plural, the political inclusion of ethnic minority men and women, and the normative standards for assessing the quality of substantive representation.” – Source text: VUB Belgium.

This Future Based-podcast series hosted by Floris Schleicher, brings you conversations about our political institutions. Topics discussed include: How are our political institutions designed? To what extent can they cope with 21st century problems like climate change, inequality, polarization and migration? What do the possible alternatives to our current political institutions look like? And what might be their advantages and drawbacks?


00:01:30 Public presentation and the concept of gender / 00:04:15 gender, politics and public role / 00:09:00 handling covid and female leadership / 00:13:00 Essentialism and construction / 00:16:00 Problems with binary constructions: limiting personalities / 00:19:00 Poland: gender ideology and equality movements /00:22:00 Power hierarchies and structures /00:24:00 biology and feminism / 00:27:00 Culture values and socialized gender roles / 00:30:00 Intersectionality / 00:33:00 Contrasted feminism / 00:35:00 gender equality political equality / 00:39:00 Fighting double barriers: ethnic minority men / 00:42:00 Joe Biden Camilla Harris and the complementary advantage / 00:46:00 Prototype theory / 00:49:00 Intersectionality: class / 00:51:00 fraternities and power structures / 00:55:00 Marie Le Pen and intersectionality / 00:59:00 affected representatives of women/ 01:03:00 Connection to younger generations / 01:08:00 Including knowledge and expertise of minorities / 01:15:00 BLM and democratic decision – making / 01:18:00 Cancel Culture / 01:23:00 Reform or revolt / 01:25:00 Book recommendations


00:25:00 Eva vlaardingenbroek / 00:39:00 Joe Biden and Camilla Harris / 00:42: 00 Liza Mügge and Sylvia Erzeel ( Complementary advantage) / 01:07:00 Bruno Latour and the Parliament of things

Sound Fragments:

Bruno Latour / Men in the streets: Feminism / Real women vote Trump


Django Unchained

Never be indifferent – Gloria Wekker

Whose equality? Measuring group representation – Karen Celis, Liza Mügge

Suggestions for further reading:

* Please, buy your books at your local bookshop. *

Intersectionality by Karen Celis

De Macht van het Geslacht (Dutch) by Karen Celis

Oxford Handbook Gender and Politics, edited by Georgina Waylen, Karen Celis, Johanna Kantola, and S. Laurel Weldon

Feminist Democratic Representation by Karen Celis and Sarah Childs

Inclusion and Democracy by Iris Marion Young

White Innocence by Gloria Wekker

Floris Schleicher is a Dutch philosopher, writer and teacher and the host of a brand new podcast series on Future Based: Future Based Politics. Question? Inquiry? Additional information? Get in touch with Floris at: