The main issue I noted reading Kim Hewitt’s paper Psychedelic Feminism (2019), is that she connects third-wave feminism, including its rejection of physiological relevance, with an embodied and somatic healing practice stimulated by a biochemical reaction. For a modern ‘psychedelic feminism’ (a term coined by artist and activist Zoe Helene) to be possible, it must encompass a deeper understanding of the corporeal, the body as it relates to inner and outer influences, past and present. And perceptions of leaving it.
Hewitt emphasizes moving beyond “consciousness bounded by the physical body” (2019). And while the body is not the only reason we experience things one way or another, it is the reason we can perceive, breathe, or experience anything. It may not create the entire view, but is it not the seat? The idea that we can achieve complete freedom/detachment from the body is an illusion. Objectifying against ‘biological determinism’ is too itself, biologically dependent. Even if we haven’t quite wrapped our heads around the connections between consciousness and physicality.
Efforts for equal treatment — and equal access to psychedelic expression — need not urge sameness. Elizabeth Grosz posited in Time Travels (2005) that modern strives against sex and gender-based discrimination/injustice/violence should recognize, rather than disregard, biological roots. Interweaving an evolutionary curiosity with new methods of psychedelic-informed sex(/ual) research might create fertile ground for societal progress — allowing more people to delve into ethereal musings.
Reacknowledging embeddedness not only in the cultural, but also in the physical — and the limits of studying one without the other — by seeking to understand more about the convergence of sex and psychedelics, could stimulate deeper understanding of what it means to be: how we perceive, how we act, how to address diverse needs, and how to better live together. ✿
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