Among other things, feminism is ideology – meaning, a body of ideas which embrace self-conception and self-description. However, it is more than ideology because it is more than self-conception or self-description. Feminism is situated both within its own understanding and within the understanding of the world at large. This makes feminism a subject for itself, and an object for the world, which means that two separate dimensions of understanding must be considered: the feminist-subjective and the feminist-objective.
To say that feminism is on trial means it is under the evaluative gaze of an “other”, an outside intelligence which is specifically not feminist and views feminism in highly objective terms. We contend that feminism lacks complete understanding of itself, and that only non-feminist alterity can supply the needed information to remedy this lack.
We further contend that such understanding, if it should arrive, would spell the end of feminism altogether because lack of self-awareness is a critical feminist feature. Therefore, it is not in the feminist interest to gain such understanding – because this would render feminism non-viable.