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F E M I N I S M


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Bianca
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« Reply #15 on: May 18, 2008, 11:16:04 am »










Post-structural and postmodern feminism



Post-structural feminism, also referred to as French feminism, uses the insights of various epistemological movements, including psychoanalysis, linguistics, political theory (Marxist and post-Marxist theory), race theory, literary theory, and other intellectual currents for feminist concerns.

Many post-structural feminists maintain that difference is one of the most powerful tools that females possess in their struggle with patriarchal domination, and that to equate the feminist movement only with equality is to deny women a plethora of options because equality is still defined from the masculine or patriarchal perspective.


 

Judith Butler at a lecture at the University of Hamburg.



Postmodern feminism is an approach to feminist theory that incorporates postmodern and post-structuralist theory. The largest departure from other branches of feminism, is the argument that gender is constructed through language.

The most notable proponent of this argument is Judith Butler. In her 1990 book, Gender Trouble, she draws on and criticizes the work of Simone de Beauvoir, Michel Foucault and Jacques Lacan. Butler criticizes the distinction drawn by previous feminisms between biological sex and socially constructed gender.

She says that this does not allow for a sufficient criticism of essentialism. For Butler "woman" is a debatable category, complicated by class, ethnicity, sexuality, and other facets of identity. She suggests that gender is performative. This argument leads to the conclusion that there is no single cause for women's subordination and no single approach towards dealing with the issue.

 





Donna Haraway, author of A Cyborg Manifesto, with her dog CayenneIn A Cyborg Manifesto Donna Haraway criticizes traditional notions of feminism, particularly its emphasis on identity, rather than affinity. She uses the metaphor of a cyborg in order to construct a postmodern feminism that moves beyond dualisms and the limitations of traditional gender, feminism, and politics.

Haraway's cyborg is an attempt to break away from Oedipal narratives and Christian origin-myths like Genesis. She writes: "The cyborg does not dream of community on the model of the organic family, this time without the oedipal project. The cyborg would not recognize the Garden of Eden; it is not made of mud and cannot dream of returning to dust."



A major branch in postmodern feminist thought has emerged from the contemporary psychoanalytic French feminism. Other postmodern feminist works highlight stereotypical gender roles, only to portray them as parodies
of the original beliefs.

The history of feminism is not important in these writings—only what is going to be done about it. The history is dismissed and used to depict how ridiculous past beliefs were. Modern feminist theory has been extensively criticized as being predominantly, though not exclusively, associated with Western middle class academia.

Mainstream feminism has been criticized as being too narrowly focused and inattentive to related issues of race
and class.



See also: French feminism, Deconstruction, Poststructuralism, and Postmodernism
« Last Edit: May 18, 2008, 11:21:07 am by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.
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