I respond to the charge that one of my objections to Marilyn Strathern’s rejection of feminist anthropology is the same as an objection made by Kamala Visweswaran. They may seem very similar to begin with, but I argue that there is both a difference in focus - in which premises we are concentrating on - and in method.
Masculinity seems to play a role in the recruitment and radicalization of lone-wolf terrorists and other violent extremists. In this chapter, we examine multiple dimensions of masculinity in six corpora. We do so via linguistic analysis of the corpora associated with and produced by a range of groups and individuals. In particular, we analyze two corpora from each of: men’s rights groups, male supremacists, and manifestos of male domestic terrorists. Our results indicate that there are four distinct strands of thinking, (...) language, and behavior in these groups and individuals: dominant masculinity, which manifests in domination of both women and other men, subsidiary masculinity, which manifests in resentful reactions to domination by other men, misogyny, which manifests in resentful or outright hateful attitudes and actions towards women, and xenophobia, which manifests in fearful and vengeful reactions to perceived invasion by outsiders, especially foreign men. (shrink)
BDSM is no longer treated as a manifestation of the darkest twists of the human soul but rather as a sexual activity like many others. Moreover, the philosophy of sex and much of popular culture has come to embrace BDSM for its models of consent, exploration, and freedom. Yet celebrating BDSM without deeper reflection can obscure some serious moral issues. In this chapter, I present an overview of the moral issues raised by BDSM, and I argue that it is reductive (...) to see BDSM as a simple or straightforward model for how to practice egalitarian sex. Yet, BDSM communities grapple with issues of consent, autonomy, and power in important ways, which can help us think through broader issues in sexual ethics. Either way, BDSM must be understood in its full complexity. (shrink)
In this article, I offer the figure of the snake-bridge as (a) the coiled central metaphor in Gloria Anzaldúa’s masterpiece, Borderlands/La Frontera, (b) the interpretive bridge connecting the early (This Bridge Called My Back) middle (Borderlands) and late (Light in the Dark) periods of her oeuvre, and (c) an alternate unifying metaphor to mestizaje. My first section offers a close reading of Borderlands, locating snake-bridge in the east-west snake of the Rio Grande that queer Chicana borderlanders cross north and south (...) like snakes, while wrestling earthward with snake demons and skyward with snake goddesses. And my second section autopsies the dismembered snake-bridge in Light in the Dark, calling for a healing thereof in pursuit of a coalitional social justice politics that preserves the strengths of mestizaje without its dangers. (shrink)
In this book symposium text, I focus on Ciurria’s critique of P. F. Strawson’s incredibly influential paper “Freedom and Resentment”, and more generally present-day Strawsonians about moral responsibility. Ciurria rightfully argues that the picture painted of “our responsibility practices” is highly idealized; it ignores crucial power asymmetries and oppression. I agree with this. However, it seems to me that Ciurria sometimes lacks awareness of exactly how profound the disagreement between her and Strawson and his followers is.
In this chapter, Filipa Melo Lopes looks at incel violence, and argues that the two most common feminist analyses of their actions—their objectification of women or their sense of entitlement to women’s attention—are insufficient. They fail to account for incels’ distinctive ambivalence towards women, namely their oscillation between obsessive desire and violent hatred. Melo Lopes proposes instead that what incels want is a Beauvoirian ‘Other’—discussed by Beauvoir in her chapter on myths in terms of the ‘Eternal Feminine’. For Beauvoir, when (...) men conceive of women as Others, they function as sui generis entities through which men can experience themselves as praiseworthy heroes, but also risk the denial of their so-called exceptionality. Melo Lopes then goes on to give an illustrative analysis of Elliot Rodger’s autobiographical manifesto, My Twisted World, showing how Beauvoir’s analysis of the myth of woman sheds light on Rodger’s racist and classist attitudes and gives us a better understanding of his ambivalence towards women. Beauvoir, according to Melo Lopes, therefore constitutes a powerful and overlooked theoretical alternative to accounts centered on objectification and entitlement. (shrink)
In this article, I argue that scholarship on the cultural impact of neoliberalism provides a vital framework with which to revisit early trans critiques of Butlerian queer feminism. Drawing on this scholarship, I reread the appeals to the real and realness in these critiques through the neoliberal transformation of social difference. I link the early argument that some trans figures were problematically used in queer feminism to represent the fluidity of identity with the more recent argument that the flexibility of (...) identity has become a core part of neoliberal cultures. This context challenges the current dominant view of early trans critiques of Butler as misreadings and instead casts them as resistant to a superficial encouragement of individual flexibility. As a result, revisiting this debate demonstrates the need to rework theoretical frameworks that may continue to inadvertently lead to selective trans inclusion in queer feminism and points the way to trans-queer-feminist theory that is more attuned to shifting models of power. (shrink)
This book provides an introduction to the key arguments in decolonial feminism, particularly, the coloniality of gender, the critique of white and Eurocentric feminisms, the imbrication between gender, race, and colonialism, feminicides, and the coloniality of democracy and public institutions.
Determinations of ability/disability are rooted in coloniality, specifically in categorizations of race, gender, and animality as they bear on social formations. I elucidate this rootedness by weaving the “coloniality of ability” into María Lugones’ accounts of the coloniality of gender and the colonial-modern system as founded on the “human-nonhuman” difference. This enables me to reveal an “ability system” based on the “ability-bestiality” difference and delineate with more specificity liminal sites of oppression and resistance across the heterogeneous socialities of coloniality-modernity. From (...) the perspective of the coloniality of ability that I develop, I focus on the liminality of the white woman Victorian invalid and that of the colonized “bestial” body in order to distinguish between two forms of colonial-modern liminality—“light” and “dark.” I also draw from this discussion two forms of colonial-modern oppression—“dehumanizing” and “bestializing”—and two related modalities of anticolonial resistance—“humanizing” and “decolonial.”. (shrink)
In order to revise interpretive prejudgments, it is important to first recognize them for what they are. Problematically, the habitual overreliance on deficient prejudgments can make such recognition difficult. An impasse appears: How can one intervene on deficient interpretive resources if those very same resources conceal their deficiencies? I analyze James Joyce’s short story “The Dead,” in which the protagonist Gabriel is highly resistant to internalizing experiences that might otherwise prompt him to revise his interpretive projections. I argue that Gabriel (...) only becomes aware of his interpretive shortcomings after an experience of profound hesitation that allows him to affectively sense the limitations of his prejudice. Drawing from Hans-Georg Gadamer, Kristie Dotson, and Alia Al-Saji, I argue that Gabriel’s experience of hesitation temporarily denaturalizes his deeply entrenched sexism, circumventing the hermeneutical impasse described above. Read in this way, “The Dead” illustrates the power of affective experiences to unsettle highly resilient ways of seeing the world. (shrink)
L’affaire Weinstein et le mouvement #MeToo ont mis la question des violences sexuelles au premier plan. Depuis, le consentement renvoie naturellement au consentement sexuel et amoureux, envisagé comme un sésame de l’égalité entre femmes et hommes. Pourtant, il est bien difficile à définir, et soulève trois problèmes. Le problème juridique, bien connu de celles et ceux qui suivent l’actualité, peut être résumé ainsi: que faire pour que les cas de viol, d’agression et de harcèlement sexuels soient efficacement punis ? Le (...) deuxième problème est moral : comment penser des relations amoureuses et sexuelles qui ne soient pas fondées sur des normes sociales sexistes et inégalitaires ? Enfin, le problème politique : comment ne pas reconduire les injustices de genre qui se manifestent dans les rapports amoureux et sexuels ? La magistrale analyse du consentement que propose Manon Garcia revisite notre héritage philosophique, plongeant au cœur de la tradition libérale, mettant à nu ses impensés et ses limites. De John Locke aux théoriciennes féministes françaises et américaines, en passant par Michel Foucault et les débats sur la pratique du BDSM, c’est une nouvelle cartographie politique de nos vies privées que dessine cet essai novateur. Au terme de ce livre, il s’agira en somme, pour reprendre la formule de Gloria Steinem, d’« érotiser l’égalité » plutôt que la domination : en ce sens, le consentement sexuel, conçu comme conversation érotique, est sans doute l’avenir de l’amour et du sexe. (shrink)
This paper examines representations of the woman avenger in three types of medieval Chinese writings, namely, official biographies, Music Bureau poetry, and unofficial prose accounts. Such cross-genre comparisons shed light on how different narrative conventions or the lack thereof shaped the ways in which the potentially controversial stories of female vengeance were recounted. Unofficial prose accounts from the Tang period, in particular, demonstrate the development of a distinctive discourse on women and sanctioned violence that opened up fertile grounds for exploring (...) the gender tensions and ambiguities of the subject. (shrink)
(OPEN ACCESS) This paper offers a novel substantive justification for mandatory electoral quotas—e.g., gender or racial quotas—and a new methodological approach to their justification. Substantively, I argue for a political egalitarian account of electoral quotas. Methodologically, based on this account and a political egalitarian grounding of political participatory rights, I offer an alternative to the External Restriction Approach to the justification of electoral quotas. The External Restriction Approach sees electoral quotas as at best justified restrictions on political participatory rights. I (...) argue for the Internal Restriction Approach instead, which can justify electoral quotas by specifying the pro tanto scope of political participatory rights rather than by justifying restrictions on the pro tanto scope of these rights. On this approach, adequately set electoral quotas do not even conflict with and are not balanced against political participatory rights, while electoral quotas—when justified—are pro tanto required rather than merely permitted. (shrink)
From yoga to the Anthropocene to feminist theory, recent calls to ‘decolonise’ have resulted in a resurgence of the term. This article problematises the language of the decolonial within feminist theory and pedagogy, problematising its rhetoric, particularly in the context of the US. The article considers the romanticised transnational solidarities produced by decolonial rhetoric within feminist theory, asking, among other questions: What are the assumptions underpinning the decolonial project in feminist theory? How might the language of ‘decolonising’ serve to actually (...) de-politicise feminism, while keeping dominant race logics in place? Furthermore, how does decolonial rhetoric in sites such as the US continue to romanticise feminist solidarities while positioning non-US-born women of colour at the pedagogical end of feminist theory? I argue that ‘decolonial’, in its current proliferation, is mainstreamed uncritically while serving as a catachresis within feminist discourse. This article asks feminism to reconsider its ease at an incitement to decolonise as a caution for resisting the call to decolonise as simply another form of multicultural liberalism that masks oppression through imagined transnational solidarities, while calling attention to the homogenous construction of the ‘Global South’ within decolonising discourse. (shrink)
Often in academia, women and minorities are held to a higher standard in how they present themselves (caring, empathetic) and how they manage the emotions of colleagues and students. The emotional labour that is expected of them is well documented. In this paper, I develop a new concept to address the emotional labour of diversity workers: Responsive Diversity Work. I summarize Carla Fehr’s view of the epistemic diversity worker, develop a theory of emotional labour, and explain how the responsive diversity (...) worker, in virtue of the unfair emotional labour expected of her, is at great risk of mental health issues. (shrink)
Suppose that you are engaging with someone who is your oppressor, or someone who espouses a heinous view like Nazism or a ridiculous view like flat-earthism. In contexts like these, there is a disparity between you and your interlocutor, a dramatic normative difference across which you are in the right and they are in the wrong. As theorists of humility, we find these contexts puzzling. Humility seems like the *last* thing oppressed people need and the *last* thing we need in (...) dealing with those whose views are heinous or ridiculous. Responding to such people via humility seems uncalled for, even inappropriate. But how could this be, given that humility is a *virtue*? The purpose of the paper is to explore this puzzle. We explain what the puzzle is and then attempt to draw some lessons from it: first, the lesson that the importance of humility is limited in several ways, and second, the lesson that humility nonetheless has several important roles to play, even for people who are in the right in contexts of disparity. (shrink)
The querelle des femmes was an intellectual debate over the status of women that occurred in the early modern period, between the 1400s and 1700s. A common argument for the superiority of men and inferiority of women that appeared during the debate is that women are less physically strong than men, and are therefore inferior. In response, two distinct argumentative strategies were developed by defenders of women. First, some argued that men and women did not in fact differ in physical (...) strength. A second strategy was to deny that physical strength is relevant to the question of superiority. In this case, one would argue that a difference in strength is not normatively relevant to evaluations of worth. I argue that this second strategy was the more effective response to the argument that women were inferior because of their alleged physical weakness compared to men. (shrink)
Nowadays, Arab and Muslim societies live a new phase, in which a modern vision is being developed about many teachings brought about by religions, especially Islam, including the teachings concerning women, their rights and position in society. It has come in a new induction of religious texts and Islamic heritage. This movement in the Arab world has been called feminism. Islamic feminism tries to present the idea of equality as part of the Qur’anic concept of equality between human beings. It (...) calls for the application of the concept of justice that was brought about by the teachings of Islam. In this article, we have tried to put forth the continuing debate on the situation of Islamic feminism in the Islamic discourse, discuss its most important epistemological foundations and present a critical analytical view of this new discourse. We have concluded that this new induction of women's rights comes within the general Islamic framework, and that it is acceptable on condition that it would not blindly imitate the Western culture, but to adopt its own foundations and epistemological perspectives derived from the Qur’anic teachings. Many of opinions proposed by interpretative feminism’s leading women may be wrong and not but personal attempts. Some of them need more thoughtful contemplation, in order to get to definitive conclusion about it. (shrink)
“Ghosting”, the act of ceasing all communication with someone with whom you have been romantically involved, is now a normal part of modern dating. The common moral judgment of ghosting is negative, that it is a bad behavior that treats people disrespectfully, and trains up a lack of empathy and accountability in those who engage in it (Abad-Santos 2017; Guilluame 2016; G 2017; Smith 2017). These behaviors and traits are at least morally undesirable if not outright wrong, and so, consequently, (...) it isn’t permissible for anyone to ghost. But is this the whole story to be told about ghosting? In this paper, I offer quite different responses to these two questions about ghosting. Focusing here on gender identity, I claim that it is permissible for women to ghost men. This is because, I contend, women’s practices of ghosting are a justified response to men’s practices of misogyny within the context of heterosexual dating. As such, I argue that contrary to the common perception that ghosting is rude or disrespectful, it rather serves a self-protective function for women and can at times qualify as an act of resistance against women’s oppression. In this way, not only is ghosting done by women minimally permissible, it might even be considered laudable. (shrink)
Understanding a normative concept like oppression requires attention to not only its harms but also the causes of those harms. In other words, a complete understanding of such a concept requires a proper causal explanation. This causal explanation can also inform and constrain our moral response to such harms. Therefore, the conceptual explanatory framework that we use to inform our moral diagnosis and our moral response become significant. The first goal of this dissertation is to propose complexity theory as the (...) proper framework for not only explaining a social phenomenon like oppression but also understanding the proper sites for social change. The second goal of this dissertation is to answer three interrelated questions about how we should respond, morally, to a chronic and complex social problem like racial or gender inequality: (1) Why do the current interventions to address these problems fail? (2) Do social movements play any unique role in addressing these problems? (3) What is our individual responsibility to participate in social movements? In response, I argue that the explanatory frameworks that we choose to understand the cause(s) of social problems can be the source of the inadequacy of our intervention. I argue that a proper social and moral intervention needs to capture the complex and dynamic nature of the social world. I also show that changing the explanatory framework allows us to see the unique role social movements play in making effective and sustainable social change possible. Finally, I conclude supporting such movements is a moral imperative. (shrink)
In addition to authoring the Declaration of the Rights of Woman and of Citizen (1791), for which she is generally known today, Olympe de Gouges devoted several writings to denouncing slavery. In this article, I present the contents of these works by placing them in the context of both the Parisian debate and the situation in the colonies. Furthermore, I highlight the theoretical contribution of these writings with respect to the specific situation of slavery and, more generally, with respect to (...) the question of the universality of human rights. For this purpose, I analyse de Gouges’ reflection on women’s rights and compare her position with that of classical social contract theorists. I conclude by highlighting how de Gouges’ position still provides an effective critique of the pitfalls of a self-proclaimed objective and universal Reason. (shrink)
Influenced by critical disability studies, feminist thought and participatory and emancipatory approaches to research, this paper explores new ways of thinking about the ethics of developing a literature review during doctoral study. It questions what kind of knowledge the literature review values, whose lens is upheld and more importantly whose is ignored. It is argued that reimagining the literature review as a ‘community of knowledge’ and drawing on a variety of sources and voices, not only contributes to the overall transparency (...) and integrity of the thesis, but enables the literature review to become a space in which dominant discourses can be challenged and unequal relations of power disrupted. (shrink)
Kate Manne’s Down Girl: The Logic of Misogyny combines traditional conceptual analysis and feminist conceptual engineering with critical exploration of cases drawn from popular culture and current events in order to produce an ameliorative account of misogyny, i.e., one that will help address the problems of misogyny in the actual world. A feminist account of misogyny that is both intersectional and ameliorative must provide theoretical tools for recognizing misogyny in its many-dimensional forms, as it interacts and overlaps with other oppressions. (...) While Manne thinks subtly about many of the material conditions that create misogyny as a set of normative social practices, she does not fully extend this care to the other intersectional forms of oppression she discusses. After touching on the book’s strengths, I track variations of its main problem, namely, its failure to fully conceive of oppressions besides sexism and misogyny as systemic patterns of social practices, as inherently structural rather than mere collections of individual beliefs and behaviors. (shrink)
An original interpretation of Impressionism and nineteenth-century art and culture by a noted feminist art historian. This book is a pioneering reading of Impressionism from a feminist perspective by a noted art historian. Norma Broude analyzes the philosophical underpinnings of landscape painting in the late nineteenth century discussing the crit.
This dissertation addresses the question of how to reconceptualize “women” in order to do a more intersectional feminism. Intersectionality—the idea that gender, race, class, sexuality, and so on operate not as separate entities but as mutually constructing phenomena—has become a gold standard in contemporary feminist scholarship. In particular, intersectionality has achieved success in showing that the old conception of women as a single, uniform concept marginalizes women and others who exist at the intersecting axes of multiple oppressions (e.g., women of (...) color, women in the global South, working-class women, and/or queer and trans people), and thus, demonstrating the need to develop a new way of conceptualizing women. However, the question of what such a new conception would be remains unanswered. Specifically, if feminist theory today is to destabilize the old notion of “women” that relegates multiply oppressed women to the margin of feminism, and yet still needs to use some notion of “women” to critically analyze how the social structure of sexist oppression operates to subordinate women and to dismantle this oppression, how should the concept “women” be reformulated? In this dissertation, I argue that we need to understand women as a concept that is open to constant redefinition, which is socio-historically situated in the actualities of oppression. This is what I refer to as the “situated redefinition” model of women, which is formulated in more detail as follows: -/- The Situated Redefinition Model of Women (SR) – The concept “women” should be always open to being redefined in a way that it could better serve political goals grounded in the actual, daily lives of the marginalized. That is, “women” should be always open to new meanings and provisional definitions that the marginalized would find more useful to achieve political goals, which grow out of their concrete experiences in the current intersecting structures of oppression. -/- My central argument is that we need to understand the concept “women” according to the situated redefinition model, in order to employ this concept for doing intersectional feminism. To support this thesis, the dissertation is divided into two main parts. By engaging with the intersectionality literature, critical race feminisms, Asian/American feminisms, and recent critiques of intersectionality, the first part of the dissertation elucidates what exactly it means for feminism to be more “intersectional.” The second part develops the situated redefinition model and articulates why this model is needed to do intersectional feminism, drawing on the social/political philosophy literature on non-ideal theory, postmodern discussions of universality, and feminist discussions of identity politics. Broadly, this dissertation seeks to shed new light on how we understand and use the concept women for feminist ends. My conceptual model offers a way for feminist scholar-activists to subvert the essentialist/exclusionary notion of “women” without abandoning altogether feminist-political deployments of the concept “women” for the purpose of ending sexist and intersecting oppressions. (shrink)
How are patriarchal regimes perpetuated and reproduced? Kate Manne’s recent work on misogyny aims to provide an answer to this central question. According to her, misogyny is a property of social environments where women perceived as violating patriarchal norms are ‘kept down’ through hostile reactions coming from men, other women and social structures. In this paper, I argue that Manne’s approach is problematically incomplete. I do so by examining a recent puzzling social phenomenon which I call (post-)feminist backlash: the rise (...) of women-led movements reinstating patriarchal practices in the name of feminism. I focus on the example of ‘raunch feminist’ CAKE parties and argue that their pro-patriarchal dimension cannot be adequately explained by misogyny. I propose instead a different story that emphasizes the continued centrality of gender distinctions in our social normative life, even as gendered social meanings become increasingly contested. This triggers meaning vertigo, a distinct form of social anxiety and the reactionary impulse at the heart of (post)-feminist backlash. Meaning vertigo both complicates the answer to Manne’s main question—“why is misogyny still a thing?”—and suggests the need and opportunity for a different kind of feminist political intervention. (shrink)
Microaggressions are seemingly negligible slights that can cause significant damage to frequently targeted members of marginalized groups. Recently, Scott O. Lilienfeld challenged a key platform of the microaggression research project: what’s aggressive about microaggressions? To answer this challenge, Derald Wing Sue, the psychologist who has spearheaded the research on microaggressions, needs to theorize a spectrum of aggression that ranges from intentional assault to unintentional microaggressions. I suggest turning to Bonnie Mann’s “Creepers, Flirts, Heroes and Allies” for inspiration. Building from Mann’s (...) richer theoretical framework will allow Sue to answer Lilienfeld’s objection and defend the legitimacy of the concept, ‘microaggression’. (shrink)