"What is sexist oppression?" "What should be done about it?" Organized around these questions, Theorizing Feminisms: A Reader provides an overview of theoretical feminist writing about the quest for gender justice. Incorporating both classic and cutting-edge material, the reader takes into
account the full diversity of women, highlighting the effects of race, ethnicity, nationality, class, sexuality, and religion on women's experience.
Theorizing Feminisms is organized into four sections and includes fifty-four essays. The first section introduces several basic concepts
commonly employed when thinking about sexism--oppression, social construction, essentialism, intersectionality, gender, race, and class--and also raises questions about the perspective and legitimacy of the theorist. The second section surveys three approaches that attempt to characterize in a
general way the source of injustice toward women: humanist feminism ("the sameness approach"), gynocentric feminism ("the difference approach"), and dominance feminism. Offering an alternate perspective, the third section introduces two "localizing" approaches, grounded in postmodernism and identity
politics, respectively. Skeptical of theories that attempt to analyze social phenomena across history and culture, authors in this section challenge, rather than answer, the text's organizing questions. The final section explores the relationship of feminist theory to three liberatory
projects--postcolonialism, neo-materialism, and queer theory--that do not characterize themselves as feminist, yet take gender as a significant category of analysis. Each section opens with an introduction and each essay is followed by helpful study questions. The majority of the essays are
presented in their entirety.
Theorizing Feminisms underscores the strong connection between feminist theory and practice by including essays that illustrate important political inspirations or applications of each theoretical approach. It also presents versions of the same approach from
various points in history, revealing feminist theory to be dynamic and evolving, rather than static. Ideal for interdisciplinary courses in feminist theory, this volume will also serve as an invaluable reference for current and future generations of theorists.
Each section opens with an Introduction.
SECTION I. BACKGROUND CONCEPTS
Iris M. Young, "Five Faces of Oppression"
Sally Haslanger, "Gender and Social Construction: Who? What? When? Where?
Susan Wendell, "The Social Construction of Disability"
Trina Grillo, "Anti-Essentialism and Intersectionality: Tools to Dismantle the Master's House"
Joanna Kadi, "Stupidity 'Deconstructed'"
Patricia Hill Collins, "The Politics of Black
Uma Narayan, "Cross-Cultural Connections, Border-Crossings, and 'Death by Culture'"
Linda Alcoff, "The Problem of Speaking for Others"
SECTION II. GENERAL APPROACHES TO SEX OPPRESSION
THE SAMENESS APPROACH ("Humanist Feminism")
John Stuart Mill, The Subjection of Women, Chapter 1
Sojourner Truth, "Ar'n't I a Woman?"
Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex, Introduction:
Martha C. Nussbaum, "Human Capabilities, Female Human Beings"
Susan Schechter, "Social
Change on Behalf of Battered Women: Reforming the Criminal Justice System"
Amartya Sen, "More than 100 Million Woman Are Missing"
Kimberlé Crenshaw, "Mapping the Margins: Intersectionality, Identity Politics, and Violence Against Women of Color"
THE DIFFERENCE APPROACH
Iris M. Young, "Humanism, Gynocentrism, and Feminist Politics"
Jane Addams, "Women and Public Housekeeping"
Audre Lorde, "Uses of the Erotic: The Erotic as Power"
Paula Gunn Allen, "Who Is Your Mother? Red Roots of White
Carol Gilligan, "Moral Orientation and Moral Development"
Carol P. Christ, "Why Women Need the Goddess: Phenomenological, Psychological, and Political Reflections"
Alice Walker, "The Only Reason You Want to Go to Heaven Is That You Have Been
Driven Out of Your Mind (Off Your Land and Out of Your Lover's Arms)"
Sara Ruddick, "Notes Toward a Feminist Maternal Peace Politics"
Vandana Shiva, "Women's Indigenous Knowledge and Biodiversity Conservation"
THE DOMINANCE APPROACH
MacKinnon, "Difference and Domination: On Sex Discrimination"
Catherine MacKinnon, "Desire and Power" and "Sex and Violence: A Perspective"
Emma Goldman, "Woman Suffrage"
Sandre Lee Bartky, "Foucault, Femininity, and the Modernization of Patriarchal Power"
Audre Lorde, "Age,
Race, Class, and Sex: Women Redefining Difference"
John Stoltenberg, "Confronting Pornography as a Civil-Rights Issue"
Lisa Duggan, Nan D. Hunter, and Carole S. Vance, "False Promises: Feminist Antipornography Legislation"
Marilyn Frye, "Willful Virgin
or Do You Have to Be a Lesbian to Be a Feminist?"
bell hooks, "Seduced by Violence No More"
SECTION III. LOCALIZING APPROACHES TO SEX OPPRESSION
Nancy Fraser and Linda J. Nicholson, "Social Criticism without
Philosophy: An Encounter between Feminism and Postmodernism"
Judith Butler, from Gender Trouble
bell hooks, "Postmodern Blackness"
Sharon Marcus, "Fighting Bodies, Fighting Words: A Theory and Politics of Rape Prevention"
Kate Bornstein, "Send in
Susan Bordo, "Material Girl: The Effacements of Postmodern Culture"
FEMINIST IDENTITY POLITICS
Barbara Christian, "The Race for Theory"
Combahee River Collective, "A Black Feminist Statement"
Mari Matsuda, "On Identity
Gloria Anzaldúa, "La Conciencia de la Mestiza: Towards a New Consciousness"
Angela Davis, "Mama's Got the Blues: Rivals, Girlfriends, and Advisors"
Dorothy E. Roberts, "Punishing Drug Addicts Who Have Babies: Women of Color, Equality, and the
Right of Privacy"
SECTION IV. FEMINIST ALLIES?
Nancy Fraser, "Multiculturalism, Antiessentialism, and Radical Democracy: A Genealogy of the Current Impasse in Feminist Theory"
Leela Gandhi, "Postcolonialism and Feminism"
Ann Laura Stoler,
"Carnal Knowledge and Imperial Power: Gender, Race, and Morality in Colonial Asia"
Iris M. Young, "Socialist Feminism and the Limits of Dual Systems Theory"
Gwyn Kirk, "Standing on Solid Ground: A Materialist Ecological Feminism"
Leslie Feinberg, "Walking Our Talk"
Gayle S. Rubin, "Thinking Sex: Notes for a Radical Theory of the Politics of Sexuality"
Judith Butler, "Against Proper Objects"
Evelynn Hammonds, "Black (W)holes and the Geometry of Black Female Sexuality"
There are no Instructor/Student Resources available at this time.
Elizabeth Hackett is at Agnes Scott College, Decatur. Sally Haslanger is at MIT.
- Margot Northey and Joan McKibbin
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