Download PDF by Dani Cavallaro: French Feminist Theory: An Introduction

By Dani Cavallaro

ISBN-10: 0826458858

ISBN-13: 9780826458858

French Feminist concept bargains an advent to the main thoughts and subject matters in French feminist concept, either the materialist and the linguistic/psychoanalytic traditions. those are explored throughout the paintings of a variety of theorists: Simone de Beauvoir, Chantal Chawaf, Helene Cixous, Catherine Clement, Christine Delphy, Marguerite Duras, Colette Guillaumin, Madeleine Gagnon, Luce Irigaray, Julia Kristeva, Nicole-Claude Mathieu, Michele Montreley, Monique Plaza, Paola Tabet and Monique Wittig. The ebook outlines the philosophical and political variety of French feminism, surroundings advancements within the box within the specific cultural and social contexts within which they've got emerged and spread out.

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This perspective is based on the notion that human beings are transformed into specifically gendered entities as a result of patri- Backgrounds and Contexts 13 archal requirements and that women, in particular, are categorized as deficient creatures incapable of matching the norm embodied by masculinity: ‘humanity is male and man defines woman not in herself but as relative to him; she is not regarded as an autonomous being. . He is the Subject, he is the Absolute – she is the Other’ (Beauvoir 2000a: 8).

28). As for motherhood, Beauvoir questions radically the so-called naturalness of the maternal instinct: children are indubitably obligations, but there can be ‘nothing natural in such an obligation: nature can never dictate a moral choice; this implies an engagement, a promise to be carried out’ (Beauvoir 2000c: 23). Le Doeuff poses the question of whether Beauvoir actually needed to resort to Existentialism to expose patriarchy’s operations and whether the employment of this theoretical frame of reference might, in fact, have impeded her insights into the condition of women.

Colette Guillaumin and Christine Delphy, among others, embrace the former view by highlighting the historical function of difference as an oppressive weapon. Luce Irigaray, conversely, commends the acknowledgement and integration in the legal system of the principle of difference as instrumental to social change. Relatedly, some celebrate equality as the basis of a just society, unhampered by asymmetrical distributions of power. Others, as already suggested, condemn the ideal of equality as women’s ultimate aim by stressing that when women seek to be equal to men, they merely perpetuate patriarchal structures by begging admission to them, and that access to a male-dominated world will only, in any case, benefit a limited number of female subjects.

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French Feminist Theory: An Introduction by Dani Cavallaro


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