1. 20:35 15th Oct 2014

    Notes: 1

    "Judith Butler Explained with Cats" 

    Fuente: http://binarythis.com/2013/05/23/judith-butler-explained-with-cats/

  2. Radicalism & Dogmatism in MacKinnon - Janet Halley’s Reading

    "In Second ’Signs’, published in 1983, MacKinnon fully embraced the problem that women’s knowledge of their reality, their ability to see male dominance and to object to it for themselves, was relentlessly situated in male dominance. Boldly, she refuses to explain the problem away on grounds of false consciousness (‘my consciousness is true, yours false, never mind why’) or of the verity of any biological woman’s experience (‘I know I am right because it feels right to me, never mind why), attributing the paired objections to the object/subject polarity that feminism detects at the heart of male power (637-38). This is a profoundly critical move, and it makes the early MacKinnon’s feminism highly paradoxical. The dilemma is not feminism’s fault; it arises from the historical capture of objectivity for, and as, the male point of view, and the resulting objectification of women, the rendering of their powerlessness as their subjectivity. Thus true feminism, ‘feminism unmodified,’ MacKInnon argued, must be radical: ‘Women’s situation offers no outside to stand on or gaze at, no inside to escape to, too much urgency to wait, no place else to go, and nothing to use but the twisted tools that have been shoved down our throats. If feminism is revolutionary, this is why’ (638-39).

    Hence the centrality of method in the Signs articles: feminism does not have the truth of women, but rather seeks un unprecedented disruption in the conceptual and social order by untying women’s experience from the subject/object, objectivity/subjectivity, truth/feeling dyads, that are the epistemology of male power: ‘The project is to uncover and claim as valid the experience of women, the major content of which is the devalidation of women’s experience.’ ‘The pursuit of consciousness becomes a form of political practice.’ And within that political practice, the radical project is ‘the claim of feminism to women’s perspective, not from it.’

    In First Signs, MacKinnon partially derailed this radicalism, however, when she invoked women’s experience as the source of authority for the claim that sexuality is a form of power generalizing male superordination and female subordination. The derailment occurs in stages. MacKinnon was at first frank that her own interpretative inductions led to the claim: ‘I think that feminism fundamentally identifies sexuality as the primary social sphere of male power. The centrality of sexuality emerges… from feminist practice on diverse issues, including abortion, birth control, sterilization abuse’ (529, emphasis added). How did feminist practice -much of it by practitioners who would have resisted MacKinnon’s assessment of sexual injury and of sexuality- provide this insight? ‘If the literature on sex roles and the investigations of particular issues are read in light of each other, each element of female gender stereotype is revealed as, in fact, sexual' (530). Passive verbs: a bad sing for agency and pleine aire interpretation. But pay no attention to the man behind the curtain, for he is about to emerge as women asserting their experience of sexuality as subordination: ‘Women experience the sexual events these issues codify as a cohesive whole… The defining theme of that whole is the male pursuit of women’s sexuality’ (532, emphasis added). MacKinnon’s interpretive insight has become the meaning of feminist practice across the board and, ultimately, the substantive centrality of sexual subordination to women’s experience  of gender (and thus sex1*). Sexuality is sex discrimination. QED.

    The dogmatism of the late MacKinnon therefore emerged within the critical and radical practice of the early MacKinnon.” (pp. 43-45)

    *sex1 - “By sex, I will mean the purported bodily difference between men and women. The supposedly irreducible fact of biological dimorphism. ‘Is it a boy or a girl?’ Penis or vagina, testicles or ovaries, testosterone or estrogen, and so forth.” (p. 24)

    Janet Halley, Split Decisions: How and Why to Take a Break from Feminism

  3. Power and knowledge in MacKinnon’s feminism (unmodified)


    "By political, I mean here questions of power. The feminist theory of power is that sexuality is gendered as gender is sexualized. (This comes from the second Signs article.) In other words, feminism is a theory of how erotization of dominance and submission creates gender, creates woman and man in the social form in which we know them. Thus the sex difference and the dominance-submission dynamic define each other. The erotic is what defines sex as an inequality, hence as a meaningful difference. This is, in my view, the social meaning of sexuality and the distinctly feminist account of gender inequality.”


    "The feminist theory of knowledge begins with the theory of the point of view of all women on social life. I takes as its point of departure the criticism that the male point of view of social life has constructed both social life and knowledge about it. In other words, the feminist theory of knowledge is inextricable from the feminist critique of male power because the male point of view has forced itself upon the world, and does force itself upon the world, as its way of knowing."

    Catharine A. MacKinnon, “Desire and Power, en Feminism Unmodified: Discourses on Life and Law (mi énfasis)

  4. Theoretical Possibilities: Convergentism and Divergentism

    "A person framing a conceptual, descriptive, normative, and/or political project that involves discontinuity between two theories of power, two descriptions of the world, two normative aims, two involved constituencies, and so on… can choose between converging and diverging them. We could, for instance, decide that normatively it would be terrible to have a theory of homosexuality that was not ultimately feminist, or a feminism that did not wholly encompass our theory of homosexuality; we would then be aiming for complete convergence. Or we could say that it is better for some reason to have some division or autonomy or even conflict between two projects; we would then be aiming for some degree of divergence. 

    What I’ll call convergentist feminism insists that feminism mediate whatever comes into conflict, harmonizing it into a feminist frame. In its divergentist forms, feminism is prepared to see political splits and split decisions, within its feminism. Such a project Takes a Break from Feminism, according to me, whenever it decides that feminism need not be the normative or political measure of goodness of the results; that feminism need not be the ultimate form of the product; that f* need not be the constituency on whose  behalf it works; and so on.”

    *f- female

    Janet Halley, Split Decisions: How and Why to Take a Break from Feminism

  5. 18:27 28th Sep 2014

    Notes: 1

    The intractability of maleness as a form of dominance suggests that social constructs, although they flow from human agency, can be less plastic than nature has proven to be. If experience trying to do so is any guide, it may be easier to change biology than society.
    — Catharine A. MacKinnon, Feminism, Marxism, Method, and the State: Toward Feminist Jurisprudence (en una nota al pie)
  6. 18:46 24th Sep 2014

    Notes: 7

    If the literature on sex roles and the investigations of particular issues are read in light of each other, each element of the female gender stereotype is revealed as, in fact, ‘sexual’. Vulnerability means the appearance/reality of easy sexual access; passivity means receptivity and disabled resistance, enforced by trained physical weakness; softness means pregnability by something hard. Incompetence seeks help as vulnerability seeks shelter, inviting the embrace that becomes the invasion, trading exclusive access for protection… from the same access. Domesticity nurtures the consequent progeny, proof of potency, and ideally waits at home dressed in saran wrap. Woman’s infantilization evokes pedophilia; fixation on dismembered body parts (the breast man, the leg man) evokes fetishism; idolization of vapidity, necrophilia. Narcissism insures that woman identifies with the image of herself that man holds up: ‘Hold still, we are going to do your portrait, so that you can begin looking like it right away.” Masochism means that pleasure in violation becomes her sensuality. Lesbians so violate the sexuality implicit in female gender stereotypes as not to be considered women at all.
    — Catharine A. MacKinnon, Feminism, Marxism, Method, and the State: An Agenda for Theory
  7. 12:57 17th Sep 2014

    Notes: 1

    It is generally accepted that Western patriarchy has been much softened by the concepts of courtly and romantic love. While this is certainly true, such influence has also been vastly overestimated. In comparison with the candor of ‘machismo’ or oriental behavior, one realizes how much of a concession traditional chivalrous behavior represents-a sporting kind of reparation to allow the subordinate female certain means of saving face. While a palliative to the injustice of woman’s social position, chivalry is also a technique for disguising it. One must acknowledge that the chivalrous stance is a game the master group plays in elevating its subject to pedestal level. Historians of courtly love stress the fact that the raptures of the poets had no effect upon the legal or economic standing of women, and very little upon their social status. As the sociologist Hugo Beigel has observed, both the courtly and romantic versions of love are ‘grants’ which the male concedes out of his total powers. Both have had the effect of obscuring the patriarchal character of Western culture and in their general tendency to attribute impossible virtues to women, have ended by confining them in a narrow and often remarkably con scribing sphere of behavior. It was a Victorian habit, for example, to insist the female assume the function of serving as the male’s conscience and living the lot of goodness he found tedious but felt someone ought to do anyway.

    The concept of romantic love affords a means of emotional manipulation which the male is free to exploit, since love is the only circumstance in which the female is (ideologically) pardoned for sexual activity. And convictions of romantic love are convenient for both parties since this is often the only condition in which the female can overcome the far more powerful conditioning she has received toward sexual inhibition. Romantic love also obscures the realities of female status and the burden of economic dependency. As to ‘chivalry’, such gallant gesture as still resides in the middle classes has degenerated to a tired ritualism, which scarcely serves to mask the status situation of the present.

    — Kate Millett, Sexual Politics
  8. The function of class or ethnic mores in patriarchy is largely a matter of how overtly displayed or how loudly enunciated the general ethic of masculine supremacy allows itself to become. Here one is confronted by what appears to be a paradox: while in the lower social strata, the male is more likely to claim authority on the strength of his sex rank alone, he is actually obliged more often to share power with women of his class who are economically productive; whereas in the middle and upper classes, there is less tendency to assert a blunt patriarchal dominance, as men who enjoy such status have more power in any case.
    — Kate Millett, Sexual Politics (en la nota al pie aparece como referencia William J. Goode, The Family, 1964)
  9. Robert J. Stoller, Sex and Gender (1968), citado en Kate Millett, Sexual Politics (1969)

    Robert J. Stoller, Sex and Gender (1968), citado en Kate Millett, Sexual Politics (1969)

  10. 08:27 23rd May 2014

    Notes: 2

    Feministas socialistas (¿y radicales?) mexicanas sobre el cuerpo, la reproducción y la sexualidad de las mujeres

    "No, señores, no estamos enfermas, nos preparamos para gestar, tenemos cambios, movimientos liberadores en nuestro cuerpo. Podemos danzar, hacer el amor, pensar. Y la menopausia no es un fin sino un principio. Seguimos siendo mujeres. Nuestros deseos permanecen intactos, y sin el riesgo de embarazo. ¡Ah!, y no hay mujeres frígidas, sino hombres incompetentes. ¡Y qué mentira más gigantesca eso del parto sin dolor!"

    Rosa María Roffiel, Prólogo en Eli Bartra et al., La Revuelta: reflexiones, testimonios y reportajes de mujeres en México, 1975-1983