The Problem of Exclusion in Feminist Theory and Politics: A Metaphysical Investigation into Constructing a Category of 'Woman'
Journal of Gender Studies 16 (2):139-153 (2007)
|Abstract||The precondition of any feminist politics – a usable category of ‘woman’ – has proved to be difﬁcult to construct, even proposed to be impossible, given the ‘problem of exclusion’. This is the inevitable exclusion of at least some women, as their lives or experiences do not ﬁt into the necessary and sufﬁcient condition(s) that denotes group membership. In this paper, I propose that the problem of exclusion arises not because of inappropriate category membership criteria, but because of the presumption that categories can only be organised by identity relations or shared properties among their members. This criterion of sameness as well as the characterisation of this exclusion as essentialism attests to a metaphysics that is not conducive to resistance and liberatory projects. Following a strain of hybrid thinking in feminist and post-colonial theory, I outline an alternative pluralist logic that confronts oppressive binaries that impede theory work in gender, sexuality, and race theory, and limit political action and resistance. The problem of exclusion is neither irresolvable nor is it essentialism. Instead it is a denial of subjectivity due to pseudodualistic self/Other dichotomies that can be resisted by adopting a new categorial logic. While this paper focuses on the speciﬁc problem of formulating a category of ‘woman’, it has implications for other areas of gender, critical race, and postcolonial theory. Rather than working toward an inclusive category founded on sameness, theorists need to develop independent and positive categories grounded in difference. Our current categorial logic does not permit such a project, and therefore a new metaphysics must be adopted.|
|Keywords||Exclusion Difference Essentialism Woman Subjectivity Other(ness) Feminist politics|
|External links||This entry has no external links. Add one.|
|Through your library||Configure|
Similar books and articles
Patrice Diquinzio (1993). Exclusion and Essentialism in Feminist Theory: The Problem of Mothering. Hypatia 8 (3):1 - 20.
Claudia Leeb (2009). The Im-Possibility of a Feminist Subject. Social Philosophy Today 25:47-60.
Lena Gunnarsson (2011). A Defence of the Category ‘Women’. Feminist Theory 12 (1):23-37.
Mari Mikkola (2007). Gender Sceptics and Feminist Politics. Res Publica 13 (4).
Christine Battersby (1998). The Phenomenal Woman: Feminist Metaphysics and the Patterns of Identity. Routledge.
Claire Colebrook (1997). Feminist Philosophy and the Philosophy of Feminism: Irigaray and the History of Western Metaphysics. Hypatia 12 (1):79--98.
Natalie Stoljar (2000). The Politics of Identity and the Metaphysics of Diversity. The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy 2000:21-30.
Anna Carastathis, Feminism and the Political Economy of Representation : Intersectionality, Invisibility and Embodiment.
Marcelo H. Sabatés (2001). Varieties of Exclusion. Theoria 16 (1):13-42.
Karen Bennett (2008). Exclusion Again. In Jakob Hohwy & Jesper Kallestrup (eds.), Being Reduced: New Essays on Reduction, Explanation, and Causation. Oxford University Press.
Matthew C. Haug (2010). The Exclusion Problem Meets the Problem of Many Causes. Erkenntnis 73 (1):55-65.
Istv (2008). Excluding Exclusion: The Natural(Istic) Dualist Approach. Philosophical Explorations 11 (1):67 – 78.
István Aranyosi (2008). Excluding Exclusion: The Natural(Istic) Dualist Approach. Philosophical Explorations 11 (1):67-78.
Lei Zhong (2011). Can Counterfactuals Solve the Exclusion Problem? Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 83 (1):129-147.
Added to index2011-10-05
Total downloads30 ( #40,824 of 549,065 )
Recent downloads (6 months)15 ( #4,153 of 549,065 )
How can I increase my downloads?