David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Feminist Theory 12 (1):23-37 (2011)
Against influential strands of feminist theory, I argue that there is nothing essentialist or homogenising about the category ‘women’. I show that both intersectional claims that it is impossible to separate out the ‘woman part’ of women, and deconstructionist contentions that the category ‘women’ is a fiction, rest on untenable meta-theoretical assumptions. I posit that a more fruitful way of approaching this disputed category is to treat it as an abstraction. Drawing on the philosophical framework of critical realism I elucidate the nature of the vital and inevitable process of abstraction, as a means of finding a way out of the theoretical and methodological impasse that the ‘ban’ on the category ‘women’ has caused. Contrary to many contemporary feminist theorists, I contend that, although the category ‘women’ does not reflect the whole reality of concrete and particular women, it nevertheless refers to something real, namely the structural position as woman.
|Keywords||abstraction Judith Butler critical realism essentialism feminism intersectionality Chandra Talpade Mohanty social structure women|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Lena Gunnarsson (2011). Love – Exploitable Resource or 'No-Lose Situation'? Reconciling Jónasdóttir's Feminist View with Bhaskar's Philosophy of Meta-Reality. Journal of Critical Realism 10 (4):419-441.
Similar books and articles
Judith Butler (1992). Response to Bordo's "Feminist Skepticism and the 'Maleness' of Philosophy". Hypatia 7 (3):162-165.
Alison Bailey (2008). On Intersectionality, Empathy, and Feminist Solidarity. Peace and Justice Studies 18 (2):14-36.
Claudia Leeb (2009). The Im-Possibility of a Feminist Subject. Social Philosophy Today 25:47-60.
Shari Stone-Mediatore (2009). Cross-Border Feminism: Shifting the Terms of Debate for Us and European Feminists. Journal of Global Ethics 5 (1):57 – 71.
Shari Stone-Mediatore (2004). Women's Rights and Cultural Differences. Studies in Practical Philosophy 4 (2):111-133.
Cheshire Calhoun (2001). Thinking About the Plurality of Genders. Hypatia 16 (2):67-74.
Alison Stone (2004). Essentialism and Anti-Essentialism in Feminist Philosophy. Journal of Moral Philosophy 1 (2):135-153.
Dianne Chisholm (2008). Climbing Like a Girl: An Exemplary Adventure in Feminist Phenomenology. Hypatia 23 (1):9-40.
Cressida Jane Heyes (1997). 'Back to the Rough Ground!': Wittgenstein, Essentialism, and Feminist Methods. Dissertation, Mcgill University (Canada)
Anna Carastathis, Feminism and the Political Economy of Representation : Intersectionality, Invisibility and Embodiment.
Verina Wild (2012). How Are Pregnant Women Vulnerable Research Participants? International Journal of Feminist Approaches to Bioethics 5 (2):82-104.
Jacob Hale (1996). Are Lesbians Women? Hypatia 11 (2):94 - 121.
Added to index2011-12-19
Total downloads31 ( #88,075 of 1,699,581 )
Recent downloads (6 months)5 ( #128,702 of 1,699,581 )
How can I increase my downloads?