This paper articulates a methodological strategy for creating a “conceptual home” whose aim is the enabling and promotion of Latin American feminist philosophy in the context of Latin American feminist theory's concern for the relationship between theory and practice. The author argues that philosophy as a discipline is still too compromised by masculine-dominant, Anglocentric, and Eurocentric ways of representing knowledge such that discursive and ideological impediments make it difficult to conceive and develop ways of feminist theorizing that arise from an (...) interpellation of the philosopher by the Latin American conditions affecting her social and cultural life. The author offers a fourfold approach to grounding knowledge, based on the principles of pursuing a critical approach to knowledge, a concern for the relationship of theory and practice, an orientation toward progressive political projects of freedom and liberation in the context of Latin American history and politics, and a transformative politics of culture. It is argued that through such specific methodological concerns, Latin American feminist philosophy can attain a distinct identity and stop depending for its articulation on paradigms of knowledge whose premises are not necessarily best attuned to understand the issues it must confront in its sociocultural practice. (shrink)
: This paper responds to comments, queries, and criticisms offered by Alcoff, Bergoffen, and Ferguson at a scholar's session on my work held at the annual meeting of the Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy in October 2001. Responding to Alcoff, I highlight my understanding of liberation in the context of a Nietzschean and a Latin American feminism and the politics of conceptualizing "resistance" in postcolonial theory. Responding to Ferguson, I address, among other issues, the often misunderstood distinction between postcolonialism (...) and postmodernism, as well as related implications regarding some postcolonial feminists' qualified appeals to universals and women's rights. Responding to Bergoffen, I advocate on behalf of cultural formations supportive of the feminist affirmation of life and of radical subjectivities that challenge gender orthodoxies. (shrink)
How to communicate with "the other" who is culturally different from oneself is one of the greatest challenges facing North-South relations. This paper builds on existential-phenomenological and poststructuralist concepts of alterity and difference to strengthen the position of Latina and other subaltern speakers in North-South dialogue. It defends a postcolonial approach to feminist theory as a basis for negotiating culturally differentiated feminist positions in this age of accelerated globalization, migration, and displacement.
The distinction between heterosexuality and homosexuality does not allow for sufficient attention to be given to the question of non-normative heterosexualities. This paper develops a feminist critique of normative sexuality, focusing on alternative readings of sex and/or gender offered by Beauvoir and Irigaray. Despite their differences, both accounts contribute significantly to dismantling the lure of normative sexuality in heterosexual relations-a dismantling necessary to the construction of a feminist social and political order.
In Speculum of the Other Woman (1974), Luce Irigaray argues that "any theory of the subject has always been appropriated by the masculine." This paper offers an analysis of Irigaray's critique of subjectivity and examines the psychological mechanism referred to as "the phallic economy of castration." A different way of conceiving the relation between subject and object is explored by imagining a new subject of desire.