Foucault Studies 16:88-103 (2013)

Dianna Taylor
John Carroll University
This essay makes a case for the relevance of Foucault’s critique of modern Western subjectivity for feminist efforts toward countering sexual violence against women. In his last four Collège de France courses, Foucault shows that subjectivity produces a normalizing relation of the self to itself, the effects of which extend beyond the self in equally harmful ways. As I see it, this harm is especially damaging to women who have experienced sexual violence; moreover, it inhibits effective feminist resistance to such violence. Through analyzing a particular instance of feminist activism, I argue for the anti-normalizing potential of a contemporary mode of self-relation that functions in a way analogous to that fostered by the ancient practice of parrhēsia
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DOI 10.22439/fs.v0i16.4119
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