But the empress has no clothes!: Some awkward questions about the ‘missing revolution’ in feminist theory

Feminist Theory 1 (3):261-288 (2000)
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Abstract

Who owns feminist theory? and just what is meant by the idea of ‘theory’? We explore these fundamental questions as part of interrogating some emergent orthodoxies about feminist theory, proposing that there is a ‘missing revolution’ in feminist thinking, for while ideas about feminist epistemology, methodology and ethics have been fundamentally reworked, those concerning feminist theory have not. Our purpose is to stimulate a debate about the form of feminist theory, rather than the more usual controversies about its content; and thus our concern is with promoting the development of feminist metatheory. We argue that the now-dominant version of feminist theory is a parallel project to that of mainstream/malestream social theory, and that a feminist autocritique of this and related developments is needed, with the aim of achieving a transformation of the fundamental categories of feminist theory.

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