By Denise Riley
Writing approximately alterations within the concept of womanhood, Denise Riley examines, within the demeanour of Foucault, moving ancient structures of the class of "women" in terms of different different types principal to suggestions of personhood: the soul, the brain, the physique, nature, the social. Feminist pursuits, Riley argues, have had no selection yet to play out this indeterminacy of ladies. this can be made undeniable of their oscillations, because the 1790s, among suggestions of equality and of distinction. to totally realize the anomaly of the class of "women" is, she contends, an important situation for a good feminist political philosophy.
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Extra resources for ‘Am I That Name?’: Feminism and the Category of ‘Women’ in History
There is for Hegel no conception of woman tout court as an ethical being; she is intelligible only within her various immersions in the family. How, then, may the woman ever cross over into society, and ascend to the condition of the fully social individual? If women are only to be thought in relation, then the status of being a woman while being a social-ethical subject is a logical impossibility. There are analogous difficulties for the Kantian scheme of ethical being; there the moral agent must have a strict autonomy, must function as a sovereign individual.
27 The body may indeed be able to influence the mind, yet bodily differences are not pertinent: 'I see therefore no natural Impediment in the structure of our Bodies'. 28 Nor does the natural world teach any damning lessons on this score: 'in Brutes and other Animals there is no difference betwixt Male and Female in point of Sagacity'. 29 Neither the body nor nature can account, she considers, for the subjugation of women. Nor can any simple conception of society; for there are clear differences among the estates and sometimes these may be fairly egalitarian in their treatment of women.
59 'The general laws of nature and morality' 60 entail that childbearing is the lot of women, and where they are defied in other spheres, as with Plato's stipulations in The Republic that the wives of Guardians should be trained as the men, chaos ensues: that political promiscuity under which the same occupations are assigned to the sexes alike, a scheme which could only lead to intolerable evils; I refer to that subversion of all the tenderest of our natural feelings, which he [Plato] sacrified to an artificial sentiment which can only exist by their aid.