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Feminists have urged women to take semantic authority. I explain what such authority is, how it depends upon community recognition, and how it differs from privilege and from authority as usually conceived under patriarchy. Understanding its nature and limits is an important part of attaining it. Understanding the role of community explains why separatism is the logical conclusion of this project and why separatism is valuable even to those who do not separate.
It is standard in feminist commentaries to argue that Wollstonecraft's feminism is vitiated by her commitment to a liberal philosophical framework, relying on a valuation of reason over passion and on the notion of a sex-neutral self. I challenge this interpretation of Wollstonecraft's feminism and argue that her attempt to articulate an ideal of self-governance for women was an attempt to diagnose and resolve some of the tensions and inadequacies within traditional liberal thought.1
Freud's case study of “Dora” ignores indications that her symptoms might have resulted from a fear of rape. Drawing on feminist adaptations of Lacan, this paper suggests that fear of rape may serve as a horizon for women's ability to perceive themselves as efficacious speakers. Freud's failure to recognize this fear may reflect men's unwillingness to acknowledge their own role in rape as well as anxiety over the possibility of losing his own credibility.
Applying the insights of Donna Haraway (1989, 1991) and Helen Longino (1989, 1990), this paper reviews Sandra Harding's (1986a) tripartite model of feminist critiques of science—empiricist, standpoint, and postmodern—and argues that it is based on misunderstandings of the relationship between scientific inquiry, objectivity, and values. An alternative view of scientific inquiry makes it possible to see feminist scientists as postmodern and postmodern feminists as having standpoints.
1948 and 1989 were turning points in Czech society. In forty years under communism, men and women were equalized by the regime's totalitarianism and egalitarianism. I argue that these forces, as well as concomitant changes in the public and private spheres, dictate that women's situation should not be interpreted in terms of patriarchy. Women's issues and the problem of patriarchy, which under communism seemed irrelevant in Czech society, may now come to the fore because the postcommunist period requires women to undertake an essential rethinking of their identity.
The myth that women had equal rights and were emancipated in the Soviet Union masks the reality that the Soviet state, like all totalitarian states, is a manifestation of patriarchal ideology. The true democratization of Russian society requires the rejection of masculinist ideology and constitutes one of the most important social and cultural challenges.
I analyze the relationship between women and nationalism and argue that women's identity and relationship to the “Other” is different from that of men, hence even when women participate in nationalism it is in a less violent form. I argue, further, that the structures of nationalism are fundamentally homosocial, and antagonism toward women of one's own nation is one of the first forms of attack on the “Other,” and is constitutive of “extreme nationalism.”
In this response to Kathleen Martindale and Martha Saunders's “Realizing Love and Justice: Lesbian Ethics in the Upper and Lower Case,” which appeared in Hypatia 7(4), I argue that a worldly separatism depends upon taking attention from those in positions of dominance and redirecting it to members of nondominant groups, as apolitical, worldly act of resistance.
We argue that Shogan's critique, as well as that of Fox, fails to engage with the central focus of our article, which was to characterize and evaluate different approaches to lesbian ethics and to propose an alternative to the more familiar approaches.
The contributors to two new anthologies A Mind of One's Own: Feminist Essays on Reason and Objectivity (edited by Louise Antony and Charlene Witt) and Feminist Epistemologies (edited by Linda Alcoff and Elizabeth Potter) are philosophers for whom feminism is an intellectual as well as political commitment and they produce original, valuable feminist and philosophical work. I focus on differences between the anthologies and on two themes: the social character of knowledge and the allegedly oppressive “masculinism” of epistemological ideals.
This article reviews three recent books that enhance our understanding of the work of French feminist Luce Irigaray: Marine Lover of Friedrich Nietzsche and The Irigaray Reader (both by Irigaray), and Philosophy in the Feminine, a commentary on Irigaray's work by Margaret Whitford. The author emphasizes a dynamic reading of Irigaray's philosophy and integrates theoretical concepts with poetic/utopian passages from the works.