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This page lists the top ten most read articles for this journal based on the number of full text views and downloads recorded on Cambridge Core over the last 30 days. This list is updated on a daily basis.
Hate speech is one of the most important conceptual categories in anti‐oppression politics today; a great deal of energy and political will is devoted to identifying, characterizing, contesting, and (sometimes) penalizing hate speech. However, despite the increasing inclusion of gender identity as a socially salient trait, antipatriarchal politics has largely been absent within this body of scholarship. Figuring out how to properly situate patriarchy‐enforcing speech within the category of hate speech is therefore an important politico‐philosophical project. My aim in this article is twofold: first, I argue that sexist speech, though oppressive, is not hate speech. Second, I argue that misogynistic speech is hate speech, even when it is intradivisional (that is, when it targets only subsets of women). This is important because recognizing that the concept hate speech applies to certain forms of patriarchy‐enforcing speech is another step in clarifying what is wrong with the practice, and how bad it is in relation to other abuses. Consequently, this article provides a more nuanced account of the kinds of expressions that can and should count as instances of hate speech.
In recent years, feminist scholarship on emotional labor has proliferated. I identify a related but distinct form of care labor, hermeneutic labor. Hermeneutic labor is the burdensome activity of: understanding and coherently expressing one's own feelings, desires, intentions, and motivations; discerning those of others; and inventing solutions for relational issues arising from interpersonal tensions. I argue that hermeneutic labor disproportionately falls on women's shoulders in heteropatriarchal societies, especially in intimate relationships between women and men. I also suggest that some of the gendered burdens of emotional labor that feminist scholars point out would better be described as hermeneutic labor. Drawing on feminist philosophy as well as findings from social psychology and sociology, I argue that the exploitation of women's hermeneutic labor is a pervasive element of what Sandra Bartky calls the “micropolitics” of intimate relationships. The widespread expectation that women are relationship-maintenance experts, as well as the prevalence of a gendered demand-withdraw pattern of communication, leads an exploitative situation to appear natural or even desirable, even as it leads to women's dissatisfaction. This situation may be considered misogynistic in Kate Manne's sense, where misogyny is a property of social environments rather than a worldview.
This article differentiates between standpoints, intersectionality, intersectional standpoints, and identity politics. It argues that although there is no necessary connection between intersectionality and ethics, the intersectional standpoints of the oppressed do epistemic, ethical, and political work. To make this argument it uses a case study that takes the form of an analysis of mainstream arguments for denying public assistance to the working-class undocumented from an intersectional standpoint of that group. This paper also addresses two substantial criticisms of intersectional standpoints, including the charge that identity-politics-based intersectional standpoints foster victimhood politics and undermine class-based struggles.
This article critically assesses the different ways of theoretically connecting feminism, capitalism, and ecology. I take the existing tradition of socialist ecofeminism as my starting point and outline two different ways that the connections among capitalism, the subordination of women, and the destruction of the environment have been made in this literature: materialist ecofeminism and Marxist ecofeminism. I will demonstrate the political and theoretical advantages of these positions in comparison to some of the earlier forms of theorizing the relationship between women and nature, but I will also submit them to philosophical critique. I will show how the Marxist ecofeminist position needs to be both updated and revised in order to account for the different, sometimes contradictory mechanisms for the capitalization of nature that have become prominent today. I will underscore two developments in particular: the dominance of neoliberalism and the development of biotechnology. I will conclude by summing up the theoretical grounds on which a contemporary political alliance between feminist and ecological struggles against capitalism can be built.
This essay collects four decades of my own reflections, as an anthropologist and feminist, on gender and coloniality across various contexts in Latin America. It also highlights the decolonial methodology and vocabulary that I have had to develop in my various roles as scholar, public intellectual, and expert witness over the years. Briefly, what I present here is a decolonial feminist perspective that argues for the existence of a patriarchal political order in communal societies before colonization. Yet, in my view, precolonial gender has a dual structure that is plural in essence and differs markedly from the binary gender structure of colonial-modern societies, which works in terms of a One and its marginalized others. As I argue, the capturing and transformation of precolonial dual gender structures by the modern gender system exacerbates inequality, increases violence against women, and disempowers them politically. For that reason, I speak of “low-intensity” and “high-intensity” patriarchal systems.
This essay frames systemic patterns of mental abuse against women of color and Indigenous women on Turtle Island (North America) in terms of larger design-of-distribution strategies in settler colonial societies, as these societies use various forms of social power to distribute, reproduce, and automate social inequalities (including public health precarities and mortality disadvantages) that skew socioeconomic gain continuously toward white settler populations and their descendants. It departs from traditional studies in gender-based violence research that frame mental abuses such as gaslighting—commonly understood as mental manipulation through lying or deceit—stochastically, as chance-driven, interpersonal phenomena. Building on structural analyses of knowledge in political epistemology (Dotson 2012a; Berenstain 2016), political theory (Davis and Ernst 2017), and Indigenous social theory (Tuck and Yang 2012), I develop the notion of cultural gaslighting to refer to the social and historical infrastructural support mechanisms that disproportionately produce abusive mental ambients in settler colonial cultures in order to further the ends of cultural genocide and dispossession. I conclude by proposing a social epidemiological account of gaslighting that a) highlights the public health harms of abusive ambients for minority populations, b) illuminates the hidden rules of social structure in settler colonial societies, and c) amplifies the corresponding need for structural reparations.
Contemporary feminist theory by and large agrees on criticizing the traditional, autonomous subject and instead maintains a relational, dependent self, but the vocabulary used to describe the latter remains contested. These contestations are seen in comparing the approach of some feminist legal theory, as demonstrated by Martha Fineman, to the approach of some feminist theory that draws on continental philosophy, as demonstrated by Judith Butler. Fineman's concept of vulnerability emphasizes the universality of vulnerability in the human condition, arguing that a “responsive state” is most conducive to producing subjects who are “resilient” in the face of neoliberal pressures. We argue that vulnerability, as an existential as opposed to a political description, is a limited rubric under which to organize against neoliberal forces. Further, we contend that Fineman's rhetoric of resilience risks reiterating a neoliberal logic of individualized self-management. In response, we look to Butler's concept of precarity, which underscores particular social conditions, as opposed to universal ontological vulnerabilities, that debilitate certain subjects. At stake is how we respond to neoliberal forces today: a vocabulary of precarity poses a more effective challenge than one of vulnerability, for it opens onto not merely individual or institutional resilience but grounded, communal resistance.
Burgeoning narratives of neurodivergence increase representation in media, producing an unprecedented visibility and awareness of what it means to be neurodivergent in a neurotypical world. In this article I examine the ways in which a neurodivergent subject position can provide liberatory insights into oppressive patriarchal gender structures, while exploring productive tensions of the histories and lineages of neurodivergence marked by inequities, erasure, and epistemic injustice (Catala et al. 2021). Although self-diagnosis is often accepted among communities, individuals without diagnosis face delegitimization in navigating institutions, accentuating race, class, and gender disparities. How do we honor a lineage of stories of neurodivergent individuals who could not claim this identity, and what does it mean to celebrate neurodiversity and simultaneously hold space and honor the absences marked by intersecting oppressions? Using Maria Lugones's world-traveling as a method, I reflect on these tensions via narratives of my own discovery of neurodivergence and diagnosis, contextualizing it within a larger lineage of neurodivergent family who do not identify as such, as well as my encounters with varying levels of access, privilege, and understanding. I position my autoethnographic analysis against anecdotes and discursive media of the neurodiversity movement, finding that an autistic subject position complicates both femininity and gender.
This article traces the centrality of capitalism in the work of three decolonial feminists: María Lugones, Sylvia Wynter, and Sayek Valencia. Elaborating on the role of capitalism in each of their work separately, I argue that each of these thinkers conceptualizes capitalism in a novel and urgent way, charting new directions for both theory and social movement practice. I thus argue that the decolonial feminist tradition holds crucial philosophical and historical resources for understanding the emergence of capitalism and its endurance.
This essay offers a philosophical analysis of the misogyny women experience in the alternative right (alt-right) movement. I argue that this misogyny takes on a paradoxical form: the better alt-right women propagandists promote hate, the greater the hostility they experience from their fellow racists and critics; the more submissive women alt-right members become, the harsher the impact of misogyny on them. I develop this argument in four parts. Part I explores the self-conception of racist white women using the concept of social imaginaries. Part II describes three dominant images in racist propaganda—the goddess/victim, wife and mother, and the female activist—which inform the more popular images of the white power Barbie and the tradwife in the alt-right. Part III explores the misogyny paradox and presents how alt-right women could be seen as both misogynists and victims of misogyny. Part IV reflects on the absurdity of the alt-right's dependence on women's economic labor, a feature that could make the movement vulnerable to political intervention.