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Drawing on several feminist and anti-racist theorists, 1 use the trope of the vampire to unravel how whiteness, maleness, and heterosexuality feed on the same set of disavowals—of the body, of the Other, of fluidity, of dependency itself. I then turn tojewelle Gomez's The Gilda Stories (1991) for a counternarrative that, along with Donna Harauiay's reading of vampires (1997), retools concepts of kinship and self that undergird racism, sexism, and heterosexism in contemporary U.S. culture.
This paper traces the political economy of the Christian concept of “evil” incarnate and its concomitant operations of sexual abjection and the repudiation of femininity, beginning with the early church's inaugural struggles to impose its monotheistic Law against maternal paganism. With attention to how “evil” has been deployed to sanction and sanctify the persecution of scapegoats, and particularly of heretics and witches, I examine the masculinist struggles for jurisdiction and control over women.
Mariology—the veneration of the Virgin Mary—exerts a profound influence on women artists from Catholic backgrounds. Internalizing the mixed signals Mary transmits about purity, female strength, and compassion, they reinterpret the stories and mythologies surrounding her in ways that allow them to explore the ambiguities of the female role in contemporary society while also examining their conflicts about their own sexuality.
Few contemporary philosophers discuss the ways in which the emotion of shame may be gendered. This paper addresses this situation, examining Gabriele Taylor's (1985 and 1995) account of genuine vs. false shame. 1 argue that, by attending to the social pressures placed on many women to conform to a certain vision of femininity, an analysis of the shame to which women may be prone shows that Taylor's account of shame remains incomplete.
I offer here an analysis of contemporary foundation garments while exploring the ways in which these garments encourage, reinforce and protect normative femininity. In examining the performatives of contemporary normative, ideal femininity as they perpetuate inhibited intentionality, ambiguous transcendence, and discontinuous unity, I look to the possibility for subversive performativity vis-à-vis the strengths of women in order to proliferate categories of gender and to potentially displace current notions of what it means to become woman.
The regulation of Native identity has been central to the colonization process in both Canada and the United States. Systems of classification and control enable settler governments to define who is “Indian,” and control access to Native land. These regulatory systems have forcibly supplanted traditional Indigenous ways of identifying the self in relation to land and community, functioning discursively to naturalize colonial worldviews. Decolonization, then, must involve deconstructing and reshaping how we understand Indigenous identity.
Increasingly, feminist theorists, such as Alison Martin and Ellen T. Armour, are attending to the numerous religious allusions within texts by Luce Irigaray. Engaging with this scholarship, this paper focuses on the problematic of evil that is elaborated within Irigarayan texts. Mobilizing the work of Catherine Malabou, the paper argues that Malabou's methodology of reading, which she identifies as “plastic,” illuminates the logic at work within Irigaray's deployment of sacred stories.
This essay examines an aesthetics of disgust through an analysis of the work of Scottish painter Jenny Saville. Saville's paintings suggest that there is something valuable in retaining and interrogating our immediate and seemingly unambivalent reactions of disgust. I contrast Saville's representations of disgust to the repudiation of disgust that characterizes contemporary corporeal politics. Drawing on the theoretical work of Elspeth Probyn and Julia Kristeva, I suggest that an aesthetics of disgust reveals the fundamental ambiguity of embodiment, allowing us to critically attend to the aesthetic and cultural objectification of the female body.
I analyze how machi discourse and practice of gender and identity contribute to feminist debates about gendered indigenous Others, and the effects that Western notions of Self and Other and feminist rhetoric have on Mapuche women and machi: people who heal with herbal remedies and the help of spirits. Machi juggling of different worlds offers a particular understanding of the way identity and gender are constituted and of the relationship between Self and Other, theory and practice, subject and object, feminism and Womanism.
Social death, central to the evil of genocide (whether the genocide is homicidal or primarily cultural), distinguishes genocide from other mass murders. Loss of social vitality is loss of identity and thereby of meaning for one's existence. Seeing social death at the center of genocide takes our focus off body counts and loss of individual talents, directing us instead to mourn losses of relationships that create community and give meaning to the development of talents.
This paper explores the conditions under which feminine beautification constitutes a feminist practice. Distinguishing between the process and product of beautification allows us to isolate those aesthetic, interapos;Subjective, and embodied elements that empower rather than disempower women. The empowering characteristics of beautification, however, are difficult and perhaps impossible to represent in a sexist context; therefore, while beautifying may be a positive experience for women, being viewed as a beautified object in current Western society is almost always opposed to women's equality and autonomy.
I argue that Irigaray's recent work develops a theoretically cogent and politically radical form of realist essentialism. I suggest that she identifies sexual difference with a fundamental difference between the rhythms of percipient fluids constituting women's and men's bodies, supporting this with a philosophy of nature that she justifies phenomenologically and ethically. I explore the politics higaray derives from this philosophy, which affirms the sexes’ rights to realize the possibilities of their rhythmically diverse bodies.
In this paper, I argue that one of the most intense ways women are encouraged to enjoy sublime experiences is via attempts to control their bodies through excessive dieting. If this is so, then the societal-cultural contributions to the problem of eating disorders exceed the perpetuation of a certain beauty ideal to include the almost universal encouragement women receive to diet, coupled with the relative shortage of opportunities women are afforded to experience the sublime.
This essay offers a reflection on Arendt's notion of radical evil, arguing that her later understanding of the banality of evil is already at work in her earlier reflections on the nature of radical evil as banal, and furthermore, that Arendt's understanding of the “banality of radical evil” has its source in the very event that offers a possible remedy to it, namely, the event of natality. Kristeva's recent work (2001) on Arendt is important to this proposal insofar as her notion of “abjection” illuminates Arendt's claim that understanding the superfluousness of the modem human being is inseparable from grasping the emergence of radical evil. In the final part of the essay, I argue that Arendt's “politics of natality” emerges from out of these two inseparable moments of the event of natality, offering the only possible remedy to the threat of radical evil by modifying our relationship to temporality.
Drawing primarily from the work of Julia Kristeva and Judith Butler, the author suggests that a postmodern approach to identity can be used to challenge the essentialism that pervades both feminist empiricism and standpoint theory, and thus move feminist psychology in a more emancipatory direction. A major premise of this paper is that an engagement with postmodernism redirects our attention to symbolic constructions of femininity and to the sociopolitical grounding of experience.
This essay begins with a Native American women's perspective on Early Feminism which came about as a result of Euroamerican patriarchy in U. S. society. It is followed by the myth of “tribalism,” regarding the language and laws of V. S. coh’ nialism imposed upon Native American peoples and their respective cultures. This colonialism is well documented in Federal Indian law and public policy by the U. S. government, which includes the state as well as federal level. The paper proceeds to compare and contrast these Native American women's experiences with pre-patriarchal and pre-colonialist times, in what can be conceptualized as “indigenous kinship” in traditional communalism; today, these Native American societies are called “tribal nations” in contrast to the Supreme Court Marshall Decision (The Cherokee Cases, 1831–1882) which labeled them “domestic dependent nations.” This history up to the present state of affairs as it affects Native American women is contextualized as “patriarchal colonialism” and biocolonialism in genome research of indigenous peoples, since these marginalized women have had to contend with both hegemonies resulting in a sexualized and racialized mindset. The conclusion makes a statement on Native American women and Indigensim, both in theory and practice, which includes a native Feminist Spirituality in a transnational movement in these globalizing times. The term Indigensim is conceptualized in a postcolonialist context, as well as a perspective on Ecofeminism to challenge what can be called a “trickle down patriarchy” that marks male dominance in tribal politics. A final statement calls for “Native Womanism” in the context of sacred kinship traditions that gave women respect and authority in matrilineal descendency and matrifocal decision making for traditional gender egalitarianism.