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She then turns to Foucault, who "points out that juridical systems of power produce the subject they subsequently come to represent" 2.
In other words, our laws of power first form subjects and then represent those subjects. Here, I go into an outline summary of each section of her first chapter as I read through it. As a result, Butler proposes a new, unified feminism that critiques these notions of identity and gender.
Butler is saying that if we assume sex is biological and gender is culturally constructed--and thus the two concepts are independent of one another--then we cannot signify a person with a penis as opposed to a person with a vagina because "gender" is meaningless.
Consequently, sex is just as culturally constructed as gender. And furthermore, gender is already working to produce sex prior to it's existence in culture and language. Contrary to this idea, Irigaray views this entire notion of gender as constructed through phallogocentric language and therefore positions man as the signified of both sex and Other.
This discourse excludes women altogether. In this section, Butler also acknowledges the problems with trying to define gender from a feminist perspective: The problematic circularity of a feminist inquiry into gender is underscored by the presence of positions which, on the one hand, presume that gender is a secondary characteristic of persons and those which, on the other hand, argue that the very notion of the person, positioned within language as a 'subject,' is a masculinist construction and prerogative which effectively excludes the structural and semantic possibility of a feminine gender.
Theorizing the Binary, the Unitary, and Beyond Butler begins this section by offering a cultural critique of Irigaray's argument in terms of its "globalizing reach" Butler points out that Irigaray's assumption that all discourse and logic is a phallogocentric construct does not account for cultural and historical differences in gender relations.
Consequently, to claim that all ontological structures are masculinist risks appropriating all cultures under one global thought structure in the same way that her concept of phallogocentrism does. Butler further posits that appropriating and suppressing an Other, while utilized in a masculinist domain, is not--as Irigaray believes--exclusive to a masculinist economy.
Butler poses these questions to help illustrate this point: Is it possible to identify a monolithic as well as a monologic masculinist economy that traverses the array of cultural and historical contexts in which sexual difference takes place? Is the failure to acknowledge the specific cultural operations of gender oppression itself a kind of epistemological imperialism, one which is not ameliorated by the simple elaboration of cultural differences as 'examples' of the selfsame phallogocentrism?
Thus, coalitional politics does not make room for intersectional identities.
Butler suggests instead that we should assume an "antifoundationalist approach to coalitional politics" or an "open coalition" wherein the "unity" of the group is not stable, but fluid allowing for identities to form and dissolve, converge and diverge, as the aims of the coalition change.
It is much easier to understand than those incomprehensible summary out there. Btw it is not completed, can you please complete the 1st chapter. Reply Leave a Reply. Author Jane is a PhD student at a research one university.
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DOCUMENT RESUME ED CS AUTHOR Hayes, Christopher G. TITLE Some Questions for Feminist Rhetoric. PUB DATE Mar 94 NOTE 14p.; Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the. phallogocentric academy that all of us teach, write, and live much of our lives within; if I.
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