Pauline Johnson and Radical Humanism

Pauline  Johnson has sought to re-situate feminism within the humanist tradition. Arguing against the anti-humanism of contemporary feminism, Johnson’s Feminism as Radical Humanism (1994) argues that feminism must see itself as “the interpreter of the cultural ideals of modern humanism.” To this end Johnson suggests that humanism must be interpreted as the “value idea of… Read More Pauline Johnson and Radical Humanism

Michele Barrett and Marxist Feminism

Writing under the influence of Marx and cultural materialism, Michele Barrett in Women ‘s Oppression Today (1988) argues that a feminist analysis of “culture” is imperative today. Barrett’s engagements with aesthetics and subjectivity have proved to be the cutting edge of Marxist feminism. In her famous 1980 lecture “Feminism and the Definition of Cultural Politics,”… Read More Michele Barrett and Marxist Feminism

Helene Cixous and Poststructuralist Feminist Theory

Helene Cixous‘ work has been influenced by Derridean deconstruction. Essays such as The Laugh of the Medusa, Sorties, Coming to Writing and Other Essays (1991), Readings and The Newly Born Woman (with Catherine Clement, translation in 1986) are her attempts to discover a writing that is fluid, transgressive and beyond binary systems of logic. Cixous has also… Read More Helene Cixous and Poststructuralist Feminist Theory

Luce Irigaray and Psychoanalytic Feminism

In her works like Speculum of the Other Woman (translated 1985) and This Sex Which is Not One (1987), Luce Irigaray has argued that the woman has been constructed as the specular Other of man in all Western discourses. Combining Psychoanalysis, philosophy and linguistics, Irigaray’s work has been enormously influential in poststructuralist feminist thought. Irigaray’s rejection of… Read More Luce Irigaray and Psychoanalytic Feminism

The Political Theory of Carole Pateman

Carole Pateman‘s work has been in the realm of political theory. Pateman argues that for political theory to become more democratic it must develop a truly general theory of the political. This must necessarily avoid the trap of disqualifying certain categories of persons from being political subjects. Rereading Locke, Hobbes, Rousseau and Marx, Pateman’s work… Read More The Political Theory of Carole Pateman

Key Concepts of Michele Le Doeuff

A philosopher by profession and training Michele Le Doeuff‘s The Philosophical Imaginary (1989) argued that philosophy has a specific imaginary level intrinsic to itself. This imaginary level sets the conditions of what can be constructed as rationality within it. For Le Doeuff, images such as islands, fog, stormy seas in philosophical texts are not merely metaphorical.… Read More Key Concepts of Michele Le Doeuff

Eli Zaretsky and Socialist Feminism

Eli Zaretsky‘s Capitalism, the Family and Personal Life (1976), along with the work of Juliet Mitchell in Woman’s Estate (1974) and the writings of Zillah Eisenstein, is an important text in the socialist-feminist tradition. A brief sketch of the central concerns of Socialist Feminism is in order before we move on to Zaretsky. Socialist feminism looks at… Read More Eli Zaretsky and Socialist Feminism