This is the sort of…

This is the sort of thing I'm doing these days:

Spivak, In Other Worlds:

  • Lacanian (?) feminist, deconstructionist, Marxist
  • many feminists stress essential feminine (within context of male oppression), but Spivak rejects essentialism while maintaining an emphasis on crucial importance of examining and reappopriating the experience of the female body
  • deconstructionist: Derrida "the enterprise of deconstruction always in a certain way falls prey to its own work", but Spivak feels this a limit which cannot obscure the value, however provisional, of the rigorous analyses that deconstruction enables
  • woman, like any other term can only find its meaning in a complex series of differentiations; it is as ludicrous, in deconstructive terms, to talk of an essential feminine as it is to talk of any other essence; it is not ludicrous, however, to talk of the specifity of the female body -- deconstruction allows full force to the heterogeneity of experience; for a woman, that heterogeneity must importantly include the experience of her body
  • clitoris as shorthand for site of women's radical excess (Irigaray's jouissance?) in all areas of practice and production, which must be brought under control to keep business going as usual
  • rejects the definition of the womb as a lack -- "the womb has always been defined as a lack by man in order to cover over a lack in man, the lack, precisely, of a tangible place of production"
  • reproductive power of the womb is crucially absent from any account of production in the classical Marxist texts
  • Only when the excess of the clitoris has been taken into account that it will be possible to situate and assess uterine social organisation (as seen in Mahasweta's tales of Dopdi/Draupadi (who ends up choosing to be naked, after her gang-rape (echoes of Mahabharata)) and Jashoda (the breast-giver, who suckles thirty other babies, in addition to her own twenty, to support her family).
It's like that.

2 thoughts on “This is the sort of…”

  1. I am SO glad I dropped my plans
    to be an English literature
    major in 1963 and chose
    something easy and
    straightforward to
    study. But if this stuff helps
    you maintain and improve your
    wonderful writing, keep it up.

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