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Split Decisions: How and why to Take a Break from Feminism

Split Decisions: How and why to Take a Break from Feminism - 06 edition

ISBN13: 978-0691136325

Cover of Split Decisions: How and why to Take a Break from Feminism 06 (ISBN 978-0691136325)
ISBN13: 978-0691136325
ISBN10: 0691136327
Cover type: Paperback
Edition/Copyright: 06
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Published: 2006
International: No

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Split Decisions: How and why to Take a Break from Feminism - 06 edition

ISBN13: 978-0691136325

Janet Halley

ISBN13: 978-0691136325
ISBN10: 0691136327
Cover type: Paperback
Edition/Copyright: 06
Publisher: Princeton University Press

Published: 2006
International: No
Summary

Is it time to take a break from feminism? In this pathbreaking book, Janet Halley reassesses the place of feminism in the law and politics of sexuality. She argues that sexuality involves deeply contested and clashing realities and interests, and that feminism helps us understand only some of them. To see crucial dimensions of sexuality that feminism does not reveal--the interests of gays and lesbians to be sure, but also those of men, and of constituencies and values beyond the realm of sex and gender--we might need to take a break from feminism. Halley also invites feminism to abandon its uncritical relationship to its own power. Feminists are, in many areas of social and political life, partners in governance. To govern responsibly, even on behalf of women, Halley urges, feminists should try taking a break from their own presuppositions. Halley offers a genealogy of various feminisms and of gay, queer, and trans theories as they split from each other in the United States during the 1980s and 1990s. All these incommensurate theories, she argues, enrich thinking on the left not despite their break from each other but because of it. She concludes by examining legal cases to show how taking a break from feminism can change your very perceptions of what's at stake in a decision and liberate you to decide it anew.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xi

PART ONE: Taking a Break from Feminism The Argument 3 My Complete and Total Lack of Objectivity 11 Taxonomies and Terms 16 m/f, m ??f, and Carrying a Brief for f 17 Governance Feminism 20 Feminism, Sexual and Reproductive 22 A Sex Lexicon 23 Convergentism and Divergentism 25 A Story of Sexual-Subordination Feminism and Its Others 27 Liberation and Responsibility 31

PART TWO: The Political/Theoretical Struggle over Taking a Break Before the Break: Some Feminist Priors 41 Power Feminism 41 Catharine A. MacKinnon, Early and Late 41 Cultural Feminism 58 Robin West, Caring for Justice 60

MACKINNON/WEST 76 Liberal Feminism 79 Convergentist and Divergentist Hybrid Feminism The Combahee River Collective Statement 82

THE COMBAHEE RIVER COLLECTIVE STATEMENT/ THE COMBAHEE RIVER COLLECTIVE STATEMENT 89 Gayatri Spivak, "Can the Subaltern Speak?" 91

MACKINNON/WEST/COMBAHEE RIVER COLLECTIVE/SPIVAK 102 The Break 106 Gay Identity/Feminism/Queer Theory 107 Gayle Rubin, "Thinking Sex" 114 Receiving French Social Theory 119 Michel Foucault, Volume One 119

FOUCAULT/MACKINNON/WEST/GAY IDENTITY POLITICS 124 The Split, from Feminism and within It 132 Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, Epistemology of the Closet 133 Judith Butler, Gender Trouble 136

BUTLER/MACKINNON 139 Butler, "Imitation" 140 Rubin, "Interview" 146 Feminism from Its Outside: Queer Theory by Men 150 Leo Bersani, "Is the Rectum a Grave?" 151

BERSANI/TAKING A BREAK 165 Duncan Kennedy, "Sexy Dressing" 167

KENNEDY/TAKING A BREAK 181 Feminism and Its Others 187 Feminist "Paralysis" 187 Paranoid Structuralism and the Moralized Mandate to Converge 188 An Experiment in Political Stylistics (do try this at home) 192 1990-2000: From Political to Ethical Feminism 207 Marianne Hirsch and Evelyn Fox Keller, Conflicts in Feminism, and Elisabeth Bronfen and Misha Kavka, Feminist Consequences 208 1990-95: Getting to Deadlock 221 Judith Butler and Joan W. Scott, Feminists Theorize the Political, and Seyla Benhabib et al., Feminist Contentions 221 Around 1993: Mapping Feminism and Queer Theory 227 Henry Abelove, Miche'le Aina Barale, and David M. Halperin, The Lesbian and Gay Studies Reader 228 Sedgwick, Tendencies, and Michael Warner, Fear of a Queer Planet 230

MACKINNON/SPIVAK/WARNER/SEDGWICK 237 Elizabeth Weed and Naomi Schor, feminism meets queer theory 244 1998: Trans Theory Splits While Staying in Place 260 Jay Prosser, Second Skins 261

PROSSER/BUTLER/RUBIN PART THREE: How and Why to Take a Break from Feminism Taking a Break to Decide (I) 283 The Costs of "Making Difference Costless" 285 Oncale v. Sundowner Offshore Services 290 The Costs and Benefits of Taking a Break from Feminism 304 The Costs 304 Getting Rid of Feminism 304 Silencing Women 306 Flight from Feminism, Imagined as Limits, to the "Queer Utopia," Imagined as Libertine, Unbounded or Libertarian 308 Definitional Violence; the Foreclosure of Critique; and the Reinscription of Heterosexism in Queer Theory 309 Reifying Mere Terminology 312 Matricide, Misogyny, and Male Identification 312 Weakening Feminism and So Harming Real Women 316 The Benefits 319 Breaking with the Politics of Injury/Seeing around Corners of Our Own Construction 319 Seeing the Brain Drain as a Good Thing 340 Resisting Bad Faith 341 Minimizing Moral Perfectionism and Magic Realism 344 Deconstituting Women's Suffering 345 Taking a Break to Decide (II) 348 Twyman v. Twyman 348 Notes 365 Index 391

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