Download A Question of Sex: Feminism, Rhetoric, and Differences That by Kristan Poirot PDF

By Kristan Poirot

By means of the mid-1990s feminist theorists and critics started to problem traditional puzzling over intercourse distinction and its dating to gender and sexuality. students corresponding to Anne Fausto-Sterling and Judith Butler stricken the sex-gender/nature-nurture divide. a few have asserted that those questions about intercourse are a lot too summary to give a contribution to a invaluable knowing of the fabric politics confronted by means of feminist hobbies. In a query of intercourse, Kristan Poirot demanding situations this assumption and demonstrates that modern theories approximately intercourse, gender, identification, and distinction compel a rethinking of the background of feminist hobbies and their rhetorical practices. Poirot makes a speciality of 5 case experiences -- the movement of Sojourner Truth's "Ain't I a Woman?" in early and modern feminist contexts; the visible rhetorics of the feminist self-help health and wellbeing stream; the general public discourse of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and early nineteenth-century principles approximately suffrage, intercourse, and race; the conflicts over lesbian sexuality within the Sixties and Nineteen Seventies; and the discourse that surrounds twenty-first-century SlutWalks. within the approach, Poirot rethinks the phrases in which we comprehend U.S. feminist hobbies to discover the methods feminism has puzzled sexed differences and practices over the years. She emphasizes the significance of analyzing feminist engagements with intercourse as rhetorical endeavors -- practices which are formed through the instrumental calls for of routine, the exigent events that decision for feminists to reply, and the long-lasting philosophical traditions that movement in U.S. political contexts.

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Additional resources for A Question of Sex: Feminism, Rhetoric, and Differences That Matter

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This celebration, however, is riddled with controversy as feminists debate, on multiple grounds, what Truth’s question should reveal about feminist commitments 18 In t rodu c ti on to women and its deeply troubled racial past (and present). This controversy is indicative of the rise of multiculturalism in the late 1980s and early 1990s, which set as its aim a commitment to the recognition of feminism’s various and excluded others—for example, black women, poor women, third-world women, etc. ’ ”55 Truth’s inauthentic transcript and the discourse that surrounds it in contemporary feminist scholarship offer a unique opportunity to consider these multicultural impulses to identify and recognize sex specifically.

Was ahead of its time. 3 22 Recognizing Sex 23 Camp’s assertion of Truth’s importance echoes multicultural sentiments that began to surface in the late 1970s, but arose most profoundly in mainstream feminist thought in the 1980s and early 1990s. From the 1981 publication of bell hook’s appropriately titled Ain’t I a Woman? to third wave “manifestas” like Listen Up and To Be Real published in the mid-1990s, a new generation of feminists cried out louder than ever that “woman” was not a seamless, unified, largely undifferentiated category.

Where I depart most clearly from these feminists, however, is precisely on the role of the question and its relationship to difference in the case of Truth specifically and sex more broadly. Taking Truth’s rhetorical question seriously offers a unique opportunity to consider the questionability of sex (and) difference as well as the various ways such questionability is compulsively answered and closed through strategies of identification. While the compulsion to answer Truth’s question is understandable, familiar, and justifiable, in this chapter I ask feminists to sustain the question and stay suspended in the anxiety and discomfort that such questioning can engender.

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