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Secondly, criticism of the oppression of women tends to rely on the existence of specifically feminine features, so it risks essentializing an identity that should actually be understood as the effect of oppression. So that is the first shift in feminist theory in this book: from the recognition of the equality of the sexes to analysis of ways in which gender arises.

As gender precedes sex, Dorlin argues that sexuality precedes gender. Here again the development of feminist struggles, by bringing to light new subjects and issues, necessitates a critical interpretation of the uses of the idea of gender. Although the concept of gender helps to deconstruct the naturalness of the sexes, it is not immune to the assertion of the primacy of one sexuality over another. Debates about gay parenting and homosexuality more generally have clearly shown that the issue is not just the inequality of men and women, it is the inequality of sexualities. Here it is not so much a matter of mistakenly treating the sexes as natural than it is of seeing differences between the sexes as the foundation of culture.

Exclusion is applied to homosexualities and more widely to marital and sexual ways that depart from heterosexuality, and it falls to feminist philosophy to take into account not only the relationship between women and men but also between homosexuality and heterosexuality.

The third shift rests on taking on board queer theories and practices. Heterosexuality is not just the way of organizing gender and sexualities, it is also the kind of sexuality that is considered to be the true and authentic one. Where are these successive shifts taking us? There seems to be perpetual motion, since setting out one identity always entails excluding a different one, and it is impossible to include all the minorities.

Up to now feminist theory has worked to identify masculine domination; instead, Dorlin identifies heterosexuality as the principle of the power relations that affect gender and sexuality. Essentially, heterosexuality is neither a practice nor even a sexual identity. It is a political and economic system defined by a binarism of the sexes that establishes a hierarchy of the feminine and the masculine — a hierarchy of sexualities that rests on the primacy of reproductive penetration, the invisibility of minority practices, the appropriation of women by men, and the exclusion of identities that do not correspond to the ideals of masculinity and femininity.

For heterosexual domination is flawed, and appears to contain within itself its own undoing. This can be seen with homosexuality, but also with intersexuality: power relations clearly do assign different statuses to individuals, and do put practices into a hierarchy, but these relations prevent neither the existence of conflicts nor the expression of minority life styles. She regards the production of concepts as a theoretical and practical challenge that can end up supporting more or less discerning policies. Feminist theory can construct a view of reality that runs counter to the dominant view.

It can articulate the view of the vanquished — of women, homosexuals, and transsexuals — and criticize the dominant categories by producing other, less excluding categories. What, then, are the subjects of feminism? What are the topics on which can be constructed feminist theory and feminist politics? We have seen that the development of feminist theory has been advanced by a series of shifts that have brought about a critical reconsideration of what is included in the subjects of feminism, moving from women to homosexuals and then to transsexuals.

The idea of founding feminist theory on the basis of a definition of its subjects women, lesbians, etc. Whatever arguments there are still to be made about the status of women within contemporary society, it seems beyond imagining that a book which made its case via literary analyses of John Stuart Mill and John Ruskin—or even D. And yet for those among us who care about literature—those of us who came to Millett in part because of literature—there is something poignant in the attention she pays to literary authors, both contemporary and historical.

Whether we are really closer to that eventuality than Millett was, or have moved further away from it, is still an open question. Recommended Stories.

Sign in. Second Wave Feminist Analyses of Housework 5. Psychological Theories of Women and Work 7. Modernist vs. Postmodernist Feminist Theory 9. Race, Class, and Intersectional Feminist Analyses Anarchist Perspectives on Work and its Other Punitive Perspectives on Work and Non-Work Marxism, Work, and Human Nature Marxism as a philosophy of human nature stresses the centrality of work in the creation of human nature itself and human self-understanding see the entry on Marxism. Second Wave Feminist Analyses of Housework In the second wave movement, theorists can be grouped by their theory of how housework oppresses women.

Psychological Theories of Women and Work The socialist-feminist idea that there are two interlocking systems that structure gender and the economy, and thus are jointly responsible for male domination, has been developed in a psychological direction by the psychoanalytic school of feminist theorists.

Women, Sexuality and the Political Power of Pleasure, Jolly, Cornwall, Hawkins

Postmodernist Feminist Theory Useful anthologies of the first stage of second wave socialist feminist writings which include discussions of women, class and work from psychological as well as sociological and economic perspectives are Eisenstein , Hansen and Philipson , Hennessy and Ingraham , and Holmstrom Anarchist Perspectives on Work and its Other So far, it has been assumed that work is an intrinsic good.

Punitive Perspectives on Work and Non-Work While it is reasonable to champion daydreams and play as intrinsic goods, idle time itself is often not felt as a good or luxury, but instead a psychic imposition. Lichtenberger ed. Alvarez, E. Dagnin and A. Escobar eds.

“Sexual Politics” and the Feminist Work That Remains Undone

Bunch, Charlotte and Nancy Myron eds. New York: The New Press. Chen, Martha, et al. Davis, Angela Y. Davis Reader. Malden, MA: Blackwell. Ehrenreich, Barbara and Arlie Hochschild eds. Eisenstein, Zillah ed. Gunn eds. Ferber and Julie Nelson eds. Fox, Bonnie ed. Fraser, Nancy and Linda Gordon, Gibson-Graham, J. Intersectionality and Beyond , London: Routledge-Cavandish. Hansen, Karen V. Philipson eds. Hennessy, Rosemary and Chrys Ingraham eds. Herrmann, Anne C. Stewart eds.

Holmstrom, Nancy ed. Jaggar, Alison and Paula Rothenberg [Struhl] eds. James, Stanlie and Abena Busia eds.


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Keogh, Leyla J. Kuhn, Annette and AnnMarie Wolpe eds. Malos, Ellen ed. Feuer ed. Ryazanskaya, ed. Kerr and Company.


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    Women, Sexuality and the Political Power of Pleasure

    Asumah eds. Nocella eds. Nicholson, Linda ed. Quest Staff eds.

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