Archive for March 18th, 2012

March 18, 2012

The ‘Pomo’ Backlash: Looking at Feminism in the Aftermath of Postmodernism (Part 2)

by Guest Blogger

Guest post by Maggie H.

[This is part two of a two part post. Read part one here.]

There is an over-emphasis on discourse and domination of ‘language’ in postmodern feminist works; this frequently fails to address the central issue of structural male domination over women. There is validity in linking language with power. However, radical feminists have explained where the ‘master narrative’ lies; it is not in women’s accounts of their life experiences. The voices of the oppressed ought not to be deconstructed. It is men who have privilege and the power of naming in a patriarchy (Daly, 1979; Dworkin, 1979), and men like Foucault or Derrida are no exception.

Structural male dominance should adequately be addressed; but Jane Flax (in Thinking Fragments; 1990), for example, would rather use the terms ‘gender’ and ‘gender relations’ than male dominance. She makes the absurd claim that there is a need to find what gender relations ‘really are’, while gender continues to be constructed and enforced by a male-supremacist context. She remains obscure on the reality of sex hierarchy in a gendered society where men dominate women. There is notable reluctance, in Flax’s work, to seriously name the agent for women’s oppression, i.e. men.

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