Philosophy in the Contemporary World

Volume 11, Issue 1, Summer 2004

Feminist Apporoaches to the Body

Mary Walsh
Pages 95-104

Narratives of the Unsaid
Reading Sexual Difference in a Post Foundational Millennium

Debates between Anglo-American and Continental feminist theorists of the body appear to have been largely settled as we move into the new millennium. The result has been that a particular Anglo-American perspective (represented by Butler) has gained authoritative ascendency over the continental perspective (represented by Irigaray and Braidotti). This paper draws upon these theorist’s main works as well as a series of interviews and a reading of Freud to raise some key questions about the often unacknowledged complexities of the interplays between patriarchalism and phallocentrism present in a great deal of contemporary international feminist theorizations of the body. This has implications for the types of feminist subjects that can emerge and the political direction of international feminist theorizations of the body into the future.

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