Showing posts with label Postmodern feminism. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Postmodern feminism. Show all posts

Postmodern feminism


Because of the nature of postmodernism, the following school of feminist thought is a little more difficult to define clearly. Grand narratives, or more or less comprehensive explanatory theories, are rejected by postmodernism. 

As a result, while considering postmodern feminism, we should conceive of it as a collection of ideas rather than a theory. Of course, all of the previously listed schools of thought may be regarded as groupings of comparable ideas. 

The rejection to hunt for a single explanation for women's oppression distinguishes postmodern feminism. Phallogocentrism, psychoanalysis, and sexual difference are three key concepts in postmodern feminist thinking. Phallocentrism (as opposed to phallologocentrism) literally refers to the phallus's centrality. 

The phallus is the penis's metaphorical depiction. Phallologocentrism, or phallogocentrism, is a term that refers to the ‘centrality of the word.' Given the context, logos, the basis of logic and all those ‘ologies' we study, may imply a multitude of things. 

It might refer to a term, a law, a concept, or an idea. The structure of consciousness, according to postmodern feminism, is masculine-centered, resulting in phallologocentrism. 

The phallus' prominence, on the other hand, indicates something slightly different than what radical feminists may label "male centered" or "a man's world," as liberal feminists may put it. Instead, postmodern feminists contend that the penis' uniqueness as a male sex organ symbolizes the singularity of mind. 

Consider the process of learning a new language. Small toddlers experience the world in a rainbow of hues, but they are taught to label hues that are quite different as "red." They are trained to think of the world in terms of particular categories during this process. There is, in effect, a single correct method of viewing the world's hues. 

A postmodern feminist, on the other hand, values diversity and difference. 

They don't perceive otherness as a flaw, but rather as a source of pride. As an author, Hélène Cixous encouraged women to engage in feminine writing (l'écriture féminine) and contrasted it with masculine writing (l'écriture macho) (literatur). 

Phallocentrism is visible in masculine literature (and Cixous famously drew the parallel of Penis/phallus/pen). L'écriture féminine was an attempt to write in a way that defied grammatical and linguistic conventions. Women were to write the unthinkable/unthinkable in order to tackle women's role in society. 

Writing about women's bodies necessitates the use of white ink rather than black, and Cixous is making a literary reference to breast milk here. Feminine writing encourages subversive thought through its openness and overt challenge to the forms and substance of writing. 

According to Cixous, although masculine writing is unique, feminine writing, like women's sexual experience, is numerous, varied, and pleasurable. Psychoanalysis is the second major notion or approach in postmodern feminism. 

All of the key postmodern feminists (Hélène Cixious, Julia Kristeva, Annie LeClerc, Luce Irigaray, and Judith Butler, among others) adopt a psychoanalytic technique developed by Sigmund Freud or Jacques Lacan. Psychoanalysis encourages us to reflect on our upbringing – or even our infantile condition – in order to discover the origins of our present style of thinking. In their psychoanalytic writings, Sigmund Freud and Jacques Lacan were infamously sexist, and important postmodern feminists adapt and critique parts of psychoanalysis' methods. 

The third major notion is that of sexual difference. 

Postmodern feminists believe that sexual difference is socially manufactured rather than biologically rooted, as they do with phallocentrism and psychoanalysis. Language assigns two genders (masculine and feminine), and while gender has traditionally been seen to be a function of social circumstances, postmodernists go even farther, claiming that sex is both socially and linguistically determined rather than a natural truth. 

This emphasizes their commitment to diversity, uniqueness, and plurality while simultaneously challenging the concept of ‘woman.' Perhaps the term "woman" is a construct concocted by an oppressive language framework. 

If the term "woman" does not relate to any basically defined category, postmodern feminists say, more diversity and liberation from the repressive binary thinking that defines so much Western dogma becomes possible. 

Although postmodern feminism encourages readers to think in new ways, it has been attacked for being overly focused on academic disputes and not being relevant or accessible to the great majority of people. A related objection is that some postmodern feminist stances appear to undermine any prospect of political action on behalf of women or female political unity.

~ Jai Krishna Ponnappan 

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