I wanted to find, the logic of all sex wars
As I understand it, radical feminism, particularly as developed by MacKinnon, is based on a binary account of power in which having, or not having, power, is what defines gender. It’s paradoxical, then, that one of the main criticisms radical feminists make of post-modern feminists is that the posties, in critiquing the idea of the subject, deprive women of agency; it’s surprising, because hadn’t the radical feminists, albeit unintentionally, already done that? I’ve been wanting to think about this question for some time, and more generally about the questions about agency and subjectivity that are raised by debates between radical feminists, feminists of color, postmodern feminists, queer theorists, and others. As luck would have it, I also need to pick a “special topic” for a forthcoming exam on contemporary political theory; so, “Feminist political theory from 1980 to the present” it is. I’ve made a preliminary reading list, mostly obvious texts, with a couple of additions I happened to find in second-hand book stores. Any recommendations you have (for things to read or, indeed, for things to avoid) would be gratefully received:
- Andrea Dworkin, Intercourse
- Catherine MacKinnon, Towards a Feminist Theory of the State (and maybe Only Words).
- Wendy Brown, Manhood and Politics
- bell hooks, Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center
- Cherrie Moraga and Gloria Anzaldúa (ed) This Bridge Called My Back
- Luce Irigaray, This Sex Which Is Not One (and/or Julia Kristeva, Powers of Horror, depending on how much French feminism I want to read).
- Judith Butler, Bodies That Matter (or Gender Trouble)
- Saba Mahmood, Politics of Piety
- Seyla Benhabib, Judith Butler, Nancy Fraser and Drucilla Cornel, Feminist Contentions: A Philosophical Exchange
- Linda Martín Alcoff, ed., Feminist Epistemologies