By Denise Riley

ISBN-10: 0816617309

ISBN-13: 9780816617302

'A vintage of feminist highbrow background. Am I That identify? is a kind of Anglo-American finish of innocence for somebody who attempts to talk of 'women.' Riley makes the note run, in view that she can't make it stand nonetheless. She deals a background of the way feminism has confronted its paradoxical core.' - Voice Literary complement crucial examining for philosophers, historians, and feminist theorists.' - historical past evaluate of Books

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19 The next pair of Orations elaborate the struggle towards equality on the one hand, and the insistence on the natural superiority of women within their differences on the other: Since all terrestrial Imitations ought to Ascend to the Better, and not to Descend to the Worse, Women ought to imitate Men, as being a degree in Nature more Perfect, than they Themselves, and all Masculine Women ought to be as much praised as Effeminate Men to be Dispraised, for the One advances to Perfection, the other Sinks to Imperfection, that so by our Industry we may come at last to Equal Men both in Perfection and Power.

On the contraJy, ~ the authenticity of 'the social' is called into question in itself, it cannot function as a neutral site upon which progress or reaction may win the day. Instead we could look critically at what Jelfre}' Minson has called 'The ideal of the social as a secular greaterthan-that-which-cannot-be-thoughf13 - as a potential earthly heaven which is open to the play of perpetual transformability because of its very apartness from the individual who is 'in' it. ' offers a total geography for comprehension and refonn, 'Women' and other sociological categories, arrayed in groups, stretch out 'in' this vast space.

8 Other fonns of installing them in society were more problematic. :ed th~m d~ econvmic. 9·The economic assignation of 'women' continued to be uncertain, but their status as elevating agents was simpler and less troubling. The development of concepts of class generally perpetuated the familiar bifurcation of 'women': into 'human', the aspect which was tractable for theorisation, and into 'different', the aspect which was notoriously less so. What did change the concept of 'women' by furnishing it with a new terrain was not so much class, which multiplied the old ambiguities as it refurbished them, but 'the social'.

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