Gender: Key Concepts in Philosophy by Tina Chanter

By Tina Chanter

Gender: Key techniques in Philosophy offers transparent and finished exposition and research of the most philosophical theories, principles and arguments that tell, and are raised by means of, questions of gender and sexuality. It explores either early feminist arguments, which tension 'sameness' among sexes within the pursuits of equality, and later theories, which emphasise distinction. It increases the query of the way succesfully feminist idea has negotiated the connection among gender, race and sophistication. The textual content seems to be at how Marxist and psychoanalytic thought aid to articulate feminist thought and likewise at how they may inhibit it. It additionally explores the ways that the ways of Foucault and Derrida were taken up via feminist philosophy to reformulate questions of energy and beliefs. eventually it addresses modern questions of sexuality, transgender and know-how, and numerous political matters confronted via girls, resembling rape, abortion and pornography. Philosophy undergraduates will locate this a useful relief to review, one who is going past easy definitions and summaries to actually open up attention-grabbing and critical principles and arguments.

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Marxism reduces sex to class, subsuming feminism under Marxism, so that women can only figure in a way that acknowledges their membership of one of two groups: the oppressed working class, or the proletariat, on the one hand, and the owners of the means of production, the bourgeoisie, the middle class, or the capitalist oppressor on the other. This analysis leaves no room for acknowledging that within whichever group of workers women are included, patriarchy and capitalism work hand in hand to discriminate against women, who tend to occupy employment positions that are lower on the totem pole – service workers, health workers, etc.

A punishment, too, that resonates with a long history in which women have been trivialized and manipulated through their association with madness. Heidi Hartmann has aptly characterized the relationship between feminism and Marxism as an ‘unhappy marriage,’ one in which 32 FEMINISM AND MARXISM Marxism has proved itself dominant. Marxist feminists must either work towards a better relationship, suggested Hartmann, or get a divorce. Hartmann argues for a healthier alliance between feminism and Marxism, pointing out that Marxist categories of analysis are blind to the dynamics of gender.

Consumption is driven not by need, but by desire: we are encouraged to believe that we just must have that new BMW, or that new dress, not because our old car or clothes have lost their use value, but because they are no longer in fashion – they do not make the same statement. As a society of consumers, we appear to be driven 36 FEMINISM AND MARXISM by our desire to have the latest model, a situation that Marxists describe in terms of commodity fetishism. Consumer-citizens are governed by things, which become our gods – the gods of the marketplace.

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