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From Identity to Sexual Difference. Feminism, Psychoanalysis, and the Position of Enunciation

In its endeavours for gender equality and the pluralism of gender identities as the individual's selfdetermination, contemporary feminist thought largely views the sexual difference between man and woman as yet another essentialist binary opposition to be overcome or which has already been overcome. The article juxtaposes Simone de Beauvoir and her conceptualisation of woman in the Second Sex with Judith Butler and her critical analysis of the problem of gender identity in Gender Trouble. The author keys in on the importance of Freud's psychoanalysis in the conceptualisation of the sexual difference between man and woman as the paradigmatic difference, and woman as the paradigm of the Other as derived from Beauvoir, and indicates some limitations of the concept of gender identity. The author highlights the importance of the position of enunciation, as opposed to the contents of enunciation and the proliferation of identities and their namings which do not eliminate the fundamental problem of the asymmetry of sexual difference and the related “subversion of identity”, but, as she argues, only displace it. She raises the question of whether gender identity and sexual difference belong to the same field of critical thought, and whether advocating for the possibility of gender identity, even though the renewed conception of identity as being unstable, implies the exclusion of sexual difference and disregards the problem of the oppression of women and feminism as such.


Article inside journal

Issue No. 280 - Weaponizing Fear / New Feminisms and Fighting Stupidity
Časopis za kritiko znanosti
2020 , volume volume 48 , issue issue 280
9,00 € each (incl. tax - DDV)
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