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smigliori's picture

I don't think the

I don't think the characterization of Stein as anti-feminist is quite as contradictory as you propose it to be. There's a good reason the lesbian-feminists of the second wave (like Adrienne Rich in Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence) criticized the lives of gstein and atoklas for being too heternormative.

My rejection is not just of the gender binary, but also of the very categories "male" and "female". Biological sex is a spectrum. Those people in whom the combinations of sexual characteristics is so great as to make classification into one category or the other may be rare, but there is plenty of variation within the categories of "male" and "female" as well. What I mean by not making everyone the same, having gender markers continue to exist but not have this importance and this identification based off of them, is something along the lines of looking at someone and seeing eye-color or left- or right-handedness. Of course those are characteristics for categorization, but they aren't required on every single document, no matter how formal or informal. Certainly at one point, the Catholic church considered left-handed people to be even more evil than women, so it's clear that "important" categories don't need to continue to be important.

I protest your statement that "we cannot begin to discuss this gender-blind society untill men and women are actually equal." Seperate but equal is not equal. "Men" and "women" will not be equal until we do have a gender-blind society.

Also, my point was not that it was necessary for a "woman" to appropriate a "masculine" form in some sort of second-wave notion, the way derogatory words are reclaimed by the oppressed minorities which they signify, but the fact that this use seemed so effortless suggests that perhaps it is not necessary for women to write in some "feminine" form.


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