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eli's picture

Musings

"The masculinity or maleness of knowledges remains unrecognized as such because there is no other knowledge with which it can be contrasted." (pg 204/98)

I believe that Grosz gives a very compelling argument when she describes the way we socially shape our bodies, and how this can effect the way we develop knowledge. That the bodies are sites of social code, and that they are also sites of resistence. I also agree with her point that "Knowledge is an activity: it is a practice and not a contemplative reflection. It does things." But then she loses me when she tries to argue that women are the bodies for men, that they are neutral bodies whereas men are the minds and have disavowed their bodies. There is a huge gap in my understanding of how this is possible, that women's bodies are neutral. I can understand how they might be percieved as incomplete, based on her argument, but I do not understand how they can be "neutral" as that implies a genderless state, whereas I feel that the problem she is describing is that the body -is- gendered, and that it is gendered female; while we gender this act of generating knowledge, a function of the mind, male.

Perhaps I am skeptical of Grosz though because she begins her paper by saying (pg 190/91) that the question of methodology and its effects on a study cannot be raised in social sciences. Which is not accurate, but also unrelated to the scope of this response.

Harding's arguments are familiar ground for me. That one of the essence of (one perspective of) feminist theory is that we are all unique women. That in order to recognize we are women, we must also recognize that we are racially, sexually, socioeconomically, religiously, etc diverse. There is a necessity to recognize that women are individuals in order to bring about a discussion of womanhood. Is this why feminist theory seems to always stand at odds with scientific theory, who's pursuit is aimed at finding one Truth as opposed to many truths?

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