By Kristan Poirot

By means of the mid-1990s feminist theorists and critics started to problem traditional puzzling over intercourse distinction and its dating to gender and sexuality. students reminiscent of Anne Fausto-Sterling and Judith Butler stricken the sex-gender/nature-nurture divide. a few have asserted that those questions about intercourse are a lot too summary to give a contribution to a beneficial realizing of the fabric politics confronted by way of feminist events. In a question of intercourse, Kristan Poirot demanding situations this assumption and demonstrates that modern theories approximately intercourse, gender, id, and distinction compel a rethinking of the heritage of feminist activities and their rhetorical practices. Poirot makes a speciality of 5 case stories -- the movement of Sojourner Truth's "Ain't I a Woman?" in early and modern feminist contexts; the visible rhetorics of the feminist self-help wellbeing and fitness circulate; the general public discourse of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and early nineteenth-century rules approximately suffrage, intercourse, and race; the conflicts over lesbian sexuality within the Nineteen Sixties and Seventies; and the discourse that surrounds twenty-first-century SlutWalks. within the strategy, Poirot rethinks the phrases in which we comprehend U.S. feminist pursuits to discover the methods feminism has puzzled sexed differences and practices through the years. She emphasizes the significance of examining feminist engagements with intercourse as rhetorical endeavors -- practices which are formed through the instrumental calls for of pursuits, the exigent occasions that decision for feminists to reply, and the long-lasting philosophical traditions that stream in U.S. political contexts.

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Extra resources for A Question of Sex: Feminism, Rhetoric, and Differences That Matter

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Freedom from chivalry? “Please,” Truth seemed to say. The students and teachers who read about Truth in the women’s studies, women’s history, and black history classes in the 1980s reveled in the message. S. 41 If the nineteenth-century writers were apt to figure Truth as a symbol for abolition and/or woman’s rights, perhaps more recent reiterations are equally apt to position her as a symbol that registers contemporary concerns related to multiculturalism. 44 The result in feminist studies, as elsewhere, might Recognizing Sex 31 be viewed as compulsory identification—a perpetual identificatory acknowledgment of others in such a way as to signal adherence to an ethos of authentic and expansive inclusion.

41 If the nineteenth-century writers were apt to figure Truth as a symbol for abolition and/or woman’s rights, perhaps more recent reiterations are equally apt to position her as a symbol that registers contemporary concerns related to multiculturalism. 44 The result in feminist studies, as elsewhere, might Recognizing Sex 31 be viewed as compulsory identification—a perpetual identificatory acknowledgment of others in such a way as to signal adherence to an ethos of authentic and expansive inclusion.

48 This account of the relationship between sex and gender, Chambers warns, risks moving feminists “to the full-scale abandonment of sex and gender to the political realm. ”49 As I discussed in the opening pages of this introduction, the scholarly revolution surrounding “sex” might be better described as a sex/gender one, wherein critics are constantly reminded that any claim about sex is always already circumscribed by gender. In that way gender, not sex, functions as the crucial concept for feminist analysis— rhetorical or otherwise.

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