Feminism, Structuralism & Post Structuralism…


Marxism and Feminism often ‘dovetail’ through social classes
and rights.
– ‘A Vindication of the Rights of Women’ (1792) by Mary Wollstonecraft (1759 – 1797) – widely recognized as the first major ‘Feminist’ thesis.
– ‘The Second Sex’ (1949) by Simone de Beauvoir (the lover of Jean Paul Sartre)

“Her Book is still relevant in so many respects. Her accusation against women that they collude with their designation as mere sexual beings still resonates. In a recent survey of British girls aged between nine and sixteen, the career choice of the largest proportion (34 per cent) was glamour model or lap dancer.” (pp192)

“Her response is that passion should be removed from any sensible equation since it does not last and in the fullest measure of life, plays only a small part. ‘Friendship or indifference inevitably succeeds love,’ she writes. ‘When the husband ceases to be a lover,’ she declares, ‘and the time will inevitably come, her desire for pleasing will then become languid, or become a spring of bitterness: and love, perhaps the most evanescent of all passions, gives place to jealousy and vanity.’ It is friendship and fellowship that matter most. ‘The woman who strengthens her body and exercises her mind will, by managing her family and practicing various virtues, become the friend, and not the humble dependent on her husband.’ (pp194)

’12 Books That Changed The World’ by Melvyn Bragg referring to ‘A Vindication of the Rights of Women’ by Mary Wollstonecraft (1792).

‘Suffragettes’ – (in Britain in the beginning of the 20th Century) a woman who campaigned militantly for women to be given the right to vote in public elections.

American liberation began in the 1960’s, campaigning for post war freedom.

– ‘Made from this Earth’ by Susan Griffin

The beginnings of female (sexual) emancipation and sexual equality.

– ‘The Female Eunuch’ (1970) by Germaine Greer
– ‘Feminist Aesthetics’ Gisela Ecker (editor)
– ‘The Subversive Stitch: Embroidery and the making of the Feminine’ by Rozsika Parker
– Vision and Difference: Feminism and Histories of Art’ by Griselda Pollock
– ‘Old Mistresses: Women, Art and Ideology’ by Rozsika Parker and Griselda Pollock

Led to liberalism of women, sexes, sexism, colour, race, creed etc.
etc. Equal pay, ‘Power’ Dressing (shoulder pads) etc.

There was a turn around.
– ‘Backlash’ by Susan Faludi
– ‘Man Made Language’ (1980) by Dale Spender

(Scientific & Semiotics) – a system of signs seen through language.
-Essentially a study (or the science of language.)

‘Course in General Linguistics’ (1915) by Ferdinand Saussure (1857-1913) _published posthumously as a series of writings.

– The signifier and Signified.
– Words are signs/symbols for things.

“Signifier” – the label (the material object) i.e.: “a bunch of red roses”
= The sounds that words make.

“Signified’ – the concept of mental image
= What it denotes.

Umberto Echo
Roland Barthes

‘Post Structuralism’
Common themes and different themes – both an ‘extension’ of and a ‘critique’ of ‘Structuralism’

– The search for ‘Multiple Meanings’.

-Jacques Derida
-Julia Christeva

Discourse – (discussion)
Fragmentation – the label starts to become ‘slippery’ due to there being more answers than questions.
“Glissement” – French word for ‘slippage’.

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