Criticizing feminist criticism Essay

Published: 2020-04-22 15:24:05
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Category: Feminist

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When feminists speak about feminism, they mostly see the opposition between the feminine and the masculine- the yin and the yang. We also discussed the binary opposition in class, which heightened my knowledge of how women are reduced to the lower spectrum of the opposition. The binary opposition also exists in differentiating mothers from fathers. Mothers are put in pedestals, while fathers are forgotten and scorned. Laqueur (1990) complained about this binary opposition in The Facts of Fatherhood. This is an interesting article that argued about the repression of the history of fatherhood.

Laqueur (1990) posited that while women enjoyed being the natural parent, fathers were regarded as mere providers, or even as a backdrop to the family. He stressed that it is time for fathers to reclaim their right to be part of the parenting history, wherein their contributions to the formation of society are recognized and respected. This polemical article amuses and interests me significantly. It amuses me because at the back of my mind, I felt gender discrimination in reverse. I believe that mothers have specials bonds with their children, but this belief, however, is marked by sexism.

Do not fathers also share special bonds with their children? Laqueur (1990) challenged the notion of motherhood, because it undermined the importance of fatherhood. In my mind, it is better to not differentiate mothers from fathers, which is the same as stopping ourselves from differentiating women and men. Women and men have their own strengths and weaknesses and none is more superior. In the same line of thought, mothers and fathers are also equal. Let us just call motherhood and fatherhood as parenthood and give fathers their rightful place in the history and the practice of nurturing human society.

Furthermore, this is also an interesting article, because it challenged me to talk about being a woman in relation to being a man. Being a woman has its multiplicities, and now, being a man has its pluralism too. For me, these multiplicities, acknowledged as part of gender analysis, render two steps forward for true gender equality. Journal entry 4 In Criticizing Feminist Criticism, Gallop, Hirsch, and Miller (1990) debated on the purposes and development of feminine criticism. Their main point is that feminist criticism writers have gone to the extreme, by pulverizing each others feminist views.

They believe that this process is futile in understanding and improving the development of gender discourse and feminism. They asserted that feminism can be criticized in a more comprehensive manner, wherein there is no right or wrong feminism. I chose this article because it threads on sensitive issues, wherein the personal versus the collective idea of feminism clashes. Feminists have different worldviews about gender roles, sexuality, and femininity, and they criticize each other in different ways. I have never thought that feminist criticism has become too unconstructive. This is not my idea of criticism at all.

I think about my own criticism of feminist criticism and I cannot help but agree that criticism is not about thrashing feminist theories (p. 350). Criticism is also about adding something to existing theories, in ways that can benefit the understanding of what it means to be a woman and how different understandings contribute to a wide range of feminism discourse. I earnestly believe also that feminists cannot define feminism in one way or several ways alone. Feminism should be viewed as a huge mess of ideas and values, different and special to women and groups, who fight for and because of different issues.

Yes, it is a mess alright, because being a woman is a dynamic process that is also a part of being an individual and being a member of ones race, class, and so on. Being a woman cannot ever be a tidy place, wherein women think the same and act the same. I would rather have it as a mess- wherein women are free to think and re-think feminism, in relation to their personal experiences and values.


Childers, M. & Hooks, B. (1990). A conversation about race and class. In M. Hirsch & E. F. Keller (Eds. ), Conflicts in feminism (pp. 60-81).

New York, NY: Routledge. Gallop, J. , Hirsch, M. , & Miller, N. K. (1990). Criticizing feminist criticism. In M. Hirsch & E. F. Keller (Eds. ), Conflicts in feminism (pp. 349-369). New York, NY: Routledge. Laqueur, T. W. (1990). The facts of fatherhood. In M. Hirsch & E. F. Keller (Eds. ), Conflicts in feminism (pp. 205-221). New York, NY: Routledge. Robertson, J. (2003). Artistic behavior in the human female. In B. Stirratt & C. Johnson (Eds. ), Feminine persuasion: art and essays on sexuality (pp. 23-38). Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.

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