significant sociocultural divisions and representations; a developing theoryof the female-embodied social subject that is based on its specific, emergent,conflictual history."
The feminist subject of knowledge as "eccentric"12is an intensive, multiplesubject, functioning in a net of interconnections. I would add that it isrhizomatic, embodied, and, therefore, perfectly artificial; as an artifact it ismachinic, complex, endowed with multiple capacities for interconnectednessin the impersonal mode. It is abstract and perfectly, operationally real.The task for feminist theory is how to think of identity as a site of differ-ences. Women occupy different subject-positions at different times; the task is also how to think through this multiplicity. In turn, this puts a great dealof emphasis on the question of how to rethink alterity and otherness. Whatis at stake here is how to restore intersubjectivity so as to allow differencesto create a bond-a political contract among women-so as to affect lastingpolitical changes. It is the affirmation of a new kind of bonding, a collec-tivity resting on the recognition of differences, in an inclusive, i.e., nonex-clusionary manner.This definition of the feminist subject as a multiple, complex process isalso an attempt to rethink the unity of the subject, without reference tohumanistic beliefs and without dualistic oppositions, linking instead bodyand mind in a new flux of self. The implications are far-reaching. The firstlevel is the issue of what counts as human in a posthumanist world. What isat stake in the question is how to evolve forms of representation for the alter-native female feminist subjectivity: what is the form of thought best suitedto a feminist humanity, i.e., to a feminist collective subject?The second issue concerns feminism specifically, and it involves the chal-lenge to reassemble a vision of subjectivity after the certainties of genderdualism and sexual polarization have collapsed, privileging notions of process, complexity, and the multilayered technology of the self. In otherwords, feminism is about accountability; it is about grounding a new episte-mology and a situated ethics; it is about foundations.All other differences notwithstanding-and they are considerable-I wantto argue that the various feminist figurations of a new female subjectivitygain by intersecting with Deleuze's project of transforming the very imagewe have of thinking, and with his new vision of subjectivity as an intensive,multiple, and discontinuous process of interrelations. The aim is what bellhooks rightly calls "radical postmodernism:'13 namely, the bringing about of an antirelativistic, specific community of historically located, semiotic, mate-rial subjects, seeking connections and articulations in a manner thaI isneither ethnic- nor gender-centered. And the questioll is how to do soconcretely, in the here and now of the feminist politicll practice.The imperative to think differently about our historical condition bringscritical philosophers like Deleuze together with feminist intellectuals; theyshare a concern for the urgency, the necessity, to redefine, refigure, and rein-vent theoretical practice, and philosophy with it, in a mode that is notmolarlreactive/sedentary, but rather molecular/active/nomadic. The centralconcern that ties them together is the crisis of the philosophical logos andthe need to invent new images of thought to put in place of the classicalsystem of representation of theoretical thought. The challenge for feminismand philosophy alike is how to think about and adequately account forchanges and changing conditions: not static formulated truths, but theliving process of transformation.In a previous study
on Deleuze, I ran a two-pronged argument: whilestating my skepticism at the idea of a "crisis" of the philosophical subject thattakes place at the same time as the historical emergence of women as a polit-ical and theoretical force, I argued for the relevance and usefulness orIkleuze's critique of the language of metaphysics to feminist theory. Istressed the point that Deleuze is relevant not only for what he has to sayahout women, the positivity of desire,
or sexuality and embodied, sexedidentities. Of rather greater relevance is the redefinition of thinking, andespecially of the theoretical process, as a nonreactive mode that accompaniesIleleuze's new vision of subjectivity.These two points are interrelated. The embodiment of the subject is f(lrIle!cuze a form of bodily materiality, but not of the natural, biological kind.
rather takes the body as the complex interplay of highly constructed social
symbolic forces. The body is not an essence, let alone a biological
lstanee. It is a play of forces, a surface of intensities: pure simulacra without,)riginals. Deleuze is therefore of great help to feminists because he decssen-
i,1Iill'S the body, sexuality, and sexed identities. The embodied subject is aInlll in a process of intersecting forces (affects), spatiotemporal variables that
,haracterized by their mobility, changeability, and transitory nature.;\, (()rdingly, thinking is for Deleuze not the expression of in-depth inll'ri
Ily,or the enactment of transcendental models; it is a way of establishing,Olllll'ctiolls among a multiplicity of impersonal forces.I think Ihat the most fruitful starting point for a feminist adaplalion oj
)"I"lI/e's thought is precisely his effort to image the activity or thinkingdillnmtly.
his determination to undo the Western style oftheoreticalthollght.
Ilioves beyond the dualistic oppositions that conjugalc the
,iI<Ii."'ollrse or phallo-Iogocentrism.