Robert Strobel Dr.

Kerby Western Feminist Thought My Own inner Post-modern Feminist Complacency Of all of the chapters in Rosemarie Tong's Feminist Thought, “Chapter 8: Postmodern and ThirdWave Feminism” seemed the most familiar to me. Even as a high school debater in Kentucky I had heard competitors “name-drop” many of the names Tong alludes to within this chapter. My background in postmodern philosophy here at WKU has also prepared me for this chapter. In my Modern and Contemporary philosophy course requirement, I truly fell in love with Friedrich Nietzsche, who was a critical influence of both Michel Foucault and Judith Butler. In the course, we also read Foucault as an addition to large amounts of Nietzsche we were required to read. That requirement of having to read much Nietzsche is perhaps the origin of my first point of discussion. Understandably, Tong could not cover all the details relating to the development of postmodern philosophy, so I spare her my critique. I would however hope to further explore this Nietzschean link. Poor Nietzsche has been hated by members of almost every discipline and every political perspective. He is misquoted and mis-attributed to so many different causes that the real Nietzsche remains buried under a century of exegetical and isogetical efforts applied to his work with both positive and malicious intent. The most profound discovery I attribute to Nietzsche was his ability to see the origins of his contemporary “morals” and “virtues.” He attributed them to various sources including Aristotilian philosophy and religious beliefs. Essentially, he claimed that the systems of morality in place follow from a sort of genealogy of morals, in which a particular law or rule finds it power and justification through the legitimacy of time-honored traditions. Nietzsche complains that this has led in large part to a loss of culture. Because of the widespread acceptance of these morals and practices, people are policed into acting a particular way. One profound implication of this is that the very systems of knowledge that serve as the channels of these beliefs are corrupted by their authors.

the very idea of objectivity is associated strongly and only with masculinity. In post World War II France. although I find it challenging to deliniate specific beliefs of any philosophy as diverse as postmodernism. This means that intuition or spontaneity can never lead to “true knowledge. they resolve that there is no such thing as objectivity. because as Helene Cixous indicates. Nietzsche destroys rationality with rationality. The claim that “rationality” is knowledge is an assumption that remains unchallenged because of its privileged tradition. the focus on the geneaology becomes that of the influence of masculinity in morals and virtue. I believe this is of particular assistance to feminists.Rationality “becomes” knowledge because it is the only way to “prove” something. irrational knowledge can never become knowledge. Michel Foucault and Jacques Derrida were both lovers of Nietzsche. It is important to note that Foucault makes no value claims about right and wrong. For postmodern feminists. Other forms of knowledge are dismissed as inferior because they are “irrational. While Nietzsche himself never wrote about sexuality or the power of prisons. Her introduction of world history and culture being guided exclusively through phallocentrism can readily be observed through the above discussion of Nietzsche's geneaological approach. we can see his method alive in the writing of Foucault. whereby Foucault chronicles to grave detail the origins of such institutions and morals – subsequently undermining them with their contradictions.” The very system however is contradictory.” I would go so far to argue that this claim about rationality is truly representative of deconstruction as later implemented by Derrida. Tong does an excellent job in setting the stage for postmodern feminism. The tenents she lists for postmodernism I find completely acceptable. for its legitimacy originates from a tautology. and seemingly instead calls for liberation such that a wide diversity of sexuality might be exercised. a challenge she recognizes. Ultimately. Perhaps the most distinguishing characteristic of postmodern philosophers is the questioning of the possibility of objectivity. On this matter. By using rationality as the standard by which knowledge is judged. there became a philosophical renaissance based out of a new reading of Nietzsche that recognized this discovery. whereas femininity is associated with bias or .

She talks much about Foucault's accomplishments in The History of Sexuality. because it is these empty symbols which are deployed so that minorities are oppressed. Frustration with the enlightenment . or selfproving rather that meaningful based on objective truths. He describes the bodies as being indeed inscribed by these norms. in which Irigaray approaches Nietzsche and expresses her love and hatred for some of the things he wrote. The most important of these discoveries however is description of bodies as being influenced by the law and power of a policing and intellectual authority in the realm of sexuality.subjectivity. Following her discussion of deconstruction. This type of literature I find to be the most beautiful literature on earth. Tong makes clear that Jacques Derrida's accomplishments in philosophy make near satire of the “order of things.” Through his technique of deconstruction. He demonstrates that most things are indeed tautological. one must be a radical feminist. he uses the very resources with patriarchal concepts to undermine their integrity. This is important. and tries to transform his writing to be more fluid and free from masculine systems. Tong returns to Foucault and Butler. I would even argue that to be a postmodern. Helene Cixous takes this discovery and technique a step further in showing the binary nature of masculinity and femininity in all kinds of binaries. The most beautiful book I ever read was Marine Lover of Friedrich Nietzsche by Luce Irigaray. whereas the rejection of objectivity inevitably stands among the most important columns of a patriarchal society. Words therefore become a kind of symbolism which points to nothing. She therefore advocates for a feminine language of writing in which standard rules of writing are abondoned for the free expression of all.

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