Feminist Standpoint Theory Revisited. Susan Hekman. I N , THE PUBLICATION of Nancy Hartsock. Sex, and Power changed the landscape of feminist theo. Feminist standpoint theory, then, makes a contribution to epistemology, within a number of disciplines—such as Dorothy Smith, Nancy Hartsock, Hilary Rose. Reviewing Hartsock: The Feminist Standpoint: Toward a Specifically Feminist Historical Materialism. Hartsock looks to answer the general.

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Monday, January 13, Reviewing Hartsock: Toward a Specifically Feminist Historical Materialism. Hartsock looks to answer the general question of to what extent gender is a world-view structuring experience.

By adopting a feminist standpoint, the liberatory possibilities that are contained in the experience of being in an oppressed group i. Hartsock posits that division of labour is just that, but when the sexual division of labour occurs, we can see oppositions and differences, which have consequences for the epistemology of that society, and leads to deeper structuring forces which lead to inequalities.

Feminist Standpoint Theory

She acknowledges that individuals are agentic, but argues that because change happens at the societal level, it is important to focus there. She focuses on the sexual division atandpoint labour as opposed to the gendered to stress the reality of nature and biology on cultural institutions. Huber and the origins of gender inequality.

Women bear children as a biological fact. The sexual division of labour inevitably brings about epistemologies, which structure social relations LINK: Women and workers are similar in standpointt ways emphasis on change — not statis; characterized by interaction with natural substances — not separation from nature; emphasis on quality, unification of the and body in performed activities, etc.

However, workers are immersed in this world only during the time in which their labour power is purchased i. The Sexual Division of Labour. Women contribute to subsistence as well as childrearing: VOSKO and the social reproduction of labour. On the flipside of this, men are less responsible and therefore less aware of subsistence activity. Wtandpoint are constantly in contact with the material necessities of their contributions to subsistence some women more than others; LINK: Glen and work on servitude, the nanny chain, hattsock upper class women fleeing the home and backfilling subsistence work with racialized women.


As such, women are more involved in processes of change and growth and femiist skills for these demands and roles, such as interpersonal skills and emotional labour. Hartsock argues that it is this production and appropriation of this labour where the opposition between the feminist and masculinist experiences is rooted There are a series of what our culture treats as boundary challenges inherent in female physiology…mak[ing] it difficult to maintain a rigid separation from the object world.

Nancy Hartsock, The Feminist Standpoint – PhilPapers

Menstruation, coitus, pregnancy, childbirth, lactation, all represent challenges to bodily boundaries. In other words, how the social structures in place originate in psychological understandings haartsock the self and the differentiation of the self from others in this case.

From here, the complex relational world which women inhabit starts based on their resolution of the oedipal crisis. Boys cleanly resolve this crisis, whereas girls are much more likely to retain both parents as love objects. Masculine ego formation necessarily requires repressing this first relation and standpointt the mother. For boys the central issue to be resolved concerns gender identification ….

Girls therefore, because of female parenting, are less differentiated from others than boys, and this is more continuous with and related to the external object world.

Girls come to see themselves as more connected to the world and men come to see themselves as distinct, separate, and disconnected. Chodorow suggests that the result is that women see themselves and experience things relationally, whereas men do not.

Standpoint feminism – Wikipedia

Barriers can be maintained by making the other the female into a thing Abstract Masculinity and the Feminist Standpoint. Hartsock uses this as a way to suggest that masculine experience and activity is replicated in hierarchal and dualist institutions of class society and the cultural construction of sexuality.

The dualism here is expressed by the experience harteock two world: These dualisms are overlaid by gender: The social world and the value of its dichotomized elements is made and given meaning based on the duality that masculinity is dependent on O. Work of Sydie and classical sociological theory which situation the male within the social and female within the natural.


The ideal, the abstract, and the social is a world that has been idealized as above the body, material, and biological, and has been aligned with the masculine realm O.

If the body is fe,inist irrelevant and in opposition to the real self, and is an impediment to be overcome by the mind, women must not therefore have minds, or their minds must be though to work in incomprehensible ways.

These assumptions are absorbed into the cultural ethos and structure social relations and hierarchies. Women experience selves along a continuum rather than me or not meand these dualisms do not hold true through their experience. Less clear on this point. Marxist theory went below surface to uncover this ideology, and this must be done and worked out from the basis of a female experience LINK: Feminists have just begin syandpoint unravel the female experience, searching for commonalities across diverse experiences of women, and are struggling to identify the structural determinants of these experiences.

To accomplish this a socialist revolution would be necessary. Divisions between mental and manual labour must be abolished and this requires the upheaval of social structures. Shared parenting arrangements must be adopted to abolish the sexual division of labour, which would then serve to upsurp the ontology and epistemology that stems from those arrangements. However, this would require an institutionalization of these arrangements that require much deeper change to the social structure than minor shifts.

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