What Is a Woman?: And Other Essaysby Toril Moi
Pub. Date: 08/28/2001
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
What is a woman? And what does it mean to be a feminist today? In her first full-scale engagement with feminist theory since her internationally renowned Sexual/Textual Politics (1985), Toril Moi challenges the dominant trends in contemporary feminist and cultural thought, arguing for a feminism of freedom inspired by Simone de Beauvoir's The Second Sex. Written in
What is a woman? And what does it mean to be a feminist today? In her first full-scale engagement with feminist theory since her internationally renowned Sexual/Textual Politics (1985), Toril Moi challenges the dominant trends in contemporary feminist and cultural thought, arguing for a feminism of freedom inspired by Simone de Beauvoir's The Second Sex. Written in a clear and engaging style What is a Woman? brings together two brand new book-length theoretical interventions, Moi's work on Freud and Bourdieu, and her studies of desire and knowledge in literature.
In the controversial title-essay, Toril Moi radically rethinks current debates about sex, gender, and the body - challenging the commonly held belief that the sex/gender distinction is fundamental to all feminist theory. Moi rejects every attempt to define masculinity and femininity, including efforts to define femininity as that which 'cannot be defined.
In the second new book-length essay, 'I am a Woman', Toril Moi reworks the relationship between the personal and the philosophical, pursuing ways to write theory that do not neglect the claims of the personal. Setting up an encounter between contemporary theory and Simone de Beauvoir, Moi radically rethinks the need, and difficulty, of finding one's own philosophical voice by placing it in new theoretical contexts.
A sustained refusal to lay down theoretical or political requirements for femininity, and a powerful argument for a feminism of freedom, What is a Woman? is a deeply original contribution to feminist theory.
- Oxford University Press, USA
- Publication date:
- Edition description:
- New Edition
- Product dimensions:
- 6.10(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.30(d)
Table of Contents
A Note on the Text
Part I: A Feminism of Freedom: Simone de Beauvoir
1. What is a Woman? Sex, Gender, and the Body in Feminist Theory
2. I Am a Woman: The Personal and the Philosophical
Part II: Appropriating Theory: Bourdieu and Freud
3. Appropriating Bourdieu: Feminist Theory and Pierre Bourdieu's Sociology of Culture
4. The Challenge of the Particular Case: Bourdieu's Sociology of Culture and Literary Criticism
5. The Missing Mother: Rene Girard's Oedipal Rivalries
6. Representation of Patriarchy: Sexuality and Epistemology in Freud's Dora
7. Patriarchal Thought and the Drive for Knowledge
8. Is Anatomy Destiny? Freud and Biological Determinism
Part III: Desire and Knowledge: Reading Texts of Love
9. Desire in Language: Andreas Capellanus and the Controversy of Courtly Love
10. She Died Because She Came Too Late: Knowledge, Doubles and Death in Thomas's Tristan
11. Intentions and Effects: Rhetoric and Identification in Simone de Beauvoir's The Woman Destroyed
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