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oppression: tends to assume a body that is then gendered. Something picked up by Haraway in her Cyborg essay.

The description of reason and the principle of identity as inherently patriarchal needs a lot more work to be convincing, indeed, Lloyd’s philosophical account is selective, misrepresents certain philosophical positions and does not establish the necessity Gatens invokes. But the description is also silencing and takes from feminism any critical purchase that has been claimed. Without rethinking this, we cannot even begin to discuss any other claims. Here we see the slip, finally into romantic anti-humanist avant guardism, where thought is immobilised and cognition nestles quietly with the status quo.


Mridula Chakraborty argues that the idea of a wave/ stage / wave-based consciousness is an ideological construct of the Eurocentric subject that seeks to subsume and consume the challenges posed to it. Chandra Mohanty claims that when the singular identity of feminism was threatened, by communities of resistance, dominant feminism had to insist that these racialised categories were neither politically contingent nor valid; rather that they were essentialist ways of imagining the female body. White privilege remains intact while the arguments, used to defuse the tension that difference produces, have become much more sophisticated and insidious. We find echoes here from Harstock who asked ‘why is it, just at the moment in Western history when previously silenced populations have begun to speak for themselves and on behalf of their subjectivities that the concept of the subject and the possibility of discovering / creating a liberating truth becomes suspect’.

The crucial question is whether or not feminism can be postmodern if the conditions of modernity remain. The third wave was prefigured by a recognition that feminist theory had to

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