Sunday, 28 April 2013

Still trying to get my head round this..

Postmodern Feminism

Postmodern Feminists have built on the ideas of Foucault, de Beauvoir, as well as Derrida and Lacan (who I'm not going to talk about). While there is much variation in Postmodern feminism, there is some common ground. Postmodern Feminists accept the male/female binary as a main categorizing force in our society. Following Simone de Beauvoir, they see female as having being cast into the role of the Other. They criticize the structure of society and the dominant order, especially in its patriarchal aspects. Many Postmodern feminists, however, reject the feminist label, because anything that ends with an "ism" reflects an essentialist conception. Postmodern Feminism is the ultimate acceptor of diversity. Multiple truths, multiple roles, multiple realities are part of its focus. There is a rejectance of an essential nature of women, of one-way to be a woman." Poststructural feminism offers a useful philosophy for diversity in feminism because of its acceptance of multiple truths and rejection of essentialism." (p. 19, Olson).

This is in contrast to some other feminist theoretical viewpoints. Feminist empiricism, or liberal feminism, sees equal opportunity as the primary focus. They are concerned with "leveling the playing field." It does not question the nature of the knowledge or the structure of human interactions, but rather the events that go on within that structure. Accepting the idea that there is a single knowable truth has led liberal feminists to use the accepted methodologies in research, believing that they just need to be used in different ways.

Radical feminism has focused on how deeply entrenched the male/female division is in society. Women have been oppressed and discriminated against in all areas and their oppression is primary. Their focus has been to detail how the male dominated society has forced women into oppressive gender roles, and has used women's sexuality for male profit. Radical feminist proposals for change include creating woman-only communities to embracing androgyny. Criticism of radical feminism include that it suggests that men and women are two separate species with no commonality and that it romanticizes women and interactions between women.

So after struggling yesterday to sum up the bloody book i've just finished reading i managed to find these couple of paragraphs that sum up Postmodern feminism extremely well. This backs up what i was saying about self-reflection and how women are questioning the 'feminism' movement. From this and the book i know that there are 2 main theories about women, one positive and one negative. The negative known as 'the other' suggests women as inferior beings. Theorists like Lacan back this up.

I have now come to terms that with modernism and postmodernism, feminism and post feminism act on opposing binaries, just like masculinity and femininity. These movements need to be based on opposition to work and even though 'post' means after, it's extremely clear that they need to co-exist together like i have stated previously.

I really like how this section has highlighted different 'types' of feminists and how they see the discourse between masculinity and femininity. 'Feminisms' is probably the better term to use as it shows there are lots of different opinions and 'waves' within feminism, and there isn't just one basic/central definition. This in itself is extremely postmodern and i think that this is one of the reasons it has been so hard to define, as like post modernism you can't just pinpoint it to one specific thing.

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The word ‘post’ in postmodernism suggests that it comes after modernism, however both postmodernism and modernism both exist together at the same time. Modernism seeks to give meaning and solid definitions to what things are while postmodernism denies the rules laid by modernism.
Postmodernism denies the existance of scientifc, philosophical or religious truths to explain everything for everybody, while modernism seeks to give meaning and solid definitions to what things are while postmodernism denies the rules laid by modernism. It allows for personal interpretation, with personal experience being placed above abstract principles which paradoxically means that postmodernism can not truly be defined.
Postmodernism spans various different disciplines including art, culture, architecture, literature, entertainment, technology ect, and focuses on de-structered humanity meaning that disorder and fragmentation are acceptable represention of reality for postmodernists. Modernists viewed this view of fragmented humanity as bad while postmodernists seems to celebrate this, accepting ambiguity.
There are no final truths or definitions in postmodernism, it is an attempt to give new meanings and interpretations to everything.
Throughout the coming weeks we are going to explore how postmodernism is evident in various different aspects in our society in an attempt to better understand what postmodernism is and how it affects our lives. We will be looking at examples of postmodernism in pop-culture and entertainment, feminism, architecture, and art and design movements.