Wednesday, December 05, 2007

still thinking about numbers trouble

I suppose before I even engage in a longer discussion about gender, I ought to clarify my take on the whole "attention to gender = essentialism" debate. As an editor of both a journal and press that are committed to publishing work by writers who "self-identify" as women, I see "woman" as a political category. By choosing to publish work by women, I am not making an argument that there is a metaphysical difference between women and men. I do not think that there are only two sexes (male and female), two genders (women and men), or two ways to write (masculine and feminine). I do not think that there are essential differences between men and women or the writing they produce. I do, however, recognize processes and transactions and conversations in which systematic sexism and racism persist. In these instances, it is important to recognize gender and race as political categories. In fact, this recognition is a key aspect of intervention, community building, and progressive politics. Which is to say that is remains politically necessary for women to identify as women in order to combat systems from which they are excluded or oppressed as women.

1 comment:

et said...

Hey Michelle, Do you want to be part of the forum I'm organizing at Delirious Hem? I think my piece is going to begin: "It's possible the concept of essentialism is embedded so deeply in Europatriarchal thinking that I can't relate to it at all.".....

is this real?