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What Is a Woman?: And Other Essays

Customer Reviews:

Philosophical Essential

By Lindsay Pennington - June 7, 2001

Toril Moi's "What is a Woman? And Other Essays" is essential reading for further development of a feminist consciousness, compelling and clearly delivered. Complex feminist theory is presented in logical, comprehensible full detail; the philosophical esoterica of feminist thought is coupled with its practical relevance. A definitive thinker at her very best.

Misrepresentations Abounding

By Eisakka - August 15, 2007

Toril Moi presents a scathing diatribe against "poststructural feminists" who supposedly erase the category of "women" through endless deconstruction. I am very familiar with such "poststructural feminists" (who include the usual suspects: Judith Butler, Donna Haraway, and Elizabeth Grosz) and found Moi's depiction of their views not only misleading but outright inaccurate. For all her talk about the problematics of the "sex/gender system," Moi fails to consider how other theorists -- such as U.S. women of color -- and other dimensions of difference -- such as race, class, age, nationality, able-bodiedness -- factor into the materiality of "women." After all, long before poststructuralism came into vogue among U.S. feminist academics, radical women of color had been arguing against the naturalized category of "women" and against conceptualizations of subjectivity based upon assumptions of a unified self. Despite what Moi may think, the goal of radical U.S. feminism is NOT merely to... read more

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