Resistance Is (Not) Futile:

Ann E. Cudd and University of Kansas

in Out from the Shadows

Published in print March 2012 | ISBN: 9780199855469
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199932788 | DOI:

Series: Studies in Feminist Philosophy

Resistance Is (Not) Futile:

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Feminist political philosophy has not yet become mainstream, but there is reason to believe that it will, just as feminist theory has penetrated other fields in the humanities and social sciences. In this essay, I argue that feminist philosophers must remain vigilant to the twin dangers of accommodation and co-optation and resistant to complacence with the status quo, even as women and feminist analysis are mainstreamed in philosophy. This is for the good of philosophy as well as of progressive political theory. I describe the ways in which analytic feminist political philosophy might tend to accommodate or be co-opted. Analytical feminists have sometimes been wrongly accused of accommodating or being co-opted in our attempts to cast a critical feminist lens from within mainstream analytic philosophy. It is important to distinguish disagreement with mainstream feminism from accommodation to mainstream political philosophy. This essay is an attempt to explain how I think we have managed to walk that fine line between being a critical insider and being an excluded outsider. I examine how feminists have walked this line in four main contributions that I believe feminist analysis has made to political philosophy: the sex/gender distinction, the critique of the public/private dichotomy, the feminist analysis of the structural nature of oppression, and the articulation of feminist theories of autonomy.

Keywords: feminism; political philosophy; feminist philosophy; accommodation; public/private; sex; gender; analytic philosophy

Chapter.  7135 words. 

Subjects: Feminist Philosophy

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