By Denise Riley
'A vintage of feminist highbrow background. Am I That identify? is a kind of Anglo-American finish of innocence for someone who attempts to talk of 'women.' Riley makes the note run, considering that she can't make it stand nonetheless. She bargains a historical past of ways feminism has confronted its paradoxical core.' - Voice Literary complement crucial analyzing for philosophers, historians, and feminist theorists.' - heritage evaluate of Books
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Extra info for "Am I That Name?". Feminism and the Category of 'Women' in History
How, she asks, should women properly submit themselves and bear the worldly frustrations of their hope? 'h1·in~ which all Generous Minds are fiU'd with; not by taking it away, but by placing it on a right Object. 37 In this Heaven the venerable traditions of spiritual democracy will be triumphantly fulfilled: 'her Soul shall shine as brightly as the greatest Heroe's' to compensate it for those repeated injuries inflicted by the 'Customs of the World'. 38 But while she is on earth, then adherence to her duty must demand her education to that duty: Superiors don't rightly understand their own Interest when they attempt to put out their Subjects Eyes to keep them Obedient.
Both this 'social' and ~women' lean forward, as concepts, into a future which is believed to sustain them. It is as if 'women', who have been erroneously or ignorantly represented, might yet, reconstructed, come into their own. In many later nineteenth and indeed early twentieth-century addresses on the Woman Question, they are caught up not in being, where they are massively misunderstood, but in becoming. If 'women' can be credited with having a tense, then it is a future tense. It is true that the trajectory of 'man' in the nineteenth-century human sciences often winds him backward to the riddles of his origins, or alternatively, reels him out towards the double question of his ends, in the senses of his purposes and his extinction.
62 This, in the teeth of our modem philosophy which makes a jest of female modesty and its so-called insincerity. I also perceive that the most certain result :of this philosophy will be to deprive the women of this centurv from such shreds of honour as they still possess. 6) It is as if a strongly conventional identity of 'women' must be maintained in order to secure the identity of 'men'. Indeed, Rousseau says that whereas 'The poor may come to manhood without our help'64 nevertheless the achievement of men's socialsexual capacities demands, as its precondition, that women be women: Would you restore all men to their primal duties, begin with the mothers: the results will surprise you.
"Am I That Name?". Feminism and the Category of 'Women' in History by Denise Riley