By Sara Ahmed
Variations That subject demanding situations theories of the connection among feminism and postmodernism that ask "is/should feminism be sleek or postmodern?" declaring how postmodernism has been allowed to dictate feminist debates, Sara Ahmed argues as a substitute that feminism needs to itself ask questions of postmodernism; that feminist theorists converse (back) to postmodernism instead of easily communicate on (their courting to) it. This "speaking again" contains a refusal to put postmodernism as a generalizable situation of the area, utilizing shut readings of postmodern buildings of rights, ethics, "woman," subjectivity, authorship and movie.
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Extra info for Differences that Matter: Feminist Theory and Postmodernism
By reading the text, in which there is a dramatic con¯ict between divine and human law, as a crisis in origins (of the command, `you must') the question of sexual difference is made derivative. The con¯ict between man and woman is subsumed under the irreconcilable con¯ict between human and divine which constitutes the crisis of law's force: `We can conclude that at the mythical moment of its foundation the law is split into divine and the human . . Antigone teaches that the nomos rises on the ground of the polemical symbiosis of female and male, singular and universal, justice and the law' (Douzinas and Warrington 1994: 222).
Perhaps we could return here to the letter of the law: to the liberal legal scholar Ronald Dworkin's attempt to account for the role of the judge. In `Hard Cases', Dworkin argues that adjudication must be subordinated to legislation: that judges must adjudicate upon that which has been already legislated by a democratically elected (= accountable and representative) political party. He suggests that any attempt to invent laws and establish them retroactively would constitute an injustice against a defendant.
It is the demands of feminism in practice, in the context of international political relations, that reveal the necessity of such a substantive critique of universalist rights discourse. Indeed, the very undecidability of what constitutes a right has implications for feminist practice. The feminist debate on abortion in the West, for example, has centred around the question of whether or not to frame the pro-choice position in terms of women's reproductive rights. The very con¯ict over abortion can be re-de®ned as a con¯ict over what is essential, that is, over what constitutes a subject with proprietal rights ( Johnson 1987: 193±4).