By Elizabeth A. Wilson
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Extra resources for Gut Feminism
In recent years, there has been some restlessness about the need to reject biology. There is growing feeling that the antibiologism on which feminism cut its teeth has now become poÂ�litiÂ�cally and intellectually restrictive. It is not just feminists working in science studies or the history and philosophy of science who feel constrained by the antiÂ� biologism in feminist theory; there is also a broader sense that feminist theory would be made stronger (for all manner of disciplinary projects) by closer engagement with biological detail.
Building on the claims of the prior chapter, I will suggest that anatomy enacts the kinds of malleability, heterogeneity, friction, and unpredictability that feminist theories can relish. This chapter seeks out that sort of anatomy in the work of one of Sigmund Freud’s most loyal and provocative colleagues: Sándor Ferenczi. With Ferenczi I want to show that anatomy is volatile enough to generate multifaceted and paradoxical destinies. Rather than turning away from anatomy, we could turn Â�toward it more attentively to see what improbable capacities it holds.
If feminist theory is to continue to make trouÂ�ble, it will need to form intimate and unruly alliances with biological data. We need these kind of alliances with biology not just in relation to depression; more generally they help unsettle the poÂ�litiÂ�cal certainties of what we think we stand for, what we think we stand against, and where we stand when we make poÂ�litiÂ�cal gestures. At the end of “The Traffic in Â�Women,” Rubin muses about a Â�future without anatomy: “I personally feel that the feminist movement must dream of more than the elimination of the oppression of Â�women.