Feminism Beyond Modernism (Studies in Rhetorics and by Professor Elizabeth A. Flynn

By Professor Elizabeth A. Flynn

False impression and denigration of postmodern feminism are common. Elizabeth Flynn’s Feminism past Modernism involves its safeguard in a cogent and astute demeanour through first distinguishing among postmodern and antimodern feminisms after which reclaiming postmodern feminism via reconfiguring its dating to modernism. Too frequently postmodern feminism is unfairly pointed out in preference to modernism and linked to subjectivism and relativism. Flynn addresses those difficulties through provisionally defining postmodern feminism as problematizing and critiquing modernism with out at once opposing it. Flynn additionally means that feminist traditions that reject modernism, equivalent to radical and cultural feminisms, are antimodern instead of postmodern. In this interdisciplinary examine, Flynn defines feminist traditions generally, situating her discussions in the contexts of literary reports and rhetoric and composition whereas at the same time exploring the dating among those fields. Departing from authorised definitions of modernism, Flynn distinguishes among aesthetic modernism and Enlightenment modernism and makes use of the paintings of John Locke, Sigmund Freud, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Michel Foucault, Donna Haraway, and others as benchmarks for old placement. moreover, rereadings of works through Virginia Woolf, Adrienne wealthy, Alice Walker, Louise Rosenblatt, and others reveal the complicated ways that they reply to modernist pressures and developments. From this context, Flynn’s Feminism past Modernism reconfigures feminist traditions by means of defining postmodern feminism as a critique of modernism instead of as an antimodern opponent.  

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They must therefore “be permitted to turn to the fountain of light, and not forced to shape their course by the twinkling of a mere satellite” (50). According to Wollstonecraft, women must receive the same education as men, and this education must take place within society rather than the home, because “Men and women must be educated, in a great degree, by the opinions and manners of the society they live in” (52). The aims of an education should be to “enable the individual to attain such habits of virtue as will render it independent” (52).

They are not antimodern. They do not oppose modern intellectual and social traditions or repudiate the sciences or other Enlightenment projects. Rather, they are critical of them and attempt to find alternatives to them. Often this involves reconceptualizing objectivity and calling into question the possibility of impartiality, that is, of detachment of the observer from that which is observed. Considerable postmodernist problematizing of science has arisen out of feminist reconsiderations of the aims and methods of science.

Coleridge is also critical of Descartes’s dualism. He finds that Descartes was the first philosopher to introduce the idea that the mind and the body are heterogeneous, the mind being associated with intelligence, the body with matter (88). Descartes, in turn, influenced Baruch Spinoza who influenced Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz. For Coleridge, though, dissociating the mind from the body is “absurd” (89). Coleridge is dissatisfied with the philosophies of Locke, Hartley, and others because he finds that the human mind is capable of activities other than merely observing, collecting, and classifying (93).

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