This stimulating text presents a concise and accessible introduction to feminist theory today. Covering all the major variants of feminist political thought, it offers a unique examination of the archive of modern feminist theory from the publication of The Feminine Mystique in 1963 to current postmodernist and legal feminist texts. It provides both an intellectual history and a political critique of contemporary feminism in the United States and in the United Kingdom. Judith Evans focuses on the divergence within, as well as between, feminist schools, and on protests from women marginalized by `the movement' - including those who are lesbian and those who are black. Feminist Theory Today contends that the ear

The Postmodernist Challenge

The postmodernist challenge

Postmodernism and poststructuralism1 comprise feminism's third difference: a difference within woman. Some see this as a difference between individual women: I tend to think it means a ‘difference within’, the fragmentation of, the self. Both are relevant to feminism's project; I see the second, some view both, as antithetical to its cause.

Postmodernism challenges both equality, and ‘difference’ as employed so far: as sex or gender based, and as existing between female groups. Rather than attempt to define it fully, I single out aspects crucial to feminist thought. I discuss in turn postmodernism's rejection of ‘grand narratives’, and its relativism; différance and deconstruction; and the ‘death of the subject’. I begin with the grand narrative.

Postmodernists proclaim the end of, an end ...

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