Women's Standpoint, the Gendering of Moral Voices/Moral Selves, and the View from Foucault

Luis Soliven David


In this essay, the author provides a brief exposition of the work that Nancy Hartshock, Dorothy Smith, and Carol Gillgan have carried out in their respective fields with a view to establishing the relevance and legitimacy of women's experiences or standpoint or, alternatively, of women's voice, for the organization of academic and moral discourse. He then proceeds to critically assess the strategic value and possibility of attributing, as the aforementioned authors have done, fixed, cross-cultural characteristics to masculine and feminine identities. To accomplish this he invokes the work of Michel Foucault for whom the question of woman, like all questions of meaning, must e one of negotiating a path between always particularized, localized, specified, and, therefore, impure subject position, each one reflecting not only gender identities, but also heterogeneous and heteronomous intersections of gender, race, class, language, culture, that neither presuppose nor fix their constitutive subjects in place.

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