PowerPoint Week 10

“[A] wide range of political activity and theorizing
founded in the shared experiences of injustice of
members of certain social groups”
Identity politics is important for the political
articulation of minority or oppressed groups, but it
may generate an obstructive distinction between
‘us’ and ‘them’
“There is plenty of concrete evidence to suggest that
even the most privileged do not as yet inhabit a world
in which violence, injustices and inequalities are no
longer carried out in the name of identity categories”
(Aston and Harris 3)
First Wave: 19th to early 20th century; fight for
women’s rights in education, marriage and
politics: suffragists and suffragettes
Second Wave: mid to late 20th century,
particularly 1960s and 1970s; development
of feminist theory
Third Wave: from 1990s
onwards... post-feminism?
Liberal or Bourgeois Feminism aims at attaining
gender equality with an emphasis on individual
achievement and without necessarily advocating
changes in social structures
Radical Feminism claims that so-called female
qualities (nurturing, emotionality) are superior to socalled male qualities (aggression, competitiveness,
individualism) and advocates absolute ‘sisterhood’
[see also Cultural Feminism]
Socialist or Materialist Feminism links gender
inequality with other kinds of injustices, related to
class, race and/or culture, and advocates
fundamental social changes in order to address these
multiple sources of oppression
Elin Diamond: ‘The Violence of “We”’
“The collective ‘we’ generated by the
[feminist] movement tended to be exclusive
rather than inclusive” in terms of...
class (middle),
sexuality (hetero),
‘race’ (white)
Anti-essentialism (Judith Butler): Gender and sex
are social constructions. Gender is
‘performative’, created through repeated
However, a ‘strategic essentialism’ may be
necessary (Gayatri Spivak)
Critical Feminist Theory
 Nancy Fraser: no recognition without
redistribution (deconstruction + socialism)
 Seyla Benhabib: ‘interactive universalism’
(ethics of care + ethics of justice)
“One of the sharpest accusations Conservatives
fire at the Left concerns the supposed
contradiction between love for all humanity and
caring for people you actually know (as Burke
puts it, the apparent mutual exclusiveness of
love of ‘kind’ and ‘kindred’). [...] It seems to me
clear that both forms of love are limited and
insufficient. The first has blighted the socialist
experiment, the second challenges the moral
pretensions of the enterprise culture”.
(qtd. in Painter 119)
dirty butterfly
born bad
stoning mary
truth and reconciliation
(Soho, 2003)
(Hampstead, 2003)
(Royal Court, 2005)
(RSC and Soho, 2005-6)
(Young Vic, 2007)
(Royal Court, 2008)
(Royal Court, 2011)
nut (NT, 2013)
So what happened to the womanist
...The feminist bitches?
...The professional bitches.
What happened to them?
What about the burn their bra bitches?
The black bitches
the rootsical bitches
the white the brown bitches
the right-on bitches
what about them?
What happened to the mainstream
The rebel bitches
the underground bitches
what about – how bout –
the bitches that support other bitches?
Bitches that aint but got nuthin better
to do
bitches that gotta conscience
underclass bitches
overclass bitches
political bitches – what about – how
bout –
what happened to them?
bitches that love to march?
bitches that love to study
music lovin bitches
shebeen queen bitches
bitches that love to fight
bitches that love a debate
bitches that love to curse?
Aston, Elaine. ‘Debbie Tucker Green’. The Methuen Drama Guide to
Contemporary British Playwrights. Ed. Middeke, Martin, Peter P. Schnierer
and Aleks Sierz. London: Methuen, 2011. 183-202.
Aston, Elaine and Geraldine Harris. ‘Feminist Futures and the Possibilities
of “We”?’ Feminist Futures? Theatre, Performance, Theory. Ed. E. Aston
and G. Harris. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006. 1-16.
Diamond, Elin. ‘The Violence of “We”: Politicizing Identification’. Critical
Theory and Performance. Revised Edition. Ed. Janelle G. Reinelt and
Joseph R. Roach. Ann Arbor: U. of Michigan Press, 2007. 403-412.
Canaday, Margot. ‘Promising Alliances: The Critical Feminist Theory of
Nancy Fraser and Seyla Benhabib’. Feminist Review 74 (2003): 50-69.
Fragkou, Marissia and Lynette Goddard. ‘Acting In/Action: Staging
Human Rights in debbie tucker green’s Royal Court Plays’. Contemporary
British Theatre: Breaking New Ground. Ed. Vicky Angelaki. Basingstoke:
Palgrave Macmillan, 2013.
Goddard, Lynette. Staging Black Feminisms: Identity, Politics,
Performance. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007.