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I confess that I would have to be more up on specifics of Eleanor of
Aquitaine's life and views to answer that in more than a general way.  It
has been a long time since I read about her.  But in general, I don't think
the word applies in its current sense until about Mary Wollstonecraft
because she was the first to write a complete and coherent philosophy.
This does not mean many women before her were not on an individual
basis clearly committed to greater rights and possibilities for women.  And
there were centuries of intense debate on the "Querelle des femmes."  As
far back as you can find any writings by women--Sappho, Hrosvitha, Julian
of Norwich--you find that they resist the dominant male definitions of
themselves.  I do note that Gerda Lerner does not discuss Eleanor of
Aquitaine, and her history of "feminist consciousness" is extremely
packed with specific women.  Why do you name her?

I don't think labels are the same as defining terms.  Labels are easy but
do not necessarily get at the core of concepts.  I think Lerner's definition of
"feminist consciousness," by the way, is very good and very precise.

Nancy



Date sent:              Mon, 2 Dec 2002 19:11:10 -0800
Send reply to:          "T. S. Eliot Discussion forum." <[log in to unmask]>
From:                   Peter Montgomery <[log in to unmask]>
Subject:                Re: What the word feminism means
To:                     [log in to unmask]

Nancy said:
Since you seemed quite worked up over it, one might ask "whose chains?"
====================== That's interesting. "seemed" to you maybe.
This is
a very incomplete medium. As I remember, I was in a hurry, and the words
"women's liberation" or "women's movement" wouldn't come to mind, but
feminism did. To me they're all much of a muchness. I suppose if one
needed an arbiter, the OED would do.

So tell me, where in the pantheon of women's issues
would you put my favourite feminist, Eleanor of Aquitaine,
and what label would you give her?

As Joyce said, (somewhere? - FW?) "Love thy label as thy self."

Dr. Peter C. Montgomery
Dept. of English
Camosun College
3100 Foul Bay Rd.
Victoria, BC CANADA V8P 5J2
[log in to unmask]
www.camosun.bc.ca/~peterm


-----Original Message-----
From: Nancy Gish [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Monday, December 02, 2002 6:45 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: What the word feminism means


Since you seemed quite worked up over it, one might ask "whose chains?"

It remains difficult to understand your stake in redifining the word for
whatever purposes you choose.  But the topic has no doubt run dry as it is
an issue of historical definitions and not really a debate about any
feminist ideas. Nancy


Date sent:              Mon, 2 Dec 2002 18:30:50 -0800
Send reply to:          "T. S. Eliot Discussion forum."
<[log in to unmask]>
From:                   Peter Montgomery <[log in to unmask]>
Subject:                Re: What the word feminism means
To:                     [log in to unmask]

My original comment, which I have long since aborted
so I can't do a replay here, was simply a facetious
aside; that it yanked such chains is to me a wonder.

Dr. Peter C. Montgomery
Dept. of English
Camosun College
3100 Foul Bay Rd.
Victoria, BC CANADA V8P 5J2
[log in to unmask]
www.camosun.bc.ca/~peterm


-----Original Message-----
From: Carrol Cox [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Monday, December 02, 2002 6:22 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: What the word feminism means


Peter Montgomery wrote:
>
> From: Nancy Gish [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
> the fact that Thatcher is an assertive woman who had a great deal of
> power and no doubt benefited an a broadly general way from the
> developing idea that women could be in politics
> ================================================= For me, the above, as
> you have clearly stated it, was most of the issue, and you seemed very
> reluctant to admit it.
>
> The other part of my point was that the injection of the anima
> factor into politics has not brought about the much vaunted
> changes in less hostility and more compassion that were promoted.
>

(1) We were reluctant to "admit it" because it seems too utterly trivial
to be an issue. I guess I don't understand at all why you even wanted to
mention it.

(2) "Much vaunted changes" seems to refer to a world that doesn't exist. I
would like to know who did the vaunting. I'm not asking for particular
examples -- you can find examples of any damn thing. Someplace in this
hemisphere there is a black woman advocating male and white supremacy on
the basis of a christian atheism. You have to show, for example, that a
politically important sector of the women's liberation movement (regarded
as politically important by most sectors of that movement) advocated ERA
on the basis of its bringing less hostility etc. I don't believe that such
a sector existed. Hence I don't find the non-existence of the "change" of
much interest.

(2a) On there being examples of "any damn thing," there is a recent
book, _Marx's Revenge_ out by s Desai [don't know who he is], the thesis
of which is "capitalism is the true revolutionary force today so Marx
would be a capitalist" now. (I understand that he argues that today Marx
would be a follower of Hayek.)

Carrol