Think Like a Feminist
1st GPS/PPPA Spring Lecture
28 March 2023, h. 11.00
Faculty of Political, Economic and Social Sciences
Via Conservatorio 7, Milan
Speaker: Carol E. Hay(University of Massachusetts Lowell)
Chair: Nicola Riva (University of Milan)
Who counts as a woman? Is there some set of core experiences distinctive of womanhood, some shared set of adventures and exploits that every woman will encounter on her journey from diapers to the grave? One of the primary insights of intersectional feminism is that what it’s like to be a woman varies drastically across social lines of race, socioeconomic class, sexuality, disability, and so on, and that if we try to pretend otherwise we almost always end up pretending that the experiences of the wealthy white straight able-bodied women who already have more than their fair share of social privilege are the experiences of all women. Given that there isn’t a set of core experiences distinctive of womanhood some suggest abandoning the category “woman” altogether. According to the account I defend, however, womanhood is best understood as a matter of family resemblance. After articulating the details of this account, I take up a potentially devastating objection: that family resemblance accounts of womanhood inevitably center the experiences of traditionally privileged-femme, non-disabled, straight cis white-women.