Friday Feminist – Moira Gatens

The metaphor of the unified body functions, in political theory, to achieve two important effects. First, the artificial man incorporates and so controls and regulates women’s bodies in a manner which does not undermine his claim to autonomy, since her contributions are neither visible nor acknowledged. Second, insofar as he can maintain this apparent unity through incorporation, he is not required to acknowledge difference. The metaphor functions to restrict our political vocabulary to one voice only: a voice that can speak of only one body, one reason, and one ethic.

Moira Gatens, “Corporeal Representation in/and the Body Politic” in Rosalyn Diprose and Robyn Ferrel (eds) Cartographies: Poststructuralism and the Mapping of Bodies and Spaces, 1991

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