Individualising the social: Or, whatever happened to male domination?

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Abstract
The paper starts with a number of propositions outlining what feminism means for the purposes of my argument, and goes on to give a brief account of what I mean by the ideology of individualism. The body of the paper is devoted to a detailed discussion of one text, Judith Grant's Fundamental Feminism, as an exemplary instance of a widespread problem within academic feminism—the deletion of the problematic of male domination. Grant identifies 'Woman', 'experience' and 'personal politics' as the 'core concepts' of feminism, and suggests 'gender' as the solution to the problems entailed by those concepts. I argue that, while these concepts undoubtedly appear throughout feminist writings, any inadequacies in the ways they have been used can be rectified by situating them within the context of the social relations of male supremacy. I also argue that 'gender' is worse than useless for feminist purposes because it is incoherent and because it obliterates the social problem of male domination.
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Thompson, Denise
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1998
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Conference Paper
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