I wonder what the Sioux call it?

For those of us who lived through the culture wars of the 1980s and 1990s, there is a bit of fun to be had in revisiting the clichés of second-wave feminism, with which Gilligan’s memoir is overstuffed. There are remonstrances about resisting “false authority” and “gender binaries and hierarchies” and breathless statements about how “the seeds of transformation lie within ourselves” that seem better suited to the corporate-inspirational rhetoric of a Successories poster than a rigorous theory of ethics. Readers are treated to anecdotes about students who, upon confronting patriarchy in the classroom “registered their distress in their bodies”; one woman, “a Native American lesbian (called by the Cree ‘two-spirited’) went home and threw up.”

– Christine Rosen reviewing Carol Gilligan’s (doyenne of “difference” feminism) memoir Joining the Resistance

Dear Ms. Rosen,

My only objection to your otherwise thorough demolition of this waste of good pulp and ink is that I wish you had given us more tasty anecdotes. My readers can’t read your entire review unless they are already Commentary subscribers, which they should become right away if they aren’t already. Podhoretz Jr. has spruced up the joint, with robust economic articles to go along with their traditional strength in foreign affairs, regular Joseph Epstein fiction (he’s so damn good and a local boy too!), an awesome Andy Ferguson column on our screwed up liberal media, and their usual excellent book reviews (like your piece!)

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One Response to I wonder what the Sioux call it?

  1. Lydia says:

    Heh. I remember when everybody was goo-gooing about Gilligan in the 90’s. My name came up in a faculty meeting of the Vanderbilt University Philosophy department (as to whether I, as an English graduate student, was spending too much time in my husband’s department lounge) after I got into an animated altercation with a Philosophy grad. student over the merits or otherwise of Gilligan’s feminism and the idea that we need a distinctly feminist epistemology in order to “incorporate women’s ways of knowing” and avoid sexism. (Gag.)

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