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Chapter 29Feminist Standpoint Theory

Adrianna

I applaud Harding’s “insistence on local knowledge.”  The idea that a person can be a “transparent eyeball” (like Emerson claimed) is not realistic; each person sees through his or her own personal interpretive lens.  No one can be completely objective.  We have discussed this extensively in my Early American literature class, and I think that this realization is one important contribution of postmodern theory.

At first I was hesitant to embrace the idea that marginalized people have a more objective or less distorted view.  But then I thought about Frederick Douglass’ narrative and his analysis of slavery.  Douglass saw not only how destructive slavery was to the slaves, but also to the slaveholders.  The power owners had over their slaves was usually corrupting.  Douglass also saw how hypocritical the slave owners were preaching love and grace on Sunday, while on Monday they were whipping their slaves for insignificant or imagined offenses.  Douglass’s view was much more objective, much more realistic than that of his white masters, because of his marginalized status.  I think today we have much to learn from feminist writers as they offer a distinct perspective on a male-dominated world.




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Application Logs
11th Edition

Student comments on practical use of a theory, from the Instructors Manual and additions to the website

List mode: Normal (click on theory name to show detail) | Show All details | Clear details

Chapter 29Feminist Standpoint Theory

Adrianna

I applaud Harding’s “insistence on local knowledge.”  The idea that a person can be a “transparent eyeball” (like Emerson claimed) is not realistic; each person sees through his or her own personal interpretive lens.  No one can be completely objective.  We have discussed this extensively in my Early American literature class, and I think that this realization is one important contribution of postmodern theory.

At first I was hesitant to embrace the idea that marginalized people have a more objective or less distorted view.  But then I thought about Frederick Douglass’ narrative and his analysis of slavery.  Douglass saw not only how destructive slavery was to the slaves, but also to the slaveholders.  The power owners had over their slaves was usually corrupting.  Douglass also saw how hypocritical the slave owners were preaching love and grace on Sunday, while on Monday they were whipping their slaves for insignificant or imagined offenses.  Douglass’s view was much more objective, much more realistic than that of his white masters, because of his marginalized status.  I think today we have much to learn from feminist writers as they offer a distinct perspective on a male-dominated world.




You can access Application Logs for a particular chapter in several ways:

  • Switch to View by Theory, then select the desired theory/chapter from the drop-down list at the top of the page. Look in the list of available resources.
  • To quickly find a theory by chapter number, use the Table of Contents and link from there. It will take you directly to the theory with available options highlighted.
  • You can also use the Theory List, which will take you directly to the theory with available options highlighted.

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