Thursday, March 04, 2004


Micah Sittig

Teachers of the Inner Chamber
by Dorothy Ko

Over the last twenty years, a new strain of feminist literature has emerged that is based on the theoretical framework of the notion of gender. The common approach to women's studies over the past century has been to examine the role of women, defined in the biological sense, in the major political upheavals and social movements of past historical eras. The new wave of feminist theory supplants the old convention of defining the sexes biologically with a new social construction, termed gender. Gender tries to define the difference between men and women through a relational approach, rather than cut and dry "biological determinism" (Scott, pg 3). By generalizing the boundary betweens men and women and connecting it to the social realm, the new discourse is able to put forward questions like "how does gender work in human social relationships? How does gender give meaning to the organization and perception of historical knowledge?" (Scott, pg 4) These new questions have opened up wide swaths of history to be reexamined through the relationships between the men and women of the time, and also encourage us to ask the same questions of the history transcurring today.

I know that "transcur" is not an English word. We have enough English infecting other languages nowadays, it's about time we get a little counter-flow going.


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