Luce Irigaray declares that sexual difference is one of the major, if not the major, philosophical issue of our age. Acknowledging that an essential sexual difference exist between the two sexes, she claims, is needed in subverting the typical phallocentric representations of woman. While sexual difference is often associated with the anatomical differences between the sexes, its aim goes beyond differentiating the sexes through their anatomy. Rather, it is constructed for women to refrain from accepting men’s construction of them, to assert their difference, and to allow them to represent their own subjectivity. Addressing the question of sexual difference, she argued that we cannot see male and female as oppositional and different but each as constitutive of the other. However, for Donna Haraway, the feminist goal of reclaiming or disclaiming femininity cannot properly resolve the problem of women’s oppression. The goal is to break the polarities between the politics of sexual difference and radical separatism. As she claims, “…I would rather be a cyborg than a goddess.” A hybrid of “natural” organisms and artificial machine that humans create is what we are. Thus, as some envisage the fast approaching replacement of humanity with a new posthuman species, feminists not only consider questions on how sexual difference can actually affect our sense of human/machine divide but also the more important question of how sexual difference is likely to be removed by this divide in the posthuman future. This paper aims to discuss how such disappearance of sexual difference can both aid and hinder feminists in their goal of women’s empowerment. In dealing with this end, first, I discuss the different feminist perspectives on sexual difference vis-à-vis gender inequality. Second, I discuss the feminist debates on the possibility of the elimination of sexual difference in the posthuman future. In the third and last part of the paper, considering the feminist discussions on sexual difference, I discuss the implication of embracing post-biological concepts of the body and the self.
Philosophy Seminar Series
Date: Wednesday, 26 Nov 2014
Time: 2pm – 4pm
Venue: AS3 #05-23
Speaker: Rosallia Domingo, De La Salle University-Manila
Moderator: Dr. Tang Weng Hong
About the Speaker:
Rosallia Domingo is an assistant professorial lecturer at De La Salle University-Manila where she teaches Philosophy. She has an M.A. in Philosophy and is currently pursuing her doctoral studies in the same university. Her research is primarily in the areas of embodiment theory and feminist philosophy.