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Layton, L. (1998). Gender and Knowledge: K. Lennon. Journal of Gender Studies. IV, 1995. Pp. 133-143. Psychoanal Q., 67(2):342-343.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: Gender and Knowledge: K. Lennon. Journal of Gender Studies. IV, 1995. Pp. 133-143

(1998). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 67(2):342-343

Gender and Knowledge: K. Lennon. Journal of Gender Studies. IV, 1995. Pp. 133-143

Lynne Layton

Feminist epistemologists have challenged hegemonic masculinity by arguing that knowledge reflects “the position of the knowledge producer at a particular historical moment, in a particular culture, of a certain colour, gender and sexuality….” But where does this leave feminist epistemological projects? Lennon reviews criticisms of the search for a female subjectivity (e.g., the diversity of

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women, the problem of using the categories masculine/feminine produced by a male symbolic). She believes that we can use the categories masculine/feminine without buying the whole ideological framework of patriarchy. Women's lives are in fact different from men's, and the content of the categories does not remain static. A feminist epistemological standpoint is marked by its acknowledgment of power differences between men and women. Lennon argues that the material reality of the lives of those constructed as “other” challenges those dominant constructions; her vision mediates between deconstructionist and materialist epistemologies. The materiality of lives makes dominant ideologies visible as ideologies. At the same time, each new position can be contested because it inevitably creates its own marginalities. People can theorize from another's position; Sandra Harding, for example, urges men to theorize from women's lives. Epistemological progress occurs as long as space remains open for the marginalized to articulate their experience.

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Article Citation

Layton, L. (1998). Gender and Knowledge. Psychoanal. Q., 67(2):342-343

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