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Imaginary Bodies: Ethics, Power and Corporeality 0th Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
ISBN-13: 978-0415082099
ISBN-10: 0415082099
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Editorial Reviews


"Moira Gatens offers the most convincing and sympathetic reading of Irigaray's claims for the primacy of sexual difference, while arguing that it is crucial "to resist the temptation...to replace one body with two, one ethic with two, one reason with two..""
-"Religious Studies Review, January 1999 Vol 25, No 1
"The arguments that Gatens develops and the parallels she introduces are compelling, bringing a well-informed historical perspective to a thorough knowledge of feminist theory, philosophy, and psychoanalysis."
---Tina Chanter, University of Memphis
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Moira Gatens is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Sydney in Australia. Among her previous books is Collective Imaginings: Spinoza, Past and Present (1999).

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 184 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge (December 18, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415082099
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415082099
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,811,344 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I read this book whilst I was studying for my honors in Arts. That was quite a few years ago, and I would have to reread the book to write a review that would do it justice. At the time, I found many enlightening and surprising ideas encapsulated in the writing, many of which went some way to explaining some of my experiences as a female in contemporary Western society.

Here is a reflection I wrote a while back.

Experience has taught me that women are considered as the glue to any social system. They are what holds it together, despite the cracks that inevitably start to develop within any political or social system. Philosopher Moira Gatens says that patriarchy considers women as the dogs outside the city gates, warning the real humans, the males inside the city, of any approaching dangers, by their howling.

The non-human status of the female citizen might be understood, in my view, through a slightly different analogy, which is that in terms of how society holds itself together, women are often taken to be the "glue".

Glue has a certain texture -- it is viscous (mushy) and transforms its shape to fit between existing hard shapes to hold them together. The hard shapes are not supposed to adapt to fit the "glue" -- which wouldn't make any sense -- but rather vice versa.

I find that generally within political and social systems, women are expected to be the glue. If there is a crack in the system, a systemic quality of dysfunction within it, women can be used to hide this. One can appeal, for instance, to women's supposedly volatile nature and claim that they caused the cracks appearing in the system. That way, the system can just go on, dysfunctional as it is, with women's "nature" acting as the glue. Of course women do not really have the negative emotional attributes ascribed to them, but it is necessary for those who would maintain a system of male domination to say that they do, since they want to use women as "glue".
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