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Representations of Race and Sexuality on Feminist Web Sites
Unformatted Document Text:  Representations of Race and Sexuality on Feminist Web Sites 9 within feminism have been criticized for avoidance of the topic of racism. In “Transforming the Socialist-Feminist: The Challenge of Racism,” Kum-Kum Bhavnani and Margaret Coulson were critical of the usage of the term “ethnocentrism” used by Michele Barrett and Mary McIntosh as a central problem for socialist-feminists. 20 They asserted that the structural and political diseconomies are not reflected in the term and that “racism” is more accurate. In “U.S. Third World Feminism: The Theory and Method of Oppositional Consciousness in the Postmodern World,” Sandoval described a feminism that is based on social change and oppositional consciousness which applies not only to feminism but to other types of activism. She highlighted difference in regard to different modes of consciousness: equal rights, revolutionary, supremacism, and separatism, with a fifth mode, differential, that recognized the need for movement between the other modes. Sandoval stated that the “differential” mode “depends upon the ability to read the current situation of power and of self-consciously choosing and adopting the ideological form best suited to push against its configurations.” 21 As discussions of the women’s movement focused on the nature and locus of sexual difference and whether those differences were essential, biological or socially and economically constructed, issues beyond that of gender and encompassing those of sexuality emerged. Butler, in “Gender Trouble, Feminist Theory, and Psychoanalytic Discourse,” suggested that some feminists believe an “operational essentialism” is necessary to advance women’s causes, but then explored this topic through the master theories of Freud, Lacan, and ultimately Foucalt. 22 Butler introduced a “fantasy theory” of identification to overcome criticisms of an assumed primary bisexuality and a

Authors: Royal, Cindy.
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Representations of Race and Sexuality on Feminist Web Sites
9
within feminism have been criticized for avoidance of the topic of racism. In
“Transforming the Socialist-Feminist: The Challenge of Racism,” Kum-Kum Bhavnani
and Margaret Coulson were critical of the usage of the term “ethnocentrism” used by
Michele Barrett and Mary McIntosh as a central problem for socialist-feminists.
20
They
asserted that the structural and political diseconomies are not reflected in the term and
that “racism” is more accurate.
In “U.S. Third World Feminism: The Theory and Method of Oppositional
Consciousness in the Postmodern World,” Sandoval described a feminism that is based
on social change and oppositional consciousness which applies not only to feminism
but to other types of activism. She highlighted difference in regard to different modes of
consciousness: equal rights, revolutionary, supremacism, and separatism, with a fifth
mode, differential, that recognized the need for movement between the other modes.
Sandoval stated that the “differential” mode “depends upon the ability to read the
current situation of power and of self-consciously choosing and adopting the ideological
form best suited to push against its configurations.”
21
As discussions of the women’s movement focused on the nature and locus of
sexual difference and whether those differences were essential, biological or socially
and economically constructed, issues beyond that of gender and encompassing those
of sexuality emerged. Butler, in “Gender Trouble, Feminist Theory, and Psychoanalytic
Discourse,” suggested that some feminists believe an “operational essentialism” is
necessary to advance women’s causes, but then explored this topic through the master
theories of Freud, Lacan, and ultimately Foucalt.
22
Butler introduced a “fantasy theory”
of identification to overcome criticisms of an assumed primary bisexuality and a


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