carlos rojas

naked gaze 肉眼


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July 17, 2006


Bitch | Lab
Brown contends that, while well-meaning, this focus on the “’injury’ of social subordination” has the potential to “fix[] the identities of the injured and the injuring as social positions, and codif[y] as well the meanings of theirs actions against all possibilities of indeterminacy, ambiguity, and struggle for resignification or repositioning.” Therefore, Brown argues, a political project of grounding a collective identity and social policy around a politics of injury has the potential to reify the perceived injury into a constrictive designation of the (collective) identity itself.

I only learned of Wendy Brown recently (in detail) though I'd heard the name. Damn She's got some great stuff.

I was just at another blog explaining (or trying to) that we needed to stop seeing oppression as a product or thing, and see it as a process. Brown's identifying this in terms that work right alongside that analysis fairly well.

I'llhave to make some time to read more of her work but all I could say when I read one article was, "right on". I particularly enjoyed a similar analysis of Catherine MacKinnon's work where she argues that MacKinnon's rhetoric is extremely powerful and grips people because she has a symptomatic reading of the Patriarchy as pornography and thus her rhetoric ends up mimicking the rhythms of porn.


I must pick up some Wendy Brown - I'm utterly uninformed.

I love what you're saying, Bitch, about her reading of Mackinnon.


k and EL,
Many thanks for this.
Brown's discussion of MacKinnon is in "The Desire to be Punished," in Politics out of History, where she argues that MacKinnon's identity as a woman and as a feminist is grounded on a continual repetition of certain misogystic injuries, which she then projects symbolically onto third-party substitutes:

To avoid this pain, one might locate that repetition outside oneself--but in those with whom one closely identifies. A certain nonsadistic victimization is thereby obtained through the specter fo the victimization of "one's people." Indeed, this is how the figure of an abused and exploited Linda Marchiano (Linda Lovelace in the 1972 pron film Deep Throat appears to operate in the feminism of Catharine MacKinnon; it is, more generally, how MacKinnon's litanies of women's sexual victimization appear to function in her writing: MacKinnon makes a repeated rhetorical gesture at erasing the lines between the stories of sexual violation she recounts, herself, and the reader.


p.s., I just saw a great movie which is a perfect illustration of Brown's argument about the potential of "injury of social subordination" to "“fix[] the identities of the injured and the injuring as social positions."

The movie is Monster House, and I'll try to write something about it if I get a chance.

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