First of all, my sincerest apologies for the lateness of this post.
As likely evidenced in seminar I am a big fan of Vindications and of Mary W. In part due to her husband’s unflattering posthumous memoire, W’s reputation was severely damaged until the last century and she has thus not received much of the credit that she is due. I think that she is due credit as writing and therefore initiating the FIRST comprehensive discussion on women’s rights – and as a result human rights – and especially from a female perspective. there was nothing before her! no concept of women’s rights before she started writing about them. I find it interesting that some found W’s argumentation linking women’s education to being better wives and mothers as hypocritical. As noted in seminar I found the way that she structured her arguments brilliant in strategy, as it must be recognized that she was trying to appeal to men and she had to convince them that women’s education was worth their while, that it would benefit them. Regardless of her personal motives, I think that W should be applauded for her brilliant foresight and argumentation. Any woman can write an angry rant about our misogynistic society and men’s oppression of women – how successful do you think these women have been in truly advancing egalitarianism? It is women like Mary Wollstonecraft who are truly responsible for advancing the rights of women and society’s view towards them, through logic and well supported evidence, not through hyperbole and angry vitriol.
I really enjoyed Rewriting The Soul and found the discussion of DID very interesting. As evidenced by my essay topic my main interest with this work is Hacking’s discussion on identity and the “self.” While Hacking may not say that identity is exclusively a societal construct, I think that that the case is made that it is still largely societally constructed. But while this may be true I think that identity is still a necessary and fundamental part of humanity.
The concept of culture in Black Skin White Masks is something that is not unique to the time or specific culture that Fanon was discussing. It is something that many people especially in Canada struggle to define. Canada has always prided itself on being a multicultural country, the land of 200 languages but this has also resulted in losing a sense of what Canadian culture is. It is hard to describe to other Canadians never mind non-Canadians, what Canadian culture or identity is, often falling on tired clichés like maple syrup, hockey and amiability. Salim Mansur, a professor of political science at the University of Western Ontario says that “a multicultural country has basically indicated it is a country without a core culture, or the core culture that once gave it cohesion, identity, framework, anchor, has been jettisoned to embrace a multiplicity of identities.”