Abortion & Foucault/Althusser (Re: cop shows, postmodernism....)

Yoshie Furuhashi furuhashi.1 at osu.edu
Tue Feb 9 17:37:04 PST 1999

Angela wrote: <<...ken and Yoshie pronounce on the need for giving Alex a good thrashing, or at least insisting that he shut up, because the question itself constitutes sexism....>>

Folks who read and talk _so_ much about Foucault, Althusser, Butler, etc. should know that ideology works through the manner in which a problematic gets set up, or so I thought, rather naively. (Perhaps because I didn't mention the term _problematic_ the last time around? You guys need to have _everything_ spelled out?) I'll try again. I wrote:

...coming back to the subject of abortion, I'd say that we police ourselves and become good subjects by arguing with the Right on the Right's terms: "Is abortion 'murder'?"; "Is abortion 'moral'?"; "Are pro-choicers 'rigid' and 'inflexible'?"; and ad infinitum.

Kristin Luker...makes an excellent point when she writes the following: "Perhaps the most interesting thing...is the fact that modern-day subscribers to the first point of view--that abortion is always murder--have been remarkably successful in America at persuading even the opponents that their view is the more ancient and the more prevalent one" (emphasis mine). See, first the Right sets the terrain of ideology, and then they ask us to formulate our demands and justifications on that terrain. That's their game. We must refuse to play by their rules. (You must have read enough Marx & Foucault to get my point here.)...

So, what happened to all that fuss about 'evading the ruse of power,' 'exceeding the symbolic,' 'questioning the politics of Truth,' and other fancy postmodern 'theoretical' maneuvers? Well, what would Dr. Butler say about the insistent demand to 'repeat the question and answer it'?

performing a post-Foucauldian marxism,

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