ignore this, it's about women and sexism ...]]

Carrol Cox cbcox at ilstu.edu
Fri Nov 26 10:09:39 PST 1999

Miles Jackson wrote:

> . As usual, the biological here is just a
> way of erasing the importance of the social and how our
> identities and desires are shaped via social relations.

Yes -- but I urge you to take a look at the Gould review of Lewontin et al posted by Yoshie. Emphasizing only the obnoxious uses of biology leaves too much room for the obnoxious uses of ignoring biology. The example Gould gives of non-biological explanations of autism is very relevant. Those explanations were every bit as vicious as is making stealing an instinct. They probably ruined the lives of some mothers.


P.S. Re "how our identities and desires are shaped via social relations." This wording can give too much emphasis to the biological, since it posits "identities and desires" as existing prior to and autonomously of social relations, which become an external force which merely *shapes* those identities and desires. One of my tentative responses to *Bodies That Matter* while reading it was that Butler was at heart a vulgar materialist. She strove so hard both to give social relations (e.g., subjection) an independent existence that she had to reduce the realm of the material to mere lumpish matter. I think this is what led Ebert to coin the term "matterism."

More information about the lbo-talk mailing list