Dyads and Dialectics - Note No. 2

For a feminist critique of the totalizing model of patriarchy see Sheila Rowbotham Dreams and Dilemmas (London: Virago, 1983) especially "The Trouble with Patriarchy" which first appeared in New Statesman, 1979. The piece also appeared in People's History and Socialist Theory ed. by Raphael Samuel (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1981), 364-9.  Flax's footnotes display an awareness of socialist feminist thought but not of British writings such as Rowbotham's work that would challenge directly both the monolithic construction of "patriarchy" and ascription of a single cause to women's oppression.  All the references throughout Flax's one hundred and ten notes bear American publishers except for the single non- English language reference, a Merleau-Ponty preface (Flax 280 n. 107).  One cannot fault Flax for being unable to address debates outside her discipline and country and occurring almost contemporaneously with the composition of her article.  However the lack of engagement with the work of Stanley and Wise in three works on feminist epistemology cannot be ascribed to factors of discipline, time or distance:  Linda Alcoff and Elizabeth Potter eds., Feminist Epistemologies (New York and London: Routledge, 1993); Jane Duran, Toward a Feminist Epistemology (Savage, Maryland: Rowman and Little, 1991); Louise M. Antony and Charlotte Witt eds., A Mind of One's Own: Feminist Essays in Reason and Objectivity (Boulder: Westview Press, 1993). Stanley and Wise have placed the word "epistemology" in the revised edition's title.  This might assist in ameliorating acknowledgment of their work.