1. Introduction


[1] In this essay I draw on the work of Mary Daly and Maria Lugones, among others, in order to draw the possibility of freedom into focus.  I argue that the process ontology overtly featured in Daly’s writing, coupled with the curdled subject explored in the work of Lugones, creates a path through which to view freedom.   More specifically, if we conceptualize subjects as engaged in the ongoing activity of creating their being, and if we understand subjectivity as multiple and curdled, then it is possible to see how oppressed subjects can be free in the here and now.  To see the possibility of freedom is necessary because if we remain focused on resistance, we continue to reference the conceptual corollary of oppression.  Freedom, even if fleeting, fosters analysis and feminist futures that are not fully occupied with the problem of oppression.  For strategic reasons, for the long haul, we need to see and practice freedom.

    • Rita Alfonso
    • April 14th, 2010

    Dear Jennifer,
    I’ve always loved Lugones’ work, and I thank you for sharing your engagement with some of her ideas.
    I share with you the belief that it is important to imagine a (radical) feminism that isn’t only about oppression and/or resistance, but about something more — you call it freedom, I might call it pleasure, community, art, love, or kinship. It could be about many things, even contradictory things. I guess my question is “why freedom?” What is it that this names? Is it an ideal, or is it manifest. Do you any woman who is (or could be even moderately described) as free? I’m not sure that, given the chance between feeling free and feeling love, I might not ditch freedom. (I think Beauvoir just kicked me in the shin..) In fact, I would choose many things before I pursued freedom, which seems like an empty promise. But maybe I just don’t get what you mean…
    What say you?

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