Assuming the female part : a critique of discourses of bodily normalcy

dc.contributor.advisorDistiller, Natashaen_ZA
dc.contributor.authorLever, Carlaen_ZA
dc.date.accessioned2014-10-06T11:06:12Z
dc.date.available2014-10-06T11:06:12Z
dc.date.issued2006en_ZA
dc.descriptionIncludes bibliographical references.en_ZA
dc.description.abstractIn this thesis, I examine the concept that discourses which utilise a stable notion of womanhood inevitably exclude some by the very boundedness of their definitions. Such definitions are premised by a notion of gendered normativity, and are often implicit and unconsciously evoked. Principally, I addess the reductive conflation of womanhood with specific biological parts, a common rhetorical strategy I identify as a particularly problematic form of synecdoche. Although feminisms are often highly attuned to questions of social difference amongst women, I argue that, too often, this awareness is not extended to deconstructing notions of 'natural' physical female identity. This can, in part, be traced to an historical feminist need to argue a distinction between biological sex and socially constructed gender, in the face of partiarchal oppression. This separation has done much to forge a space for the legitimation of women's rights, as it diminished the centrality of the body to the issue of identity construction. However, is associating the acquired effects of culture solely with gendered identity, the concept of 'the female body' has unavoidably become regulative, singular and naturalised. I use poststructuralist theory to demonstrate that, even when authors explicitly seek to address feminist issues of women's exclusion and marginalisation within patriarchal discourse, their recouse to an identifiable 'woman' paradoxically ends up re-inscribing these very issues for some women. Indeed, this is because the notion of a universally identifiable, stable 'woman' is a fiction.en_ZA
dc.identifier.apacitationLever, C. (2006). <i>Assuming the female part : a critique of discourses of bodily normalcy</i>. (Thesis). University of Cape Town ,Faculty of Humanities ,Department of English Language and Literature. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/11427/8088en_ZA
dc.identifier.chicagocitationLever, Carla. <i>"Assuming the female part : a critique of discourses of bodily normalcy."</i> Thesis., University of Cape Town ,Faculty of Humanities ,Department of English Language and Literature, 2006. http://hdl.handle.net/11427/8088en_ZA
dc.identifier.citationLever, C. 2006. Assuming the female part : a critique of discourses of bodily normalcy. University of Cape Town.en_ZA
dc.identifier.ris TY - Thesis / Dissertation AU - Lever, Carla AB - In this thesis, I examine the concept that discourses which utilise a stable notion of womanhood inevitably exclude some by the very boundedness of their definitions. Such definitions are premised by a notion of gendered normativity, and are often implicit and unconsciously evoked. Principally, I addess the reductive conflation of womanhood with specific biological parts, a common rhetorical strategy I identify as a particularly problematic form of synecdoche. Although feminisms are often highly attuned to questions of social difference amongst women, I argue that, too often, this awareness is not extended to deconstructing notions of 'natural' physical female identity. This can, in part, be traced to an historical feminist need to argue a distinction between biological sex and socially constructed gender, in the face of partiarchal oppression. This separation has done much to forge a space for the legitimation of women's rights, as it diminished the centrality of the body to the issue of identity construction. However, is associating the acquired effects of culture solely with gendered identity, the concept of 'the female body' has unavoidably become regulative, singular and naturalised. I use poststructuralist theory to demonstrate that, even when authors explicitly seek to address feminist issues of women's exclusion and marginalisation within patriarchal discourse, their recouse to an identifiable 'woman' paradoxically ends up re-inscribing these very issues for some women. Indeed, this is because the notion of a universally identifiable, stable 'woman' is a fiction. DA - 2006 DB - OpenUCT DP - University of Cape Town LK - https://open.uct.ac.za PB - University of Cape Town PY - 2006 T1 - Assuming the female part : a critique of discourses of bodily normalcy TI - Assuming the female part : a critique of discourses of bodily normalcy UR - http://hdl.handle.net/11427/8088 ER - en_ZA
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/11427/8088
dc.identifier.vancouvercitationLever C. Assuming the female part : a critique of discourses of bodily normalcy. [Thesis]. University of Cape Town ,Faculty of Humanities ,Department of English Language and Literature, 2006 [cited yyyy month dd]. Available from: http://hdl.handle.net/11427/8088en_ZA
dc.language.isoengen_ZA
dc.publisher.departmentDepartment of English Language and Literatureen_ZA
dc.publisher.facultyFaculty of Humanitiesen_ZA
dc.publisher.institutionUniversity of Cape Town
dc.subject.otherEnglish Language and Literatureen_ZA
dc.titleAssuming the female part : a critique of discourses of bodily normalcyen_ZA
dc.typeMaster Thesis
dc.type.qualificationlevelMasters
dc.type.qualificationnameMAen_ZA
uct.type.filetypeText
uct.type.filetypeImage
uct.type.publicationResearchen_ZA
uct.type.resourceThesisen_ZA
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