One Is Not Born a Woman and The Straight Mind – RAM Study

This week we are reading two text’s by theorist Monique Wittig, “The Straight Mind,” and “One is Not Born a Woman.” These are materialist theoretical contributions on gender abolition. Monique Wittig describes these texts as a focus on “lesbian materialism,” in which she examines men and women as distinct classes rather than as “essentialist” categories. “Lesbians are not women,” writes Monique Wittig, and she presents powerful ideas about how the idea of “woman” is socially constructed and used to convey certain images. It is not enough, she argues, to transform economic oppression because not all oppression is, at the source, economic. Sexism will continue to exist even in a society where all people have equal economic opportunities. Only by transforming our thought processes, and in turn, our language, can we transform our society into one in which there is no longer the dominant and the dominated: “In other words, this means there cannot any longer be women and men, and that as classes and categories of thought or language they have to disappear, politically, economically, ideologically.”

“One is Not Born a Woman.”

“The Straight Mind.”

Friday, January 25th