Feminism, the Public and the Private

By Joan B. Landes | Go to book overview
Save to active project

6
Regarding Some 'Old Husbands' Tales': Public and Private in Feminist History

Leonore Davidoff

There is no easy passage from 'women' to 'humanity'

( Denise Riley, 1988)


Prologue

A central platform of feminist critique and attempted revision of mainstream thought has focused on the construction and boundaries of classifications: of femininity and masculinity, women and men, woman and man. These classifications have in turn been linked to the construction of other highly significant categories, the complicated--and slippery--notions of public and private.

The everyday usage of a public and private distinction has led to much confusion. When feminists, mainly anthropologists, first

____________________
Excerpts from Chapter 8 in Leonore Davidoff, Worlds Between: Historical Perspectives on Gender and Class ( Polity Press, 1995). Copyright Blackwell Publishers Ltd ( 1995). Reprinted by permission. The main arguments in this essay were first presented to the interdisciplinary symposium, 'The Construction of Sex/Gender: What is a Feminist Perspective?', Swedish Council for Research in the Humanities and Social Sciences, Stockholm, 1990. The thoughtful discussions around subsequent presentations in Britain, Norway, the USA, and Australia offered many useful new insights. A brief version was published in Passato e Presente, 27 (Sept.-Dec. 1991), and L'Homme: Zeitschrift für feministische Geschichtswissenschaft ( 1993). The present version incorporates many of the ideas published in my article, "'Adam Spoke First and Named the Orders of the World: Masculine and Feminine Domains in History and Sociology'", in Helen Corr and Lynn Jamieson (eds.), The Politics of Everyday Life. Continuity and Change in Work and Family ( London: Macmillan, 1990).

I am grateful for advice and suggestions about these ideas from discussion with Carole Adams, Monika Bernold, Barbara Caine, Delfina Dolza, Christe Hammerle, Alice Kessler-Harris, Catherine Hall, David Lee, Jane Lewis, Susan Margarey, Jill Matthews, Jane Rendall, Sonya Rose, Alison Scott, Eleni Varikas, Ulla Wikander, and especially to my colleague Ludmilla Jordanova for her critical but always supportive suggestions. Diana Gittins provided invaluable editorial critique. Finally, my thanks to Citlali Rouirusa, who provided the title.

-164-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Feminism, the Public and the Private
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 508

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?